The book begins, "Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else's forehead, and pulled the trigger.
"This is the story of how we got there."
A few quotes I enjoyed:
Page 56 ". . .when he came once again, it was too late for words. You can't look a gravestone in the eye and ask its forgiveness."
Page 59 "All adults have days when we feel completely drained. When we no longer know quite what we spend so much time fighting for, when reality and everyday worries overwhelm us and we wonder how much longer we're going to be able to carry on. The wonderful thing is that we can all live through far more days like that without breaking than we think. The terrible thing is that we never know exactly how many."
Page 66 "Culture is as much about what we encourage as what we permit."
Page 165 "No matter how hard she sandpapers herself, she's never going to fit in here."
Page 235 "Words are not small things."
Page 226 "It's just as easy to be exclusive as inclusive, just as easy to create an us as a them."
Page 343 "When I was little, my dad used to hit me if I spilled my milk, Leo. That didn't teach me not to spill things. It just made me scared of milk. Remember that."
Page 348 "The room is silent enough for everyone to hear when his heart breaks."
Page 385 "They don't know if they will ever stop feeling ashamed that they were forced to give up. How can anyone lose like this without dying?"
Page 398 "The girl is four years old and is standing in a hall without light in a house full of bruises."
Typing these quotes makes me want to go read this book again. If you are a parent, this book is important. If you are a teen, this book is important. This book was written for adults, but I think every teen would benefit by reading it.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.