Friday, March 29, 2024

NJ High Schooler Trevor Ostfeld Co-Authors Children's Book: Finding Messi: The Miracle Cat from Kyiv - Proceeds to Help Ukraine People


Trevor Ostfeld, a high school student in New York City and a resident of New Jersey, co-authored a children's book, Finding Messi: The Miracle Cat From Kyiv, with Iryna Chernyak after volunteering for a humanitarian mission in March 2022 when the war in Ukraine began. This picture book written by two teenagers and is published by GreenLeaf and already an Amazon bestseller.
Finding Messi: The Miracle Cat From Kyiv tells the true story of 13-year old Iryna and her cat, Messi. When Ukraine was attacked, Iryna and her mother had to abruptly leave everything behind in Kyiv, including their beloved pet. Messi goes missing, and Iryna rallies the community to help her find her cat. The book gently explains the impact of war on families, and young readers will better understand the experiences of children displaced by war. 
Trevor, now 17 years old, chose to skip his family Spring Break in Florida in March of 2022 and instead traveled with his father and other volunteers from their synagogue to Poland and Ukraine. The group from Temple Emanu-El carried over 9,000 pounds of humanitarian supplies to help women and children who were fleeing from war and distributed them at the Poland-Ukraine border. Together they brought over 4,000 diapers and other personal essentials to aid the impacted families.
Trevor Ostfeld shared, “Part of what I realized in Poland and Ukraine is that kids are just kids, even when they are escaping their homes. I will never forget seeing everyone crossing the border out of Ukraine.”
After coming back home from his humanitarian mission in Poland and Ukraine, Trevor couldn't stop thinking about Iryna's story about Messi the cat. Her dramatic story inspired him to write a children's book. Trevor wanted to help kids better understand what it's like to grow up in a war crisis and to teach them how to empathize with those who are experiencing it. 
All proceeds from this book will be donated to charities that support victims of the Ukraine War. This will help to make a positive impact and provide aid to those in need.
Finding Messi, The Miracle Cat From Kyiv is available where books are sold on April 16, for more information visit:

About Trevor Ostfeld:
Trevor Ostfeld is a 17-year old high school junior in New York City. In March of 2022, Trevor and his dad traveled to Ukraine and Poland on a humanitarian mission set up by Temple Emanu-El in Closter, N.J. Trevor co -authored a children’s book, Finding Messi, The Miracle Cat From Kyiv.  Trevor is an avid reader and enjoys spending time outdoors with his dog and running an alternative assets club at his high school. 
Trevor lives in Northern New Jersey with his parents, two sisters and his dog, Rocket.
About Iryna Chernyak:
Iryna Chernyak is a 13-year old seventh class student in Warsaw, Poland. Iryna co-authored Finding Messi, The Miracle Cat From Kyiv based on a true story about her cat. Iryna enjoys contemporary dance and playing the guitar. Iryna lives in Warsaw with her mom, stepdad, baby sister, and her cat, Messi.