“A good friend originally gave my 11-year-old son what has become his favorite book, Fighting el Fuego. 'El Fuego' has changed my son's life. He went from 'not wanting to read' to 'cannot wait to read.' Being an athlete and having a bit of a temper, he could relate to 'El Fuego,' and often when he becomes frustrated, he will go to the basement punching bag and box. Now, I joyfully have to keep a watchful eye on him or he will stay up too late reading." – Lisa Minervini-Smith, mom, Mailbu, CA

"The story is quite compelling. … Author Birle is a former elementary school teacher and avid boxing fan who wrote the book ‘to turn kids on to both reading and the Sweet Science.’ Birle hit the bull’s-eye on both counts with this entertaining read and detailed look into the trials and tribulations of not only amateur boxers, but of Hispanic youth in general. Fighting el Fuego is highly recommended to parents who would like to get their kids interested in the sport.” – Brent Matteo Anderson, from his review in The Ring, July 2006

"The children kept requesting I read it to them and would cheer when I'd say, 'OK, we have time for 'El Fuego.' They loved it! It is so real and vivid in its imagery, so sad and well expressed. The author has a way of writing that, as I read the story to my students and thought, 'Oh no, it's about to get too strong,' the words and the story itself resolved my fear. Then, after meeting Pete, the children became very inspired themselves." – Jeannie Vok, 4th grade teacher, Blessed Sacrament Elementary School, Staten Island, NY

"Pete was one of the most popular 5th-grade presenters. ... Then, after the conference, while working with a 5th-grade class, I had a wonderful discussion with one student, who struggles somewhat in school. He had just finished Fighting el Fuego and loved it. He was animated as he spoke about the book and really seemed to relate to the main character. This is not usual for him. This book definitely touched him." – Beth Hill, parent coordinator, West Elementary Readers' and Writers' Conference, Andover, MA

"Pete was a huge hit with the children. Teachers stopped by all afternoon to tell me what a great presentation he made." – Lori Kraemer, 4th grade teacher, Hillside Avenue School, Cranford, NJ

"Thank you for a fun-filled, interesting and super presentation. I can only imagine what a great teacher you were – our profession's loss but all the young readers' gain!" – Louise Loffredo, 3rd grade teacher, Franklin Elementary School, Westfield, NJ

"Thank you for a wonderful presentation! The kids loved it. They are still talking about it. You definitely got their attention and interest. The librarian at school set up a special display and has been bombarded with requests for the books. Terrific!" – Donna Pirrone, 3rd grade teacher, Irene E. Feldkirchner, Green Brook, NJ

"It was evident that the third graders truly enjoyed hearing 'One Dad's Journey' to becoming an author. As soon as we got back to the room, the students were quickly signing out your books to read over the weekend. All of the teachers loved your messages of never giving up and following your dreams, as well as your writing tips (especially the part about several drafts!). Thank you again for the wonderful presentation and for sharing your experiences with such humor, honesty and relevance." – Kristin Hannon, 3rd grade teacher, Tamaques Elementary School, Westfield, NJ

A Burning Desire

"Doing it the right way, just like my dad." Sonny Hermano wants to follow in his father's footsteps and become a NYC fireman. But can he overcome his fear, knowing that his dad died in the Twin Towers on 9/11? Read Pete's latest book, Five Alarm, available at Rossiter-Ewers Publishing, to find out.