Mt. Morris Twp., MI—Before he became “the King” Elvis Presley was a normal kid.
Well, not normal in the conventional sense, but he, like all children, experienced failure—and he didn’t let it stop him.
In his new book, “Elvis and the Talent Show,” Charles Weaver, a 5th grade teacher at Westwood Heights schools, uses a real-life event in Presley’s childhood to teach kids how to overcome adversity, just like Elvis did.
When Presley was 10 years old, he entered a talent show at a fair in Tupelo, Miss. He lost, taking 5th place overall. It was his first known public performance.
“I thought that was a good centerpiece of the story. An unbelievably successful guy faced adversity just like everybody else. And he didn’t let that setback hold him back,” Weaver said.
Weaver has been teaching for 23 years and this is the first book he’s authored. Its themes of tenacity and stick-to-itiveness are something Weaver instills in his two teenage daughters and students.
Originally, he was inspired by The Beatles’ and Elvis Presley’s song titles and wanted to find a way to use them to tell a story. After a bit a research, he discovered an article on Presley’s talent show and the plot fell into place.
“It’s a rhyming book…and I also use some of Elvis’ song titles, there’s probably six or seven song titles in there,” Weaver said.
Though the story draws on real-life events, Weaver exercises some creative license.
“My favorite part, I think, is the connection that Elvis and his mom have in the book. And that’s more imagined by me,” he said.
At the end (spoiler!), little Elvis buys his first guitar, and the rest is rock’n’roll history.
“Elvis and the Talent Show” can be found on Amazon or at other major bookstores like Barnes and Noble. Weaver said he expects an electronic version to be released within the next month.