By Ryan Richardson
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
When Webb City resident Nolan Head set out to write about the early life of the United States’ first president, George Washington, he wanted to tell a story that could relate to teenagers today.
Almost 18 months later, Head on Saturday was at The Bridge, a Joplin youth center, signing copies of “Chronicles of Young George Washington” for young adults he had set out to reach. Head said he hopes that journey inspires a new generation to find a moral path in today’s society.
“There isn’t a lot written about the early years of his childhood,” Head said of Washington. “My goal was to find actual facts and tell the story from Washington’s point of view, like he was here telling it to the reader. I want his efforts of sharing, Christian morals and common sense to shine through in the situations that I recounted for the reader.“
Head hopes the 94-page fictional account of Washington’s formative years influences younger people to learn more about Washington’s life.
“He was the son of two orphans, and he lost his father at an early age, but his influence was in a lot of what he later became,” Head said. “That morality that he learned in his young life is relevant today. As an adult, you don’t just wake up and want to be a Christian one day; that has to be nurtured in your younger life as it was in Washington’s life. Because of his upbringing in faith, he was able to exemplify character, faith and courage in almost everything he did.”
Character is something that Head has found in area charities, to which he reached out when he found out that his first book was to be published. Head contacted Peterson Outdoor Ministries and Christians’ Haven, both of Webb City, to see whether he could help further their missions. He said he decided that 100 percent of the profits from the book would be donated evenly to the two charities.
“This is the least that I can do to support what they do,” he said.
Tron Peterson, who founded Peterson Outdoor Ministries, was on hand at the book-signing session Saturday. His charity supports wounded military veterans, in addition to terminally ill children, and their families through outdoor therapy. The Webb City-based program has helped more than 90 service members and their families since its founding.
“I read the book to my kids nightly, and they thoroughly enjoyed it,” Peterson said. “Once they reached out to us for an endorsement on the book and what Nolan was trying to accomplish, we were on board. I think it’s great to reach kids and show them that there is a moral way to life.”
“Chronicles of Young George Washington” may be pre-ordered on Amazon.com for $9.99. The book will be available on March 26.