Local author Christine Van Horn has created a superhero character that lives in right in Plainfield. And his sister lives in Joliet (just like Van Horn).
Local author Christine Van Horn has created a superhero character that lives in right in Plainfield. And his sister lives in Joliet (just like Van Horn).

Back when I was homeschooling my six children, one of the companies where I ordered some of my curriculum offered a series of books for supplementary reading.

Some of these books were fiction and some were creative non-fiction.

The Captain Character series by Christine Van Horn of Joliet reminds me of those books.

The series is published by WestBow Press, the self-publishing arm of the Christians publisher Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.

For a parent who'd like to combine their children's love for superheroes with character-building values, the Captain Character series can help accomplish it.

This is true whether the family is home-schooling or engaged in hybrid or remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help kids connect with the character, Van Horn has Captain Character living in Plainfield - and his sister living in Joliet, which is where Van Horn lives.

So who is Captain Character?

Captain Character is actually Dr. Matthew Meleg, an accelerator physicist at a scientific research facility, who winds up with superhero powers when he’s accidentally zapped by one of his machines, according to the second book's prologue.

The Amazon description for the first book ("Captain Character: The Adventure Begins," which was published in 2019) says, “He has the power to capture people's total attention, cause them to freeze in their tracks with his focus, and teach them the lessons they need to learn so that they change their actions and attitudes to turn from their negative ways. Captain Character comes on the scene at a time when his powers and abilities are needed.”

Van Horns second book, "Captain Character: The Legend," was published earlier this year, and this is the one I recently read.

With its 10 chapters, 97 pages and a fifth grade Flesch Kincaid reading level, kids ages 10 and up should be able to read it with ease.

So unless a child has an advanced reading level, parents might want to read it to their children and enjoy it together.

Here are some examples of what readers will find in "Captain Character: The Legend."

In a situation where two men are fighting within view of schoolchildren, Captain Character approaches them and says, “You weren’t talking kindly to each other. It’s up to the adults to set a good example, especially when children are around.”

Captain Character also engages three boys to be his assistants, calling them "character champions" so they, too, can show the world how people of good character behave.

This may remind Christian families of Jesus calling his 12 apostles to go out into the world and tell everyone about Him.

Captain Character also promotes reading and getting enough sleep.

Other examples from the book include:

Some of the children want to walk by his side, and he’s happy to walk with them. He tells the children to follow what their parents and teachers tell them to do. They need to be obedient.

“Trustworthiness is when you make those around you feel safe. It’s when you show you’re a person of character, enough to put the feelings of others ahead of yours. It’s when others understands that you have their best interest at heart.”

“Trust is very important,” he explains. “Ensure you’re always in the company of someone or others who are trustworthy.”

Buy Captain Character: The Legend on Amazon.

For more information, visit captain-character.com.

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