Thirteen-Year-Old Becomes an Author--Christopher Bullfrog Catcher by Christopher Shiveley Welch scribed by Debra Shiveley Welch

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"Christopher Bullfrog Catcher" told through eyes of one exceptional young man with the aid of his loving mother, is a simple story of Hemmingway greatness. The words, though simple, reveal remarkable courage, self discovery, and love of nature. Christopher Shiveley Welch, born with cleft lip and palate and several learning disabilities, discovers the world of nature not only from an educational perspective but from a personal one as well. Carol Roach, Author, "Picking Up the Pieces" ; "Angels Watching Over Me"

There are times when a book will capture your heart; it can happen in many ways, but each time it is fresh and new. This is the case as I read this delightful work by 13 year old Christopher Shiveley Welch as scribed by his mother, Debra Shiveley Welch. Christopher has learning differences, but this has not quenched the fire of life within this special young man, nor his desire to share adventures of his life with others. We begin this read with a poem, a simple one, yet one whose words say volumes because they shine forth with the love of one young boy for his lake and the activity that awaits him there.

As we share in the adventure of Christopher, we learn how to catch a bullfrog and care for it, even if it is injured, and he even shares the four stages of a frog's growth with us. Along with the story we are treated to some wonderful pictures of Christopher, his frog hunting and his beloved lake. I actually learned some things about frogs that I never knew. Thank you Christopher.

I believe what makes this book is the passion that is within this young man as he writes of his frog hunting experience and his desire to share this information with others. It truly is a joy of his life and, even for someone like me, who won't find much pleasure in touching a frog. I had to smile at Christopher's achievement in bullfrog hunting.

I feel this book is for both young and old and all those in-between. First we certainly see the achievement of a young boy who has something to share and despite difficulties does just that. We have some top-notch information on bullfrog hunting and great pictures that help bring the story to life, plus a work that is sure to bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. Good job Christopher! Thank you for sharing! Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer, MidWest Book Review

A note from the publisher:

Sometimes across the editor’s desk comes a manuscript that has potential, in writing, in style, in story line or plot. Each book we read has its own unique perspective and is, more often than not, a huge adventure and unexplored territory of originality.

We, at Saga Books, enjoy working with the author to explore their own mind-scapes; to achieve the best from their own work.

It is however very rare that a book reaches us in such pristine fashion as "Christopher Bullfrog Catcher."

Kudos go to you, Christopher for your talent and ingenuity, and thank you for bringing us this simple and expressive tale. (I now know how to catch a bullfrog)

A note from Author Debra Shiveley Welch:

Christopher asked me one day if he could shadow me on career day. I was thrilled that my son, then eleven, wished to learn about my occupation: writing. “Yes!” I enthused, “What should we write about?” Chris suggested “Why don’t we write a story about how to write a story?” "That’s my boy," I thought. “Any suggestions?” I asked aloud. Chris said “Bullfrog hunting!” “Excellent!” I replied. With that we set about writing "Christopher Bullfrog Catcher." There was a slight hitch, however: Christopher is Dysgraphic.

Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder which interferes with the fine motor skills needed in the physical act of writing. Therefore, when Chris writes, that is, when he puts pen or pencil to paper, he will drift off of the line, some letters will "float”: be too high or too low, and his penmanship will be too large and very difficult to read. In addition, because it is so difficult for him, he cannot express his thoughts in writing with as much fluidity as he can when speaking.

For example: as a test, I once asked Chris to write a sentence describing a fire engine racing to an emergency. He wrote "The fire engine goes fast,” which I could barely read. When I asked him to describe it to me verbally he replied "The fire engine tears down the street, the tires screaming, the lights flashing, the siren wailing 'Here I come! Here I come! Here I come!'” I decided then and there that I would scribe for him whenever the thought was more important than the structure of the work. That is, when school work, for instance, required information as the assignment and not spelling, grammar, etc.

When I scribe for Chris, he will dictate to me and I type what he says. Chris reads way above his grade level, and has an extensive vocabulary, and I'm very careful not to change any of his words. I will make sure that spelling and punctuation are correct, just as a secretary would, although Chris is also an excellent speller.

Chris is an awesome child and is trudging on in spite of his Dysgraphia and a few other learning differences. The important thing to remember is that he is not Learning Disabled: he is not incapable of learning, he merely learns Differently. He also has excellent social skills and a charming and witty personality.

We were thrilled when Chris’ book was accepted for publication and release this past April. To be published by age thirteen is no mean accomplishment and I believe it stands in testimony to his hard work and determination. Debra Shiveley Welch, author, "A Very Special Child."

A note from Christopher Welch:

I had a lot of fun writing this book. I just used what I know and what I have done in my life.

It was difficult sometimes because I can be distracted, but I focus and work through it.

All kids should follow their dreams. Don’t let others tell you that you can’t do it, even if you have learning differences. Focus, work hard, and say to yourself: “Nothing can stop me.”

Christopher Bullfrog Catcher is available through Saga Books. and on Amazon Christopher turned fourteen May 1 and is available for interviews.


Saga Books

164 Erin Woods Drive SE

Calgary, AB, T2B 2S1


Debra Welch

340 Lakeside Dr.

Westerville, OH 43081

Christopher Bullfrog Catcher

Christopher Shiveley Welch

Scribed by Debra Shivelely Welch

Saga Books

ISBN: 1894936469, $10.95, 20 pages


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