A MESSAGE OF HOPE: Every good deed has an impact. Even though Michelle resists too-easy redemptive stories of teacherly heroism, readers will come away feeling uplifted.
CELEBRATES THE POWER OF LITERATURE: Like Reading Lolita in Tehran and The End of Your Life Book Club, this is a book for book-lovers. Readers will love revisiting favorites through Michelle and Patrick’s eyes: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Baldwin, Merwin, and more.
AN URGENT TOPIC: Confronts race, justice, and privilege in America today, as explored from the predominantly black, rural Deep South, among the poorest regions in the country.
AUTHOR IS STILL IN TOUCH WITH PATRICK: Because Michelle and Patrick had the courage to reach both for a connection and for the best in themselves, teacher and student have been permanently altered.
MULTI-FACETED AUTHOR STORY: Writer, teacher, and attorney. A woman of color and daughter of immigrants, and a privileged Ivy League graduate who shunned a corporate career, Michelle offered legal counsel to undocumented immigrants and now teaches courses about race, law and society at the American University in Paris. Michelle’s perspective is compelling both on and off the page.
This book HAD ITS GENESIS IN A POPULAR LIVES COLUMN that Michelle published in the New York Times Magazine, and the book extends far beyond the scope of that piece: http://nyti.ms/1igLIsE.
“Reading with Patrick could be the most affecting book you’ll read this year. To experience such a spectrum of responses—from anger to admiration, disbelief to inspiration, helpless frustration to stand-up-and-shout-cheering—should be enough impetus to get you urgently ‘reading with Patrick’ as soon as possible.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Three out of four stars!”—USA Today
“A powerful meditation on how one person can affect the life of another…One of the great strengths of Reading with Patrick is its portrayal of the risk inherent to teaching.”—The Seattle Times
“[A] tender memoir.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Honest, thoughtful, and humane, Kuo’s book is not only a testament to a remarkable friendship, but a must-read for anyone interested in social justice and race in America. Thoughtfully provocative reading.”—Kirkus Reviews
“This memoir of teaching literature in one of the poorest counties in America is a reminder of how literacy changes lives. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Michelle Kuo’s Reading with Patrick is a strikingly candid and insightful meditation on the relationship between a young teacher and a former student as they read together while the student awaits trial for murder in a Southern jail. Compulsively readable, the book manages to do two extraordinary things at once: it offers a poignant and moving account of a specific relationship, and it grapples searchingly with universal themes around families, race, poverty, teaching, and the power of literature. The book will continue to resonate long after you have put it down and returned to the everyday—this is what the best books, the best teachers, do.”—Carol S. Steiker, Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law, faculty co-director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School
“Warmhearted but never sentimental, and acutely self-aware, Michelle Kuo’s memoir is the most profound, tender, and intensely moving portrait of a student-teacher relationship I’ve ever read. It shows how deeply a student and teacher can change each other’s lives. Kuo knows the complications and the limits of helping, but she is brave and generous and stubborn enough to do it anyway.”—Larissa MacFarquhar, author of Strangers Drowning
“This book is special and could not be more right on time. It’s an absorbing, tender, and surprisingly honest examination of race and privilege in America that helps articulate what is often lost, seemingly intentionally, in national debates over criminal justice and education: the inner life and imagination of a young person.”—Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore
“Every American should read Michelle Kuo’s remarkable memoir. Honest, generous, humble, and wise, Reading with Patrick will endure as a defining story for our times and, abidingly, a testament to the power of language and of books.”—Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs
“I delighted in this book and read it in a single weekend. Reading with Patrick is a significant work that could swell the ranks of highly motivated and qualified teachers—people who understand they are not just transferring information but transforming lives.”—Bill Moyers
“Riveting…Reading with Patrick is an essential addition to our national conversation about institutional racism. It is also an empathic story of connection: between a dedicated teacher and her student, between history and our current times, and between literature and life. It is hard to imagine a more inspiring testament to the transformative power of reading.”—Elliott Holt, author of You Are One of Them
“In Reading with Patrick, Michelle Kuo takes on the subjects of race, privilege, and the debt that the human community owes to its most disadvantaged members with a bracing intelligence, honesty, and self-scrutiny. This is a gorgeous, urgent, and heartbreaking memoir.”—Darcy Frey, senior lecturer on English, Harvard University, and author of The Last Shot
“Reading with Patrick could not be more timely. Kuo underscores the power of tender attention and shows us that if we go to the margins, we all find rescue.”—Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries and author of Tattoos on the Heart