Making history thrilling

But everybody doesn't know about the disgraced general's "heroic" feats, which is why Sheinkin has looked forward to writing this book for years now. He wanted it to be nothing like a textbook and more like a novel and adventure story, so kids would want to pick it up.

"I broke it up into cinematic scenes; all very short chapters each based on specific scenes of his life to keep it moving forward in the way you would find in a novel, not a history book," said Sheinkin.

Sheinkin is so enthralled with the untold persona of Benedict Arnold that he fantasizes about what a blockbuster movie would look like.

"I hope maybe one day someone could make a movie out of it; it would be way cooler than anything George Washington ever did, that's for sure," said Sheinkin. "It's a Bruce Willis kind of role, but maybe he's too old for it now because Arnold was only in his 30s when he was this action hero kind of character."

The first book of secrets that Sheinkin produced was called "King George: What Was His Problem?" Then came "Two Miserable Presidents" which centered around the American Revolution. One story he shares is about how John Adams and Benjamin Franklin had to share a bed one night because there was only one left at the inn, and they got into an "epic argument" over leaving the window open. The information is slightly irrelevent, said Sheinkin, but it doesn't come across as so boring and gives flat characters a personality, something he feels would make kids more likely to retain information.

He also wrote "Which Way to the Wild West?" In one Lois and Clark episode, he offers a little known tidbit, which is that one of the expedition members accidently shot Lois in the butt while hunting.

"It's not important to know, but again, that's the trick. If you can get kids to think of them as real people, it's no effort remembering the real important stuff," said Sheinkin.

Sheinkin's next book will focus on the Manhatten project and the race to build the atomic bomb.

"It's also an espionage story about the race to build and steal the atomic bomb. I take a story told in just a few lines in textbooks and turn it into a global thriller," said Sheinkin.

For more information or to purchase any of Sheinkin's books, visit http://us.macmillan.com/author/stevesheinkin.


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