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New Children’s Book by 9/11 Survivors Asks, ‘What if Jesus Were a New York City Firefighter?’

NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — 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 www.vicopublishing.comand 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).”

Visit for more information. For ordering information contact ITDistributors at (877) ITD-7778.

About VICO Publishing
VICO Publishing was founded to provide wholesome, educational and inspirational family-oriented reading experiences. Its series of original children’s books themed around the question, “What if Jesus Were?” is designed to inspire, nurture imagination and provide an opportunity for parents and children to connect in positive and spiritual ways.


Incredible Story of Survival and Hope from 9/11

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y., June 25, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Cloud Ten Pictures (LEFT BEHIND film series) is in production on a new documentary inspired by the book “Between Heaven and Ground Zero” by Leslie Haskin. The documentary will be an intimate account of the author’s escape from Tower 1 of the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 — as well as her personal struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the inspiring return to her faith that led to her recovery.
                                                                               English: New York, N.Y. (Sept. 14, 2001) – Wha...
“This is a gripping survival story inside one of history’s most infamous events,” says Executive Producer and Cloud Ten Pictures founder, Paul Lalonde. “What’s wonderful is that despite the enormous tragedy, hope and faith still triumph.”

In 2001, Haskin was an executive for one of the top insurance companies in America. On the morning of September 11th, when a hijacked plane struck the first World Trade Center tower, Haskin was in her office on the 36th floor. It was a moment that not only left a nation devastated, but also changed the world for everyone. After surviving the terrorist attacks, Haskin suffered severe PTSD that lead to her institutionalization and ultimately left her and her son homeless.

Today, Haskin has dedicated her life to helping others. She is the founder and director of Safe Hugs Ministries, a sought after public speaker and the author of three books. Her recovery is a story of healing through a renewed devotion to her faith.

“For me that day marks a rebirth,” says Haskin. “I still struggle with being in tall buildings and stairwells, but God had me survive for a reason. And every time I can talk to people about my experiences and give them hope, I realize what it is.”

“Reliving what it was like inside those towers, and the horrors and miracles that went along with it, is humbling and inspiring unlike anything else I’ve experienced,” says André van Heerden, who wrote and directed the documentary. “Leslie’s 9/11 journey is filled with tragedy that few of us will ever experience, yet incredibly it becomes a story of miracles and hope that has helped thousands.”

Featuring emotional interviews with Haskin and those closest to her, emergency workers who were on the front lines on the day of the World Trade Center attacks and other survivors who were among the last to leave the crumbling twin towers — BETWEEN HEAVEN AND GROUND ZERO will give a new, raw perspective into one person’s experience of that fateful day and the remarkable journey of faith that followed.

The feature-length documentary is set for release August 28, 2012 nationwide on DVD. BETWEEN HEAVEN AND GROUND ZERO will be distributed domestically on DVD to the secular and Christian markets through E1 Entertainment ( and to all other markets directly by Cloud Ten Pictures.

Leslie Haskin has been featured on Fox News Channel, John King USA, Dr. Drew, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, and The Early Show, among others.

For more information about BETWEEN HEAVEN AND GROUND ZERO, visit