Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee: A Review

Childs, C.J. (2008). I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee. Henry Holt & Co., New York.

As part of the recent Youth Literature class, as well as the fact that after fifty-plus years, Harper Lee is coming out with a second book (Go Set a Watchman), I think it would be nice to look over the life of this intensely private but pugnacious person: Miss Nelle Harper Lee, author of one of the Greatest Books of the Twentieth Century: To Kill a Mockingbird.   I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee, is the juvenile version of Charles J. Shields' adult biography, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, is an excellent read for the target audience.  It gives wonderful information and insight into the intensely private author but is written in such a way that it doesn't sensationalize or delve into generally unpleasant matters (the murder of the Clutter Family in Kansas which was the basis of her frenemy Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, which Lee was instrumental in creating but which Capote downplayed her assistance).

Nelle Harper Lee's life is covered, beginning with her early years in Monroeville, Alabama.  She's the daughter of the South, but no Southern belle by any stretch.  Much like her main character in TKAM, she was a tomboy: willing to stand up and fight any boy, as well as play football like one.  She forced her way to a game once, and she didn't go down but instead knocked others down.  When the captain yelled that they were playing touch, she yelled back, "Y'all can play that sissy game if you want to, but I'm playing tackle!"

In what might be a contradiction, while she was rough-and-ready, she also had a deeply intellectual side.  In one of those fortuitous turns of literature, her next-door neighbor was another future American literary legend, Truman Capote (then known by his birth name of Truman Streckfus Persons).  He had essentially been dumped by his parents: the vain status-seeking Lillie May and the ne'er-do-well Archie, in the care of relatives.  They were neighbors to the Lee family, which couldn't be further from Capote's chaotic life. 

Lee's father, A.C. Lee, was a successful lawyer, Alabama state representative, and newspaper publisher.  His oldest daughter Alice followed her father's footsteps, and at first Nelle tried to do likewise.  However, her non-traditional ways in forms of dress and disinterest in being the embodiment of the proper lady (she smoked, she swore, and didn't have many if any real friendships/relationships) put her at odds with almost everyone around her.  She also had a great passion: to write.  The two came into conflict, and eventually, despite the misgivings of her family, she went to New York, where her old friend Truman, now known as Truman Capote (adopting his stepfather's surname), had made a big noise. 

Capote, who referred to themselves as 'apart people', was one of the few in her early years to be a kindred soul.  As children, they wrote together and were engulfed with books.  They would carry around a new typewriter almost everywhere (except to the treehouse, as it was too heavy).  As an adult, Lee started out as the prototypical struggling writer, finding a job with BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) ticket seller and trying to write.  A fortuitous friendship allowed her to quit her job thanks to a gift of money that would allow her to live while she devoted herself full-time to writing.

With revisions and editing, she cranked out To Kill a Mockingbird, which came at the same time that her old friend Capote came to her and asked her to be his "assistant researchist" (his term) on his 'nonfiction novel'.  Her quiet manner and Southern charm smoothed the way for her loud, flamboyant, egocentric friend, who frankly irritated and shocked the conservative Kansans, who were in shock over the Clutter killings.  She and Capote didn't record their interviews, relying on their memories which they shared in evenings.  Often, Capote would write "See NL's notes" for clarification.

While she helped Capote, she also turned her attention to her novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.  She expected it to 'die a merciful death at the hand of reviewers', but instead she appeared to hit the zeitgeist of the rising civil rights movement.   The book became an immediate success, eventually winning the Pulitzer, a rare honor for a first-time novelist who hadn't published before.  The book redeemed her in her eyes to not having pursued law, and the film version cemented the legend.

As time went on however, Harper Lee became irritated by all the attention she was getting because of TKAM.  She worked on a second novel, but with all the publicity for Mockingbird, time just slipped by.  Later on, she did declare she was working on a second book, to be titled The Reverend, in the style of Capote's In Cold Blood.  Perhaps this was a way to get back at her friend, who downplayed Lee's contribution to his work (and this genteel antagonism might have been mutual, as Capote never "went to any strenuous lengths to deny" having written part or all of To Kill a Mockingbird.  Lee's disillusionment with her friend, dislike to be connected with In Cold Blood, and general dislike of attention was such that she did not attend the legendary Black and White Ball Truman threw for Washington Post editor Katherine Graham.

