Kid’s book by 9/11 survivors: What if Jesus was a NY fireman?

New Children’s Book by 9/11 Survivors Asks, ‘What if Jesus Were a New York City Firefighter?’
By Martin E. Coleman, VICO Publishing,

More than a decade since September 11, 2001, parents and educators seek ways to explain 9/11 to children, many of whom were not even born that day, while survivors and victims’ families work to ensure that the memory of 9/11 does not fade from the nation’s conscience. Joining a genre of books inspired by 9/11, “What if Jesus Were a New York City Firefighter?” is the first in a series of hero-themed stories from VICO Publishing designed to engage young adults and families. The first title is written for children ages 9 and up and is now available in hardcover at and

Authors Thomas J. Vito and Martin E. Coleman were inspired to create “What if Jesus Were a New York City Firefighter?” by their own experiences surviving 9/11. Vito and Coleman worked together on the 61st floor of an office building adjacent to the World Trade Center Towers. They watched the first plane strike before they descended into the chaos on the streets below.

The story is about a young boy who dreams of one day becoming one of New York’s Bravest — a New York City firefighter. He experiences the same feelings and emotions as so many young readers do today and must overcome a great personal challenge to reach his goal. In the process, Jesus learns lessons of honesty, integrity and devotion. Questions matched to each chapter foster discussion among parents and children.

“Like so many people after 9/11, Martin and I sought answers and had to rebuild our lives,” recalls Vito. “We wanted to bring light out of the darkness of 9/11, which led us to create a story we hope will resonate with young readers and inspire them to bravely face challenges in their own lives.”

For the authors and so many others, 9/11 left an indelible mark. The lives of victims’ families, EMTs, firefighters and police officers who survived will never be the same. A portion of proceeds of “What if Jesus Were a New York City Firefighter?” will go to the FealGood Foundation, the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation and and Dear.

“‘What if Jesus Were a New York City Firefighter?’ pays tribute to the brave men and women who lost their lives trying to save so many others on that fateful day and reminds us to never forget them or those who survived,” added Coleman, a teacher and the author of the book series. “This story symbolizes America’s ability to overcome the challenges we face as a nation.”

“Much more than a story about a young man overcoming his fears, this book explores the theology of vocation, providence, gratitude, and reliance upon God’s grace,” said The Rev. Eric Bergman, Pastor, St. Thomas More Church, Scranton, Pennsylvania. “Indeed, it will be an affirmation to the children who read it that, ‘With God all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26).”

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