Monday, October 15, 2012

October Mourning

by Leslea Newman

You likely remember a tragic story that made headlines in the autumn of 1998.  A young, trusting college student named Matthew Shepard left a bar with two men he believed to be friendly, and like him, gay.  Eighteen hours later, a bicyclist found him tied to a fence rail and beaten so badly that he never woke in the last five days of his life.

Newman crafted a series of poems surrounding the incident.  She chose to feature a vast array of viewpoints including: each of the men involved, the first officer on the scene, the fence post, and a young deer passing by.  Whether you followed the headlines raptly, or tried to ignore the hate that brought about the crime, this story will make you cry.  The author's hope is that it can be used to teach about tolerance and compassion.

This book is heart-wrenching and filled with beautifully sculpted poems.   

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