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Friday, January 25, 2019

Parkland Speaks Blog Tour (review)

Parkland Speaks 
Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories 
Edited by MSD teacher Sarah Lerner 
January 22, 2019 
Crown BFYR 
Source: ARC from pub 

Featuring art and writing from the students of the Parkland tragedy, this is a raw look at the events of February 14, and a poignant representation of grief, healing, and hope. 

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School share their emotional journeys that began on February 14, 2018, and continue today. This revealing and unfiltered look at teens living in the wake of tragedy is a poignant representation of grief, anger, determination, healing, and hope. 

The intimate collection includes poetry, eyewitness accounts, letters, speeches, journal entries, drawings, and photographs from the events of February 14 and its aftermath. Full of heartbreaking loss, a rally cry for change, and hope for a safe future, these artistic pieces will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and the importance of valuing and protecting the ones you love. 

On February 14, 2018 a horrific, unforgettable tragedy occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a gunman cowardly took 17 lives and forever changed many more. In Parkland Speaks, students and faculty from Marjory Stoneman Douglas share their stories, journeys, healing, and grief through their personal essays, poems, and artwork. 

Going into Parkland Speaks I knew it was going to be an emotional read, but it was even more powerful and poignant than I could have imagined. Each student/faculty contributor courageously open their hearts and thoughts up to readers to share their remarkable stories. These pieces aren’t easy to read –they shouldn’t be- but they are important and effective and real and heartbreaking and a thousand other things. At times I had to put this book down, dry my tears, and take a deep breath, but felt compelled to quickly return.  

Each story, poem, and piece of art is astonishing on its own, but together they send a powerful and much needed message to the world. A message about gun control. A message that demands change.  I am so grateful for and amazed by each student/faculty member’s contribution in this book and their ability to channel their grief, pain, and feelings into profound art. 

Parkland Speaks isn’t an easy read, but it’s an extraordinary and stirring one that will inspire and move readers of all ages.  

5/5 Cupcakes

SARAH LERNER is an English teacher, Journalism teacher, and yearbook adviser at MSD in Parkland, Florida. She began teaching in 2002 and was named the Sun-Sentinel High School Journalism Teacher of the Year in 2014. Sarah lives in Florida with her husband and two children.

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