A Mother's Reckoning

A Mother's Reckoning

Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

Book - 2016
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On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado; they killed twelve students and a teacher and wounded twenty-four others before taking their own lives. Sue Klebold, Dylan's mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Here she chronicles her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible, shedding light on one of the most pressing issues of our time.
Publisher: New York :, Crown Publishers,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781101902752
1101902752
Characteristics: xxii, 305 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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c
carolelliott
Dec 09, 2018

I was curious to learn more about the family and parents that produced a killer. Told by the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of two shooters at the Columbine High School, the book consists of a mix of Dylan's family and his growing up and insights and research about the killers and others like them. Sue Klebold was not just a mother, she was a counsellor with formal education and training who constantly questions why she didn't spot her son's problems. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but found it fascinating. It is a combination of an intimate look at her family's life and a more distant almost academic explanation of what happened to not only her son Dylan but to her family. I would recommend it as a good read and one which really made me think about what happens, what media and others say happened -- and the harassment of Dylan's family, friends and extended family.

e
El_Davo
Aug 04, 2018

I have a completely new view of the parents of these mass killers. Much more sympathetic.

l
LizzieCent
Apr 17, 2018

Heart-wrenching and disturbing. I had some kind of disturbing dream the first night after I started reading.

vm510 Nov 30, 2017

Sue Klebold's memoir about Columbine is stunning in the way it shatters our ideas about parenting: that every good and present parent must know the mental state of their child. Her experience shows us that can be false.
Klebold's book gives a personal recounting of her life in the almost 20 years since Columbine. She focuses on what she terms "brain health" and how she has turned her sorrow into activism. I would suggest the audiobook, as she narrates it herself.

s
shayshortt
Nov 23, 2017

This memoir is an intimate and gut-wrenching look inside the home of an ordinary little boy who grew up to be a high school mass murderer. Her son’s suicide inside the school library following the rampage left Sue Klebold heartbroken and in search of answers, with no one to whom she could pose the questions. She comes to conclude that a deep depression she failed to recognize played a significant role in her son’s involvement in the shooting, and advocates strongly for health care and suicide prevention—though she also clearly states that mental illness should not be assumed to lead to violence. Klebold does her best to recount the events in a way that is compatible with existing guidelines for responsible reporting on such tragedies in order to prevent imitation, something which she sharply calls out the media for failing to do in their treatment of the events at Columbine High School. It is a harrowing read because it shows people who commit terrible acts of evil as human, leaving aside the question of whether those who do monstrous things need to be humanized. I can’t imagine how upsetting this account might be for anyone who lost loved ones at Columbine.

Originally published at Required Reading: https://shayshortt.com/2017/11/23/fall-2017-non-fiction-mini-reviews/

ArapahoeHollyR Aug 29, 2017

In this remarkable book that must have been unimaginably difficult to write, Klebold offers another harrowing perspective of Columbine. She tells her story with great sensitivity to everyone involved and uses her experience bravely to search for ways to avoid such tragedies in the future.

t
taylorwoods
Feb 17, 2017

“We teach our kids the importance of good dental care, proper nutrition, and financial responsibility. How many of us teach our children to monitor their own brain health, or know how to do it ourselves?”

Thank you, Sue Klebold, for writing this heavy, inspiring book. I appreciated her open and raw honesty about not knowing anything about Dylan's severe depression. In a world where parents can be full of themselves and believe their child can do no wrong, this was a huge sigh of relief, I imagine, for her to say everything and put it all on the table.

Before I picked this one up, I had the brief idea in my mind that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were the two young men who had made the devastating decision to commit mass murder before taking their own lives in April of 1999 at Columbine High School. I left my ego at the door, and my whole perspective on these scenarios and suicide has changed tremendously. I feel as though I can understand Dylan's heartbreaking case, but not so much Eric's. According to the specialists that Sue had spoken with, Eric's lack of empathy and potential psychopathy and Dylan's feeling of isolation and wish to die made the perfect combination for what happened.

I strongly urge everyone to at least skim, if not read entirely, this book because it is tremendously educational on the big elephant in the room: suicide is the #1 killer in young people and there is a whole stigma behind even talking about it. Although this book broke my heart over and over again, especially in a specific part where she names off all the victims, I cannot stress how impactful this book has been.

ArapahoeMaryA Jan 26, 2017

I appreciate Sue Klebold's courage and vulnerability in sharing the horrifying account of her son's part in the 1999 Columbine massacre. This is a heart wrenching, but important, read that I recommend to any parent.

ArapahoeChristine Dec 07, 2016

Very thought provoking and heart wrenching!

ArapahoeSiddra Dec 01, 2016

This was a sad and interesting read. It's such a well known story. I learned so much about this tragic event and about teen depression from this mothers account.

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taylorwoods
Feb 17, 2017

“We teach our kids the importance of good dental care, proper nutrition, and financial responsibility. How many of us teach our children to monitor their own brain health, or know how to do it ourselves?”

ArapahoeMaryA Jan 26, 2017

I wish I had listened more instead of lecturing; I wish I had sat in silence with him instead of filling the void with my own words…acknowledged his feelings instead of trying to talk him out of them, and that I ‘d never accepted his excuses to avoid conversation - I’m tired, I have homework to do - when things felt off. I wish I’d sat in the dark with him, and repeated my concerns when he dismissed them. I wish I’d dropped everything else to focus on him, probed and prodded more, and that I had been present enough to see what I did not. 263

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r0by
Jun 17, 2017

r0by thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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