Friday, October 21, 2011

Featured Book (2 and 3): The Meaning of Matthew by Judy Shepard and Shine by Lauren Myracle

Publisher (Hudson Street Press) ISBN (978-1-59463-157-6) Price ($25.95)

About the Books:

While I had hoped to do full reviews of both of these books, I knew I would run out of time this month. I wanted them both featured in the month of October since it is National Bullying Prevention Month. Believe me when I say both of these books are extraordinary. I have started both of them and I rarely read two books at once. I could not decide between the two.

For those of you who do not know the story behind these books and how they are tied in, I will clue you in. Matthew Shepard's mother, Judy, wrote the above memoir about her son after he was killed after a brutal hate crime attack on October 12, 1998. She shares his story, her story and how his death brought to light the reality of hate crimes.

Shine by Lauren Myracle is a new novel with a very similar story to what had happened to Matthew. She was nominated for a National Book Award and it turned out to be a mistake on the Board's part. Her book was mixed up with another. Myracle kindly withdrew herself from the list with no drama but was pleased that the Book Award Board made a generous donation of $5000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Publisher (Abrams) ISBN (978-0-8109-8417-2) Price ($16.95) Genre (Young Adult)

Why I wanted to read these books:

It's no surprise to most in my life how strongly I feel against hateful feelings towards gay people. Hate crimes tick me off. I think it needs to be talked about more and more. I think people who bully and teach hate should face some justice. I feel we should teach our children compassion for others, no matter if they are different than us or not.
If I could donate a million dollars to Matthew Shepard's Foundation, I would.
If only it could erase hate. It will never go away but I believe awareness and education
are the beginning.
These stories, one true, one fiction, need to be told.

You can read more about the National Book Award story and
Matthew Shepard's Foundation here.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Lisa said...

One of my best friends in high school was gay; strangely in the midwest in the 1970's, I don't remember him getting harassed at all. I'm sure he faced a different reality, though, when he wasn't surrounded by our group.

Sheila Deeth said...

Sound like books that should be on every high school reading list.

Christine said...

Matthew Shephard's story is incredibly heart breaking. So senseless. :(

That's interesting about Myracle's book and you know... in the end, it sure sounds like her book "won" after all by becoming the catalyst for that sizable donation to the foundation.