As time went on though, the idea of publishing another book slipped.  She would not speak at presentations, and her relationship with Monroeville, which has capitalized on their 'golden goose', has been fraught with tension.  At one point, she threatened to sue the local historical society when it thought of publishing Calpurnia's Cookbook, basing it on own of the novel's characters.  The entire run of the book had to be destroyed.  Now in her 80s, she is at peace about her curious place in literature: one book (so far), yet a legend.  As Miss Lee wrote to a friend, "People who have made peace with themselves are the people I most admire in the world".

I Am Scout gives us really interesting information both about her and her legendary book; for example, her choice for Atticus Finch was Spencer Tracy, even writing to him to suggest he play the role.  The studio for its part, wanted Rock Hudson.  Even after Gregory Peck was cast, there were subtle problems.  Peck, who had a strong financial hand in the film, insisted on building up his part at the expense of the children's viewpoint (Peck insisted on removing a scene where Jem reads to a dying Mrs. DuBose because it again put the emphasis on the children and not on Atticus Finch, much to the director's sadness).  She also lived in New York for several years, but disliked the city itself (she wouldn't go to Manhattan), not living lavishly despite the wealth she probably accumulated through the book.   More curiously, though she lived close to friends she did not visit them or encourage visits.  It is as if she, like Greta Garbo, wants to be alone. 

Lee also has a curious hostility to Mary Badham, who played Scout in the film version.  "(Harper Lee) rebuffed attempts by (Badham) communicate with her. 'Mary acts like that book is the Bible', Nelle mentioned to Kathy McCoy, the former director of the Monroe County Heritage Museums.  According to a terse not in the museum's archives, '(Gregory Peck) told M.B. not to try to contact N.L.".  One gets the idea that Lee respects her work, but also thinks that it is simply too difficult to live up to the legend.  It is her Citizen Kane, but unlike Orson Welles, she quit while she was ahead.

Then again, she really didn't quit.  She had full intention of writing many books, of telling many stories.  However, the publicity, the notoriety, the passion Mockingbird was held by the public, in a way pushed Lee to not write.  Shields comments that the two essays she wrote for magazines post-Mockingbird had "a strong whiff of self-righteousness", calling them too self-conscious, as if she were trying to already live up to a legend she didn't want and couldn't carry.  

Harper Lee has pretty much resigned herself to both the praise and curse of To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that is good, that she knows is good, but that has also pretty much condemned her to endless comparisons, which might have frightened her from going into publishing another one...until now.  At age 89, a second Harper Lee book, Go Set a Watchman, is set for publication this July (I already have it on order, though it won't arrive until a few days after initial publication.  I'm not in that much of a hurry). It is called a sequel to her first book, though it apparently was written prior to Mockingbird and only recently rediscovered (even Lee apparently forgot all about it).

I Am Scout is perfect for the target audience, providing an interesting portrait of the author who has earned a place in history with only one book to her name (at least until July 2015), written in a simple tone that children will find easy. Adults can also enjoy I Am Scout as a fascinating portrait of the mostly-reclusive writer, who gave the world a wonderful story, then watched it overtaken by others whose intensions were both good and bad.        

Nelle Harper Lee
Born 1926

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Module 15--Daddy's Roommate: A Review

DADDY'S ROOMMATE by Michael Willhoite

Willhoite, M. (1991) Daddy's Roommate.  Alyson Book, New York.

Daddy's Roommate, almost fifteen years after publication, is still a source of controversy.  It is listed by the American Library Association as the second most challenged book between 1990 and 1991.  Despite all the gains of gays in America (including the eventual legalization of same-sex marriage throughout the country), the issue of homosexual relations is still touchy to a segment of the population.  The rightness or wrongness of a homosexual relationship is not the subject of Daddy's Roommate.  It is instead about one child's-eye view of the circumstances he finds himself in.

Told in a first-person voice, the boy (never named) tells us about his father (also never named, but simply referred to as "Daddy").  Mommy and Daddy got a divorce 'last year' The Boy tells us, and now Daddy is living with his 'roommate', Frank (oddly, despite being the title character, he's the only person who gets a name in Daddy's Roommate).  Daddy and Frank do all sorts of things together: work, eat. sleep, shave, and even fight together (but always make up).  Frank, The Boy reports, likes him, and Frank and The Boy spend time together (Frank reads to The Boy and makes "great peanut butter and jelly sandwiches", emphasis the book's).  On weekends, the three of them (Frank, The Boy, and Daddy) do all sorts of things together: go to baseball games, the zoo, the beach, work in the yard, and have sing-alongs by the piano.  Mommy tells The Boy that Daddy and Frank are gay.

