Books in the Park

suggestions from the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library at Pinellas Park

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, by Sue Klebold

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klebold-motherOn April 20, 1999, two young men, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, went to their high school prepared to kill their classmates. They came with guns and home-made bombs. Fifteen people would die that day and dozens of others would be injured. When these tragedies are heard on the news they come with a pretty standard running dialogue. There are those that blame poor parenting (“How could they NOT know?!”), lack of gun control, mental illness, and inherent evil. These varied responses stem from the need to rationalize, to make sense of such senseless acts.

Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, writes a deeply honest and detailed account of what her family was like before and after Columbine. As an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention, Sue delves into her own and Dylan’s journals looking for traces of evidence that her beloved son could be capable of murder and suicide. While she adamantly accepts what her son participated, she also wants the world to know that she honestly had no idea; this could happen even to your family. What is it that turns an introspective, depressed teen into a killer?

Mrs. Klebold has clearly done her research. On almost every page she quotes from an article or an expert in their field. I believe this is her honest attempt at honoring both the victims of Columbine and her son. That day she too lost a son, a boy who used to make her origami presents to cheer her up and gave endless cuddles when he was little. On these pages Sue Klebold tells us how she came to terms with the Dylan of her memory and the Dylan seen in the basement tapes with Eric Harris.

I recommend this title, but grab a tissue box. It’s a very heavy read and Mrs. Klebold does not hold back. This book is unique from others on the same topic as we rarely get the perspective of the family. Both scientific and down-to-Earth, this is an interesting read for all types of people.

Check the PPLC Catalog for A Mother’s Reckoning.

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