October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I want to thank Lauren Strohecker for this wonderful gift to our library and with it her advice that it is a must read for young adults. I wholeheartedly concur; in 68 poems in this spare, yet piercing novel in verse, the author was scheduled to speak at Matthew Shepard's college and found out just before about the savage beating this young man received. Leslea Newman kept her keynote engagement and spoke and wept at the sheer horror of this hate crime toward an innocent victim who succumbs to death 5 days later. Newman has taken many elements of Matthew Shepard's last hours and imagined what may have been; the road, the fence he was lashed to, the biker, the murderers, the pistol, the deer and so much more. This book is a tribute to Matthew Shepard who died as a result of a hate crime at the hands of gay haters. This book is also a history lesson that every child, young adult and reader needs to explore because in the reading of this book, you will be changed. This book needs to be read by everyone.
I especially gained even more knowledge through the author's introduction, her epilogue, her afterword, notes, explanation of poetic forms and resources. Newman brings sympathy, anger, sorrow, and compassion to each and every word in this book. Highly recommended.
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