"At first I didn't know what that meant.  So she explained it.  Being gay is just one more kind of love.  And love is the best kind of happiness.  Daddy and his roommate are very happy together.  And I'm happy too!"

While reading Daddy's Roommate, I played around with it.  I substituted Frank for Francine, and thought what if Daddy's roommate were a woman.  The mind boggles at the idea of Francine and Daddy 'shaving together', but apart from that, would it make much difference if Daddy's roommate were a woman?  I think yes, but perhaps not in the way people might imagine.

The connotation between a male-female living arrangement and a male-male living arrangement like the one presented in Daddy's Roommate surprisingly leaves much ambiguity in the latter.  I think children have a basic understanding that when a man and a woman sleep together, they know it involves something akin to romance.  When it comes to a man and a man (or a woman and a woman) sleeping together, not so much.  Personally, I think we give children far too much credit if we imagine that they automatically know that homosexual love is the same as heterosexual love.

If it were Francine and Daddy rather than Frank and Daddy in Daddy's Roommate, I think children would more quickly and easily grasp that the new relationship is a romantic one.   The way Frank and Daddy's relationship comes across, there isn't what I would call 'romance', just good buddies living together.  It's almost as if Willhoite, for all his intents, wanted to make a same-sex relationship palatable and understandable to elementary school children but instead almost hid the true nature and depth of the relationship.

The imagery of Daddy and Frank in Daddy's Roommate is to my mind almost comical in how innocuous it is.  Looking at the illustrations and text, what I saw in the relationship between Daddy and Frank was not romance, but just a very good friendship.  Apart from the next-to-last panel, where Frank and Daddy were watching television together, with Frank's arm over Daddy's shoulder in what is an intimate gesture, I have done pretty much everything Daddy and Frank did with my best friend.

Yes, I've even slept with my best friend (who is a man), if by 'sleeping' you mean 'shared the same bed'.  If by 'sleeping' you mean 'have sex', then no, I haven't 'slept' with my best friend.  Granted, I also haven't put lotion on his back at the beach, but minus that pretty much the relationship between Daddy and Frank is the same as mine with my best friend.  A child of a gay father who has come out (especially to his son) would understand what was going on in Daddy's Roommate.  A child of either a closeted gay father or a heterosexual father I think wouldn't get it, or get it so quickly. 

It does make me wonder who Willhoite's target audience is.  If he wrote Daddy's Roommate for children of gay fathers, more power to him.  If he wrote it for a more general audience, I think he missed the mark.

One aspect of Daddy's Roommate that I could never shake was just how easily everyone accepted things.  Despite being the primary guardian (The Boy mentions that he sees Daddy on weekend), Mommy has virtually nothing to do with The Boy apart from telling him Daddy and Frank are gay and that it's "just one more kind of love".  That may be true, but for myself I found the idea of an ex-spouse who took all this in stride extremely bizarre.  Here she was, marrying a man she loved, having a child with him, only to divorce due to her husband's homosexuality.

At least, I figure this was the reason for the divorce.  Whether he or she initiated it there's no way of knowing.  In any case, after what is suppose to be a mere year later, Mommy seems rather cool with the idea that her ex is now with Frank.  Maybe it's just the circle I roll with, but I've never met any divorcee, man or woman, who a mere year later was thrilled to see his/her ex with anyone new, let alone someone of the same gender.  It could also be the excessively detailed person in me, but I kept wondering about Mommy.  Has she found someone new?  How can she be so accepting of her ex-husband's new relationship regardless of gender? Yes, I figure there are many people who do accept the failure of their marriage due to their ex's acceptance of their sexuality, and even some that are happy for their exes.  However, for there not to be any sense of resentment, of regret, of sorrow, just doesn't ring true.

I also thought the same of The Boy.  Willhoite presents an idealized version of reality.  A divorce can be traumatic to a child.  A new stepparent can be difficult for a child.  Throw in that his new stepmother is a man and The Boy's casual acceptance of this again doesn't ring completely true.  Willhoite won't acknowledge that these changes may be difficult for a child.  He won't acknowledge that a child may not think it's Same Love as Macklemore thinks.  Rather than recognize that a child may find all or any of this hard to take (the divorce, the new relationship, the same-sex nature of the new relationship), or even entertain the idea that a child may not be happy about anything involving this not related to sexuality, Willhoite's Boy seems rather nonchalant.  Daddy loved a woman, now he loves a man, OK.  Yes, some children can take this easily, but some children cannot. 

