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Winner of the 2022 Catholic Press Award & 2021 Middle Grade _Book Award _
Victor Survives Being a Kid by Heidi Vertrees, Tween readers will enjoy the fun, inspirational adventures of Victor Ortega, a Hispanic boy in a lower-income American neighborhood. His adventures and misadventures are relatable to kids in any community, as he goes through the growing pains of the middle years. Victor has a lot going on this year.his family moves, he's at a new school, the bully hates him, and a street thug targets him. Readers will enjoy the humor and adventure, as Victor grows in faith and maturity. Paperback, 264 pages. Ages 9-12
|Title: Victor Survives Being a Kid|
By: Heidi Vertrees
Number of Pages: 264
Vendor: Newsong Press
Publication Date: 2021
|Dimensions: 9.02 X 5.98 X 0.60 (inches)|
Weight: 14 ounces
Stock No: WW857801
Victor faces a rough year! His family moves, he's at a new school, the bully hates him, a street thug targets him, and he has to survive on an icy-cold trail alone in the dark! What's next, Victor?!
Adventurous, funny, inspirational story told by Victor Ortega, an Hispanic boy in a lower-income American neighborhood. Kids in any community can relate to his adventures and misadventures through growing pains of the middle years.
Beautifully illustrated, Victor's narrative keeps the story witty and vivid as his troubles pile up. When will his father return from Mexico? Why can't the bully just leave him alone? Can he do it on his own? Or can Victor--with the help of family and friends--find a way to Survive Being a Kid? Readers enjoy the book's humor and adventure, while sharing Victor's growth in faith and maturity.
This story shows Mexican American family life with warmth and respect. The author lived happily for a dozen years in a Mexican American neighborhood in Denver, Colorado and taught multicultural kids like Victor, his Black friend Akeem, Victor's new friend Isobel, and others. The book refreshingly avoids stereotypes, and talks up, not down, to kids. For parents, teachers, and librarians, the newSongPress.NET website for Victor Survives Being a Kid has a link to a free discussion and activity guide.
Will Victor survive as the new kid at school? Can he survive on the mountain at night? Do Victor and the bully survive the kidnapper? Will Victor survive being a kid?! There's only one way to find out...
Author: Heidi Vertrees
Located in: United States
Submitted: September 29, 2021
Tell us a little about yourself. Hi! I love helping children to learn and be inspired in their faith walk with Jesus. I have taught elementary school in private, charter, public, and homeschool settings, as well as authored national Sunday school lessons, and lead a Child Evangelism Good News Bible Club. I grew up in a bilingual home in New York and as a young adult served in the US Peace Corps. Upon completion, I circled the globe from when I first left home. My travels included Hong Kong, Thailand, India, and Europe. I enjoy bicycling and gardening with my husband, and visiting friends and family.
What was your motivation behind this project? For a dozen years, I lived in an Hispanic community in Denver, Colorado, and was blessed by the graciousness of the Mexican culture. I have been very fond of all my students, and I wanted to share an inspirational story that springs out of my experience teaching fifth grade in an urban school where most of the students are Hispanic. In my writing, I have aimed to honor the Hispanic culture and to encourage all readers in their Christian growth.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I believe Victor Survives Being a Kid is a wholesome story that can enrich the lives of boys and girls ages 8 and up. Children can enjoy the humor and suspense, while they, also, through the eyes of the main character examine how they want to walk in their faith, be brave, and bring joy to others. Because the story takes place over a school year, readers meet both boy and girl characters. As an educator with many years of experience in the classroom, I intentionally wrote this story to appeal to both boys and girls, and I can see it being used very nicely in classroom literature circles, church youth groups, and homeschool settings.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Because I often thought of my former students as I created fictional characters for my story, I poured a lot of love into my work. I appreciate God giving me the blessing to teach children and then to create what I hope is a beautiful, uplifting story for children.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I love reading the Bible and being a part of Bible studies, as well as listening to Christian radio on a daily basis, reading good Christian books, and being active in my church. My all time favorite Christian author is C.S. Lewis for his writings for adults and children. As a writer for children, I will add that I so appreciate Christian books for children such as The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, McGee and Me! by Bill Myers, The Sugar Creek Gang series by Paul Hutchens, Adventure in Odyssey stories from Focus on the Family, and two long-standing favorites of mine are The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford and Heidi by Johanna Spyri.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Parents, teachers, and youth leaders can go to newSongpress.net/victor to request the free downloadable Dig Deeper, an activity and discussion guide with in-depth topics and project ideas (including tasty Mexican recipes) to enhance children's reading experience. Reading comprehension questions and answers are included as well. Victor Survives Being a Kid has been well received and has five star reviews on Amazon. If you or your children are blessed by this book, please be so kind as to tell others and consider writing a review. Thank you! God bless you all! Heidi Vertrees
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