Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Memoriam: Matthew Shepard

OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD by Leslea Newman (Candlewick Press, September 2012) is a difficult book for me to read. I met Judy Shepard at last year's NCTE conference and listened to her speak so eloquently about bullying. Of course, I can still recall what happened to Matthew Shepard in the outskirts of Laramie that fateful night. Leslea newman has taken all the horror, all the repulsion, all the sorrow and questions and transfigured them into a cycle of poems about Matthew Shepard and the impact his life and tragic death had on so many people. Using the events of his life and the aftermath, Newman has woven heartbreaking language into forms classic and contemporary. More importantly, she has given voice to all those emotions swirling inside so many who recall the events surrounding Matthew's murder at the hands of two homophobic young men. This is a book that deserves to be shared in classrooms, a story that needs to be told so that it will never be forgotten. <313>

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