Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories

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For teachers like me, each new school shooting is another foray into terror. We come to work every day excited to see our students, to educate them, and to partner with them in their learning. We do not come to see our students and our friends die. But we know this is a possibility in America.

Sarah Lerner, teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and editor of Parkland Speaks, showcases the powerful reality of school as a place that should be safe but often isn’t. She writes of her own experience the day of the Parkland shooting: “I lost my sense of security. I lost my ability to see the world as I had only hours earlier.” Throughout this collection of poems, stories, artwork, speeches, journal entries, and photographs written and created by MSD students, the reality of that loss is central. One student writes that she cannot find the words to name what has happened, while another considers the text message she sent to check on a friend, a text that her friend, who was killed in the shooting, will never read.

This book is difficult to process. The trauma these children experienced at school is hard to imagine, and it is even harder to accept that they would have been safe if the adults in this country simply united around common sense gun reform rather than around the gun lobbies that control so much of our legislation.

If you are a parent, an activist, a teacher, or even simply a human being, this beautiful difficult book will move you and remind you of the strength we all possess, even in the face of tragedy; a reminder, sadly, we shouldn’t have to receive from children.


Reviewed By:

Author Sarah Lerner, Editor
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Crown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date 2019-01-22
ISBN 9781984849991
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2019
Category Young Adult
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