Pittsburgh firefighter's son, 6, bases book on events in dad's job
When 6-year-old Jaden Colbert grew tired of sharing an iPad with his brother and sister, he asked his dad to buy him one.
Dad said no. Not with my money.
But Joshua Colbert, seizing an opportunity to teach his son a life lesson, offered a compromise: You can have an iPad, he said, if you raise the $600 or so needed to buy it.
“If you want something, create something,” Colbert told his son.
That's what Jaden did.
He wrote a self-published children's book, “My Dad is a Firefighter,” based on his father, who works at Pittsburgh's No. 19 Fire Station in Swisshelm Park.
“My dad is a firefighter, and I think that's so cool,” Jaden said, explaining his inspiration.
Available online at Amazon.com, the book has sold about 1,000 copies since January. Jaden gets about $4 per copy, more than enough for his iPad.
“That was definitely one of the proudest days of my life, to be able to go to the store and buy an iPad with his money,” said Colbert, a Morningside resident and nine-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Fire Bureau. “The rest is going to his college fund.”
Dad “helped me with some of the words” in writing the book, Jaden said.
An employee at a Downtown marketing firm that the elder Colbert owns, Mozo Marketing, handled the illustrations.
The book is based on real events, the Colberts said.
“He said that sometimes the smoke is so bad it can turn the sky black,” Jaden wrote. “And sometimes it's so cold he can feel the ice break on his back.”
The two bonded while working on the book.
“It felt good,” Colbert said. “It was nice reminiscing with him. He says he wants to be a firefighter, but I think most kids do.”
He told his son about a fire he fought in the Hill District, before Jaden was born. It was pitch black inside the smoky house, and one of his firefighting “brothers” fell through a hole in the living room floor and broke his leg.
“Being a firefighter can be dangerous, that's for sure,” Jaden wrote. “He told me one day his officer fell through the floor.”
Firefighter Colbert also is an author. He wrote “Male by Birth, Man by Choice,” a how-to-be-a-man guide that targets teenagers and young men.
In helping his son write a book, he taught Jaden to set a goal, make a plan and follow it through.
It seems Jaden also learned something about capitalism.
“My next book will be called ‘My Mom is a Math Teacher,' ” he said. “Then I can buy an iPhone!”
Chris Togneri is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5632 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Road crews are dealing with oil and sealant spills on roadways
- Philadelphia murder suspect nabbed in Braddock
- Authorities identify McKeesport man whose body was found in Yough River
- Roads to close on Pittsburgh’s North Side this weekend
- Canon-McMillan drops U.S. Postal Service from condemnation action
- Witness tells jury about fatal McKeesport shooting
- $20M bond issue could cost cash-strapped Penn Hills School District $6.6M in interest
- 2 men arrested at UPMC McKeesport on charges of endangering teens
- Diminishing number of pilots takes toll on small airports in Western Pa.
- Shaler man charged in death of girl, 6, not prosecuted in repeated alcohol cases
- Lawmaker Doyle seeks EPA leniency for Alcosan plan