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Monday, January 31, 2022

Book Review - Victor Survives Being a Kid by Heidi Vertrees


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...

Age Group: 9-12 Years

Length: 264 Pages


Like Victor in my book, my father came from another country, but one much smaller than Mexico! I grew up hearing two languages, and have since traveled the globe and served in the US Peace Corps. For a dozen years, I lived in an Hispanic community in Denver, Colorado, where I taught fifth grade. I was blessed by the graciousness of the Mexican culture. This story is a big thank you back.

My Thoughts

Victor survives being a kid is a middle grade book that is written by Heidi Vertrees. It is recommended for kids ages 9-12 years old. I read this book with my 8 and 10 year old sons. Both of my children were able to read the book effortlessly. We enjoyed reading about Victor. My boys both started a new school district this year, so they were able to relate to a lot that Victor went to.  The challenges that Victor faces, are real challenges that kids face in school.

Victor has had a rough few months. His dad has gone back to Mexico, and he is going to a new school. He is not exactly thrilled to be going to a new school. Like any new kid in school, he is trying to scope out the other kids - and gets into a few of the boys sites. My boys and I laughed a lot at Victor's adventures. Victor is at that age where he's realizing he is too old to be a young boy but not quite a man. His mom wants him to step up and be a man. The author did a great job representing the Mexican-American Culture. 

The chapters are easy to read and move quickly. The book deals with bullying. The book also shows the importance of faith, family and friends. My 10 year old son, took this book to share with his class. 

A special thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book, all thoughts are my own. 

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