Sunday, September 9, 2012

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

For several days, this book was the source of my emotional, literary paradox: I had a hard time putting it down but then didn’t necessarily want to pick it up again. I wanted to read it but at the same time wanted to spare myself, preferred that it collect dust on the bookshelf rather than haunt my thoughts. I received the book as an advanced copy, and after I started to read, the poems began to creep into my mind routinely, playing with my emotions and distracting me periodically throughout the day. The book consists of 68 different poems; the author, LeslĂ©a Newman, created “fictitious monologues from various points of view.” The star-filled night sky, the fence that Matthew was tied to, and Matthew himself all have a voice. I think that students will have positive reactions to the book, but I feel that it helps if you, as the teacher, read it first. The message permeates most classroom discussions—arousing themes of respect, acceptance, and individuality. At the same time, I hope this book is not over taught (i.e. Readicide by Kelly Gallagher) but instead used to teach and reflect in a way only a good book can do.

To find out more, check out the book on our website. The book will be released September 25th.