(Chicago, IL) Imagine a group of pension lawyers, teachers, journalists, office workers, union activists and a cop, all collaboratively writing a single novel. That’s what Jay Rehak, President of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund Board of Trustees did when he outlined Someone Else’s Shoes (The Zapata Challenge) and invited his friends to help him write his tenth crowd sourced novel.
Rehak, who teaches writing at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, got the idea of writing the book while at a dinner discussing pension issues with IPPFA President James McNamee and a group of Chicago and New York lawyers. As the group told humorous and heart-wrenching stories of their childhoods, and how those incidents impacted their respective choices of their professions, Rehak realized there was a novel to be written, if only he could get each person in the group to sit down and write his/her own chapter.
The result was Someone Else’s Shoes (The Zapata Challenge), the story of Carla Zapata, an angry Chicago Public School Administrator determined to uncover educational fraud at Sojourner High School, a highly successful magnet school. Zapata interviews 15 of the school’s teachers to try and find out how “The School of Champions” consistently wins academic, artistic, and athletic accolades as the best educational institution in Illinois.
Available on Amazon.com, Someone Else’s Shoes (The Zapata Challenge)is written by Julie Biehl, Joseph M. Burns, Tony Hintze, Chris Inserra, Gary Liddell, Josh Locks, Barbara Mahany, Carol Maskus, James McNamee, Patrick T. Reardon, Bob Rehak, Jay C. Rehak, Scott Suma, Chet B. Waldman & Eric Wright. Each of the authors has a distinct background that lends itself to powerful storytelling. Each of the writers digs into his/her own past to tell a childhood story that is moving and helps readers understand that compassion and empathy are the greatest skills anyone can possess.
Proceeds from Someone Else’s Shoes (The Zapata Challenge) are used to fund an annual scholarship Rehak gives to one of his graduating seniors. It is available on Amazon.com or wherever quality books are sold.