The Unexpected Light of Thomas Alva Edison releases March 2023
Grand Rapids, MI – September 23, 2022 – Zonderkidz is pleased to announce that New
York Times bestselling author, broadcast journalist and producer Raymond Arroyo will publish
a new children’s picture book series titled Turnabout Tales, with the first book arriving in stores
on March 21, 2023, titled The Unexpected Light of Thomas Alva Edison. Illustrated by Kristina
Gehrmann, the book will be for children 4-8 and beyond who will enjoy learning how small
moments and events in one’s life can create a big change, much like Edison’s life did.
Based on the younger years of inventor Thomas Alva Edison, the book highlights the support of
his mother, Nancy Edison, who understood Thomas had a special curiosity and went on to
school him at home to help expand his worldview and understanding of all things nature and
science. Edison’s curiosity often got him into trouble, but also led to his love of chemistry, the
mechanics of the telegraph and more. His struggle with deafness at an early age also compelled
him to become a compulsive reader. Edison’s mother was his biggest advocate, and he opened
up an “invention factory” in 1876 to honor her after her unexpected death.
The Turnabout Tales series will feature pivotal moments in other historic lives, each revealing
challenges faced, paths changed and history turned. More books will be announced later in 2023. This series was acquired by Zonderkidz Publisher Megan Dobson and Senior Acquisitions
Editor Katherine Jacobs, from agent Chip Flaherty of Bamtrey Strategies.
Zonderkidz is happy to bring these unique stories from Raymond to a wide audience who will
appreciate history and the hidden backstories of characters that can inspire children and their
families even today,” says Megan Dobson, Vice President and Publisher of Zonderkidz. “We seek
to highlight tales that bring light and joy while also delivering inspiring yet little-known stories
that bring history to life for kids in an all-new, fun way. Acquiring this series fits perfectly within
“We often forget that talent is nurtured by love and belief. I was drawn to Edison when I read a
comment where he attributed his entire career as an inventor to his mother,” says Arroyo, host
of the global news program The World Over Live on EWTN, and a Fox News Contributor. “At a
critical point, when he was tossed from school, it was Edison’s mother who recognized his spark
and changed the trajectory of his life. My hope is that the whole series will inspire kids and their
families to be open to the direction of their children’s gifts and interests. Often it is by looking
back that we can see the best way to go forward –and that’s what I hope to do with Turnabout
The book includes an author note and bibliography for further reading. A Teaching Guide and
Activity Guide will also be available for free download to parents and educators at
“…the light of the invention within Tom might have never illuminated the world, had it not been
for a mother who first saw the glow of curiosity in her Al.” – The Unexpected Light of Thomas
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Unexpected Light of Thomas Alva Edison
By New York Times bestselling author Raymond Arroyo
Illustrated by Kristina Gehrmann
Hardcover w/Jacket, $17.99
March 21, 2023 On Sale
Advance copies of the book and interviews are available upon request; a multi-city media tour in
several U.S. cities in the spring featuring visits to media and schools is in process. Please contact
Publicity Director Jessica Westra at [email protected] for more information.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:
“This moving, hidden story of one of our great inventors, in Raymond Arroyo’s skillful hands,
becomes a lesson in the power of love and family. This Turnabout Tale will touch any parent
who has ever defended or encouraged their child and inspire any student who has been
underestimated. There’s true light in this tale.” – Kathie Lee Gifford, Best-selling author and
4-time Emmy award winning entertainer
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Raymond Arroyo is an internationally known, award-winning journalist, producer, and New
York Times bestselling author. As a Fox News Contributor and Editorial Advisor to the top rated, The Ingraham Angle, he has created the popular “Seen and Unseen” and “Friday Follies”
segments that have become audience favorites. He regularly files reports for Fox News and
appears across the network.
As founding News Director, Managing Editor and Lead Anchor for EWTN News, he is seen in
more than 350 million homes on six continents each week and heard on more than 500 AM/FM
affiliates and a stand alone Sirius channel throughout the U.S. Arroyo established EWTN News
and The World Over Live in 1996, which he hosts from Washington D.C. each week.
Known for his penetrating interviews, Arroyo has interrogated the leading figures of the day.
Highlights include: The first exclusive, sit down interview with Mel Gibson about his film, “The
Passion of the Christ”; Mother Teresa of Calcutta; Placido Domingo; Presidents George W. Bush
and Donald Trump, a groundbreaking interview with comic legend, Jerry Lewis, and the first
and only English language interview with Pope Benedict XVI.
Before coming to EWTN, Arroyo worked for the Associated Press, The New York Observer and
the political columnist team of Evans and Novak. Arroyo is a graduate of New York University’s
Tisch School of the Arts. He has acted and directed in New York and London.
In addition to his work at EWTN, Arroyo has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning
America, CNN Headline News, Access Hollywood, and NPR. His work has appeared in the Wall
Street Journal, The Financial Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, and
Five of his adult books, including his biography of Mother Angelica, were all New York Times
bestsellers. His first picture book, The Spider Who Saved Christmas, was also a New York
Times bestseller. Additionally, he is author of the bestselling Will Wilder series for young
readers. In 2015, Arroyo founded Storyented.com, a literacy initiative to inspire reading by
connecting the world’s great authors and their readers. Arroyo resides in New Orleans and
Washington D.C. with his wife Rebecca and their three children.
Zonderkidz™, the children’s division of Zondervan, inspires young lives through
imaginative, innovative and educational resources that represent a Christian worldview and
build up God’s children and teens. For additional information, please visit
Zondervan is a world-leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications.
Zondervan, as part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational
Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and
digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200
languages. Zondervan’s offices are located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For additional
information, please visit www.zondervan.com.
Director of Publicity, Zonderkidz