I’ve been asked several times of late to explain a bit about my new children’s book, Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids.
I think it makes sense if I start at the beginning. I was working on a fictional Prepper novel, and one of the characters has young children. As he’s trekking through the woods on foot, I asked myself, “how do you prepare children for something like this?” I have four young daughters, myself, so that naturally led to, “how would I explain this to my own children?”
I had seen a few episodes of the show, Doomsday Preppers, and all I knew was that THAT was NOT how I wanted it to go down! I mean, sure, I want them to know that it’s good to be prepared, but scaring them into a gas mask or “going underground” out of fear isn’t what I think we, as Preppers (or parents, for that matter!), should be doing. I’d rather teach them critical thinking skills that can be applied to both “prepping times” as well as “normal life.” It’s a two-for-one deal!
I started looking for Prepper books for children, and guess what… there are none! Zilch. Nada. Zero. I was rather shocked. Sure there are one or two for families with children, but they are targeted at adults. I decided I wanted to do something about that!
As for Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids – I think the title pretty much says it all! It’s designed to introduce the idea of “prepping” to kids in a non-threatening way. A lot of people prep for a lot of different reasons, and this book covers a handful of “the big ones” (reasons to prepare). I tried to find a balance that both Preppers and non-preppers could find common ground with.
Prepper Pete is an ant who decides he needs to be better prepared, and he starts prepping for a variety of reasons. He stores extra food, learns useful skills like growing a garden and collecting water, and he starts using equipment that doesn’t require electricity… just in case. He also buys a gun and ammunition for hunting and defense, takes a gun safety course, practices often (hey, I didn’t say it’d be popular with everyone!), and he tucks his kids in at night assuring them that they can sleep better because they are prepared.
What’s the message? Well, first, I think that being prepared is a fabulous idea. Prepper Pete covers natural disasters, economic collapse, solar flares, and the like! But I also believe the message doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, Prepper Pete’s signature quote is that he tells his kids, “Some people prepare because they are afraid. Our family doesn’t have to be afraid… because we are prepared!”
And I think that’s the heart of it… everyone should prepare for the right reason, and they should realize that it’s a mindset as much as anything else. And they should equip their kids with useful skills, critical thinking, and resourcefulness.