Daddy's Roommate could have been a great book about helping kids deal or accept their father's new same-sex partner.  It could have helped children by guiding them through what could be traumatic experiences (divorce, a new partner for his/her father).  Instead, Daddy's Roommate idealizes what, regardless of sexual orientation, can be a difficult situation.  Divorce is hard on children, no matter what the circumstances.  How all the adults in Daddy's Roommate appear so casual about everything to me suggests that in this world, a child's questions about the various changes can be answered with a rather pat answer: "it's just one more kind of love."  That may be true, but even today, when seven-year-olds can be certain they are transgender (and as a side note, I admit that at age seven, I had no concept of transgender or any kind of sexual identity as straight or gay, only the difference in boys and girls), I think Daddy's Roommate is a little disingenuous.

Maybe Tolstoy is right.  Maybe ALL happy families are alike. 

Would I ban Daddy's Roommate?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  I'm someone who loathes censorship and would not ban something unless it called for violence or was a deliberately racist/sexist/homophobic work (books that denied the Holocaust or supported ISIS for example).  I however, think the nonfiction section is the most appropriate area for Daddy's Roommate.  If it were placed in the Easy section, it would lead to a lot of questions that parents may not want to answer or have asked, because I think that the world outside Daddy's Roommate is more complicated than the one Willhoite created.

I personally don't find much to object to in Daddy's Roommate (apart from its rather simplistic text and view of the world).  I would carry it in the system, because same-sex partnerships are a real part of life.


As if that weren't enough, I think the Entertainment Weekly review of Daddy's Roommate, which earned a C+, is pretty accurate and one I agree with. 

The books’ clear goal is to show homosexual relationships as a real-world complement to the mom-and-dad model. Unfortunately, Daddy’s Roommate suffers from the same failing as the old Dick-and-Jane books: It’s so relentlessly blithe that it could almost be called Dick and Dick. As if divorce or re-coupling — especially when gay partners are involved — were ever so untroubled.  

I don't think Michelle Landsberg realized the unintentional double entendre of Dick and Dick with regards to Daddy's Roommate.  It's a little reminiscent of when ESPN's Anthony Federico used the term 'chink in the armor' to refer to Jeremy Lin's role in the New York Knick's loss at a game.  I believe Federico's version, that he was not aware that 'chink' was a racial slur regarding Chinese (I for one had never heard that slur used regarding Asians) and the term 'chink in the armor' is a common one.  Similarly, the Dick and Dick comment I think was not intended as anything other than a joke, not a bizarre comment on the subject matter.

I found the text rather simplistic, which is perfect for the target audience (very small children), though perhaps a bit too simplistic, even a bit condescending, to where it might be a bit boring for children (the Dick-and-Jane style being the best description for it).


This one is the hardest for me, because Daddy's Roommate-related programs will in my view inevitably bring confrontation between groups.  Pro-gay groups are not immune from being as vitriolic and confrontational as their counterparts.  I would suggest a Family Day celebration where all families are welcome and leave it as that.        

Michael Willhoite
Born 1946

Landsberg, M. (2015, January 17). Daddy's Roommate.  Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved from

Friday, May 1, 2015

Module 14--October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard: A Review

by Leslea Newman

Newman, L. (2012). October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard.  Candlewick.

There are certain facts not in dispute.  On October 6, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man, was savagely beaten and left to die.  The next morning, he was found by a passing runner.  Matthew Shepard died five days after he was found, never having regained consciousness.

Matthew Shepard is now all but canonized, a secular martyr.  He is to the gay community what Emmett Till is to the African-American community: a young man murdered with such particular brutality and savagery that it shocked the nation and galvanized people to act against bigotry. There have been plays written about Matthew Shepard (The Laramie Project), songs written about Matthew Shepard (such as Melissa Etheridge's Scarecrow), whole choral works written about Matthew Shepard (Elegy for Matthew) .  The poem cycle October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, is thoroughly immersed in this canonization, presenting in verse various 'voices' on the Shepard case.  Some of the poems are moving, even beautiful.  Some fall flat and are heavy-handed.  Some work amazingly well despite what at first is an odd premise for some of them. The inside flap noted that Ms. Newman's poems "explores the impact of the vicious crime through fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence to which Matthew was tied...".

I read that and thought, "Seriously? The point of view of the fence?  How does one get the point of view of an inanimate object?"  Newman does it extremely well.  Whatever flaws in some of the sixty-eight poems in October Mourning (ranging from a mere 12 words to two pages), all of them come from the heart.

The poems are divided into four parts: Prologue, Part One, