New Children's Book 'My Tio's Pulse' Helps Youth Understand Pulse Shooting

By James Dinh

October 11, 2018

Members of the Orlando community have come together to release a brand-new children's book called My Tío's Pulse and the mission of this release is all too important, particularly for the LGBTQ community. In efforts of helping parents, teachers, and caregivers create an open dialogue about adverse childhood experiences and trauma, the book details the events of the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting, which occurred on June 12, 2016, and offers youth with an understanding of the attack that killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.

As per a press release, the book focuses on a young boy named Angel and how his new-found learnings to take his own pulse in gym class draws him closer to his Uncle Luis. It's a narrative that was conceptualized by Keith Newhouse, a local author, and independent publisher, as well as Kenny Tello, LCSW, CAP, CCTP, physician coach from Orlando Health and licensed clinical social worker, who worked directly with the children affected by Pulse.

"Consequences of traumatic events create a ripple effect throughout the entire community — not just among those who were directly impacted. It's clear by the steady increase of those seeking mental health at the center," Jeff Hayward, President & CEO of Heart of Florida United Way, said in a statement. "The Pulse tragedy is a painful and traumatic memory that persists in the Central Florida community. The healing process will be long and difficult; My Tio’s Pulse will facilitate conversation about tragedy with children in years to come."

My Tío's Pulse was illustrated by Ethan Long, who came up with the idea to recruit 21 local artists to work on the book. "I am forever grateful to be part of this amazing collaboration between artists and activists. Nothing can replace the lives lost in the Pulse shootings, but we hope My Tío’s Pulse brings a smile to everyone who reads it and a sense of joy to the Orlando community and beyond," Long said in the release. 

Additional contributors to the project include Carolyn Capern, Greg Trujillo, Joél Morales, Blue Star, Karen Brown, Lynn and Lee DeScalzo and more. My Tío's Pulse will premiere at the Come Out with Pride Weekend Launch Party on Thursday in Orlando. Head over to their official website to purchase the book for $9.99 or download the electronic version for $4.99 via Amazon Kindle.

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Surprise! Special Announcement. Tonight, at the Come Out With Pride 2018 Weekend Launch Party, this labor of love will be unveiled to the world. A group of leaders of the Orlando community came together to write and illustrate a children’s book titled My Tío’s Pulse. The book was created as a tool to assist parents, teachers and care givers to open dialogue with youth on adverse childhood experiences and trauma, using the expertise of those who worked with victims of the Pulse tragedy. The story explains what happened at Pulse on June 12, 2016 in a clear and simple way that will give children the means to talk about difficult topics and empower them to feel safe. Angel, a young boy and main character of the story, learned how to take his pulse in gym class. He never imagined the effect that his newfound knowledge would have on his Uncle Luis…or the conversations that it would start. The following people were instrumental in helping My Tío’s Pulse become a reality: • Keith Newhouse (Creator, Author) • Kenny Tello, LCSW, CAP, CCTP (Orlando Health) • Ethan Long (Head Illustrator, Director of Art & Layout) • Carolyn Capern & Greg Trujillo (CTS Agency) • Joél Morales (Orlando United Assistance Center/Heart of Florida United Way) • Blue Star & Karen Brown (Come Out With Pride) • Lynn & Lee DeScalzo (Fineline Printing & Graphics) • And the 20 plus artists that contributed the illustrations My Tio’s Pulse officially premiers at the @comeoutwithpride Weekend Launch Party tonight, October 11th, 2018. There will be a book signing and meet & greet with author Keith Newhouse from 6:00pm to 11:00 pm. In addition, there will be a live book reading at Come Out with Pride Orlando on Saturday, October 13th, 2018 during headliner performances starting at 7:00 pm. Miss Sammy, Broadway star and living legend, will take the stage at Lake Eola Band Shell for a reading of My Tio’s Pulse, featuring the book on giant projector screens, an event for the entire family. The book is available for sale at or for $9.99 or $4.99 for the Kindle edition. 100% of the Profits Will Be Donated to the @orlandounitedassistancecenter

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Photo: My Tio Pulse

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