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Flyin’ High … Author Shares Personal Story

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Chandra Rice

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Stephen Hartman Provides Insights into Book

Author Stephen Hartman performs shows in schools across the Texas Panhandle to encourage children to pursue the message and the principles in his book, The Adventures of ZACHO. He performed in Groom this semester, and many students said they wanted to learn more about him and his message.

Author Stephen Hartman performs shows in schools across the Texas Panhandle to encourage children to pursue the message and the principles in his book, The Adventures of ZACHO. He performed in Groom this semester, and many students said they wanted to learn more about him and his message. "Our future depends on good leaders, and leaders are readers." Hartman said.

There’s a “small” town just north of Amarillo called Fritch with a population of around 2000, and one of those residents has a name Groom readers have come to know: Stephen Hartman. Hartman has been performing since the age of 8 and plans to continue performing for a while, especially if it brings more attention to his writing and its super-hero character message.

Hartman came to Groom on  Feb. 22 and gave a presentation to grades pre- K through sixth. The students and faculty said who attended appreciated his message and his book, and many left wanting to know more about him.

“I really liked it (his presentation,” third-grader Sophia Caro said. “He did really cool tricks with a yo-yo.”

Hartman isn’t just an author, though. He’s also the youth pastor at Fritch First Assembly of God Church. So, his job requirements give him plenty of experience in dealing with the needs of children and young people.

“I performed my first magic show when I was 8 years old in Bemus Point, New York,” Hartman said. “The first “Zacho Adventure” show that I performed was at Sanford-Fritch Elementary.”

In addition, he volunteers his time with three local non-profit organizations to help with the needs of his community.

“I love the positive school culture that was evident as I walked through the halls and heard students talking to one another,” Hartman said of Groom. “The positive attitude and the pursuit of excellence can be seen throughout the entire school.”

Hartman used his knowledge contained in his book to show the students and faculty how they could be just like “ZACHO.”

“The inspiration for the book came from my son Zach and his brother and sister, Jonathan and Gracie,” Hartman said.

Writing The Adventures of ZACHO started as a project to help develop a better relationship between Hartman and his kids. One day Zach came to Hartman with a drawing. The image was a super-hero he called ZACHO. Hartman had an idea that he would make a project out of his son’s drawing. Hartman told Zach that he would do the images and Hartman would write.

“This small project grew into a passion to inspire my children – and other children – to be the best version of themselves that they could be,” the author said.

Hartman wanted to inspire people, all around the world, through the stories and messages in the book to be the “super- hero” in their school and community, while also giving them a fun book to read along the way. Hartman was inspired by the students at the local school in his town to create an assembly program based on the book.

“My whole purpose in writing the book and creating the show was to inspire children to chase after their dreams, be the best that they can be,” Hartman said.

Hartman wrote the book to encourage everyone who reads or is reading it to help make the world around them a better place and motivate them to read more and be excited about it.

“The hardest obstacle in writing the book was having the faith to step out of a comfortable job to pursue my true passions and dreams of being an author and finishing this book,” Hartman said.

Hartman had to overcome many challenges throughout writing The Adventures of ZACHO. His love and devotion to his family’s future is what kept Hartman going. Hartman’s wife, Brette, not only worked two jobs to support the family, but also continued to make time to be her husband’s No. 1 “cheerleader,”as he calls her. Hartman described her as his “rock” through the “incredible journey” of becoming an author.

“Love,” Hartman said. “When you look at others through the lenses of genuine love, you can overlook their weakness and help them develop their strengths.”

Hartman gives this closing advice to his readers:

  • Be a person of integrity and honor. Do what is right.
  •  Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  • Never give up. Life isn’t always easy and pursuing your dreams takes hard work and dedication.
  • Live your dreams. Living your dreams is worth the cost and the struggle.
  • Fearlessly, chase those dreams with all your heart.

“When you never give up, you find out what you are truly made of,” Hartman said. “Our future depends on good leaders and leaders are readers.”

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Flyin’ High … Author Shares Personal Story