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A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the…
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A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy (2016)

by Sue Klebold

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
I wanted to read this book for a personal reason that had nothing to do with school shootings. I had it on a wait list for the audiobook for a long time. When it did become available it was right after the shooting in Parkland Fl. I would recommend this book as it gave me new insights. ( )
  LisaKramer96 | Feb 4, 2019 |
Just so sad. This is a fairly deep look into a mother's grief, highlighting the fact that Dylan Klebold - while killing others in the process - actually committed suicide. Sue Klebold examines the many different facets of "brain illness" (an alternate way of saying mental illness), which I found very interesting. She's truly a strong person who somehow survived a terrible nightmare. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
19 years ago Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher and injured 24 others before they shot themselves. This story is from the point of view of his mother - Sue Klebold. In 2016, she wrote this story about the grief and heartache she has dealt with in the wake of what her son, Dylan, did. She claims she didn't know what he was up to. That he was a loved child and she a hands on parent.



Since that fateful day, Sue has become an avocate for brain health, suicide, and children in distress. She hopes that her book, and her story will help other parents recognize when their children are in trouble to hopefully prevent one more child from doing what Dylan did.



I have mixed feelings about this book. First - I commend her for writing it. Last year I read a hefty book about Columbine, and leanred many things I never knew about the 1999 tragedy. We all thought the same thing - these kids were bullied loaners who decided to get revenge. It turns out, that wasn't true. It was more likely mental illness that was the center of this tragedy and without help, the tragedy occured.



Second - I don't think that Sue is being completely honest with herself. She makes a lot of excuses for Dylan in this book. In the beginning she talks about nothing but Dylan's blame and that nothing will make him blamelss in all of this. But as the book goes along, she starts to make excuses for his behaviors and why he did what he did. Dylan's Junior year was reaked with clues that he was in trouble. But Sue and her husband excused many of the behaviors as "boys will be boys" and that "he wouldn't have gotten help even if we asked him to".



I am trying not to judge too harshly because I am not in her shoes. I was not in Dylan's house every day. I cannot say how I would have reacted myself if Dylan was my child. We all say we would have done things differently, but would we? We always want to portray our children at their best because we love them. But making excuses for their bad behavior is part of the problem. You cannot brush off a kid who gets arrested, and defaces school property, and is showing signs of depression. These are all things Dylan did during his junior year. He grades dropped. He stopped participating in activities. The clues were blaring. Yet nothing was done.



In fairness, 1999 was a different time than today, in the awareness of mental illness. In Columbine, a lot of people missed the clues. Not only his parents, but his friends, his school, his co-workers. He fooled them all.



I cannot recommend or not recommend this book. Did I gain more insight into the Columbine tragedy by reading it? No. But you may be interested to hear what Dylan Klebold's mother has to say. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
This book touched me greatly. I appreciate the vulnerability of Sue Klebold in laying bare her life and her feelings and experiences. What surprised me most was how much her discussion of (Chapter 11 most significantly) suicide and how she dealt with the aftermath of losing a son that way affected me. While what Dylan Klebold participated in was vicious and inhumane, he was also a victim of depression and suicide. Most of us will never know what it is like to lose a child to suicide. My parents do sadly. I also know what it is like to lose a sibling that way. There are so many unanswered questions that will plague you for a lifetime and so many warning signs that weren't there or were hidden so well. I value the knowledge she shared on this topic through her experience and research. It has helped me come to terms with some things, which is not what I expected to take away from this book when I started it. I am only speaking on one piece of what I have personally taken from this book. It will be different for everyone. Hindsight is 20/20 and this book has been a very interesting example of what can lead to shocking and heinous actions. You truly never think something can or will happen to you or a loved one until it does. I appreciate Miss Klebold's candor and think that she handled this subject as respectfully as she could. ( )
  Heather_Brock | Dec 4, 2018 |
One of the most important books ever written - a book everyone should read!
“As people read Sue’s memoir, what they will find is that her book is honest, and her pain genuine. Her story may be uncomfortable to read, but it will raise awareness about brain health and the importance of early identification and intervention to maintain it. If people listen to her – to all that she has experienced, and to how this has changed her – they will be quicker to respond to depression in young people, to the suicidal thinking that can accompany it, and to the rage that can build almost unnoticed in young people when the people who truly and completely love and care for them are distracted by other challenges in life.”
—Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America

“Required reading for all parents of adolescents...soul-piercingly honest, written with bravery and intelligence... A book of nobility and importance.” –The Times ( )
  levren | Dec 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
Klebold’s powerful urge to defend herself all these years was surpassed only by her desire to disappear. She felt she was “cringing like a frightened animal” in the months and years after the tragedy, suffering panic attacks so debilitating she came to understand her son’s suicidal impulses. She lost 25 pounds, numbly stumbling through radiation for breast cancer but refusing chemotherapy because she was, all agreed, too broken to survive it. Eventually, Klebold found her way forward with a mission of suicide prevention, and she provides a precise education on the subject in “A Mother’s Reckoning.” She earns our pity, our empathy and, often, our admiration; and yet the book’s ultimate purpose is to serve as a cautionary tale, not an exoneration.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sue Kleboldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Solomon, AndrewIntroductionmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And must I, indeed, Pain, live with you
All through my life? - sharing my fire, my bed,
Sharing - oh, worst of all things! - the same head? -
And, when I feed myself, feeding you too?
--Edna St. Vincent Millay
Dedication
To all who feel alone, hopeless, and desparate -
even in the arms of those who love them.
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Introduction:  We have consistently blamed parents for the apparent defect of their children.
Preface:  On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold armed themselves with guns and explosives and walked into Columbine High School
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Book description
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.


For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?


These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.


Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.


All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues. [retrieved 4/28/2016 from Amazon.com]
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On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. In a matter of minutes, they killed twelve students and a teacher and wounded twenty-four others before taking their own lives. For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan's mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently? 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. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.… (more)

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