Teacher hopes to inspire with children's novel

Combining humor, an urban setting and common everyday kid issues, author Joseph Gutiz might be onto something.

Jul 31, 2013, 03:00 ET from New Trends Press

LOS ANGELES, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Joseph Gutiz thought baseball would be his ticket out of the ghetto. But when his dreams were dashed, he turned to education. Now, the 43-year-old California resident hopes that through his own publication, he will inspire kids to become writers or at the very least to understand the importance of the craft.

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Joseph Gutiz, is a sixth grade teacher. In his spare time he writes books and is a landscape photographer. His third book, "The Adventures of Chubby Cheeks: The Pro Quest," deals with bullying, harassment by gangs and poverty – problems he endured growing up in a tough part of Los Angeles. In a recent interview at his home by a local newspaper reporter, Gutiz said the novel uses humor, diverse characters and the popular pastime of skateboarding to attract young readers.

In an effort to draw publicity, Gutiz launched the book into space in a weather balloon from his backyard on June 02, 2013. The book was carried 100,000 feet into the atmosphere along with a GoPro camera and GPS satellite tracking device that landed in the Mojave Desert 80 miles from his home. In addition, he posted a YouTube video of his kids searching for a copy of the book he buried underwater off the coast of La Jolla. "As a teacher, I'm always trying to promote literacy in creative ways like writing to celebrities or publishing books to lead by example," said Gutiz, who is married with two children ages 12 and 14.  The son of a single mother who cleaned houses to make ends meet went on to college to play baseball right out of high school, but things didn't go as planned.  So, he returned home and refocused on education instead.  "If I wanted to do better in life and move out of the neighborhood, I needed to get an education," he said. "A lot of friends were in gangs and were gunned down and killed. I dreamed of a better lifestyle."

Since then, Joseph has earned a Bachelor Degree in Communication and a Master Degree in Education. He is the author of two other books, "Dream To Achieve," a self-improvement book for young adults, and "Southern Hospitality," a photo journal chronicling a family trip to the south.

His books can be found in print and EBook formats through most major online book distributors and on his website, www.newtrendspress.com. He is scheduled to have a book signing, August 01, 2013 at the Upstart Crow Bookstore & Coffeehouse in the beautiful Seaport Village, 835 W. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101.

Gutiz hopes to write a "Chubby Cheeks" book series, similar to the children's series "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" but with a more urban flavor.

Contact Information:
Joseph Gutiz
Cell: 951-552-0603
Email: josephgutiz@yahoo.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jgutizbooks
Blog: www.josephgutiz.blogspot.com
YouTube: www.youtube.com/josephGutiz

SOURCE New Trends Press