I have never been hit close to home by a school shooting although, I am an educator in one of the largest school systems in the country. However, reading Thoughts and Prayers, by Lee Anne Post is about as close as I ever want to be. This book is a poignant novel eloquently written from several points of view. Amazingly the shooter is not one of the main character points of view. Instead, we have the student that was with the guidance counselor that was shot. The person that opened the door to let the shooter in, parents, students, best friends of victims and a police officer.
This book is amazing for many reasons. The most amazing thing to me is that four authors wrote this book together, yet the book reads as if written by one author. The flow is perfection! I do not want to be a spoiler, suffice it to say that this book will make you evaluate your feelings, thoughts, prayers, and actions. I think we can all agree the mass shootings must stop. This book is not a “how to” nor is it a rant on gun control. It is a thought-provoking novel that calls us each to the table of action. It is a must read for educators, students, parents, the curious, and especially politicians. It is a captivating, page turning, quick read that touches your heart and your mind.
Kudos to the authors, Lee Anne Post is the pen name for co-authors Catherine Baldau, Tara Bell, Ginny Fite, and K.P. Robbins. I recently met the authors at a Write By The Rails conference. These four ladies told our writing group about the amazing process they used to write the book about eight charachters. Each author wrote two charachters stories, yet is fits together with dialogue between charachters as if one author wrote the book. Well done ladies. I hope you will check this book out, I think it will expand your mind to take some actions.
Take a look at Homelessness from the Comfort of your Home!
Told against the backdrop of a homeless shelter “Three Hots and a Cot” allows you to see the impact of homelessness. This book, adapted form the stage play, is told in vignettes of short monologues. Feel the impact of job loss, chronic illness, and know that you too could become part of this story. The words will help you feel the powerful emotions of those who must live in shelters, for now. Allow this book will move you and impact your heart, open your senses and feel the stories. As a nurse that has worked in the HIV/AIDS community, taken care of patients who were homeless in parking lot’s “Three Hot’s an a Cot” is a look inside these lives that many will never experience. The glimpse goes into the dark hidden spaces of homelessness. It peaks into the reasons that we never thought of. It gives a glimmer of how the homeless children feel and answers some of the “why” do they end up like this. I found this a fascinating read that gave an open honest view of homelessness. I would go so far as to call it a must read for medical professionals and those who volunteer with the homeless. I would encourage all who dare to feel the poignant telling of these true stories and allow yourself to experience the homeless crisis through their eyes! This book has been performed on stage as well and licensing for theater groups is available.
Truth in blogging, Nancy Wyatt is in, “Write by the Rails,” the same writing group I belong to. This is the first of her books I have read and it is such a powerful book! I will encourage my student nurses to read this book! Her writing tells it like it is. I have worked in the community with the homeless and can verify the overarching stories are true to this culture. I have taken care of homeless patients in parking lots as that was the “best address” they had. I worked at a homeless hypothermia shelter and when the third person checking in that night gave the same address I asked what the deal was. “Oh we made it up, everyone needs an address. Especially if you hope to get any work,” came the reply. They had made up an address for their “camp” in the woods.
I encourage you to read this book. Experience the stories. Next time someone asks for help see if it changes your response. I have been carrying water and socks in my car for years to give out to the needy.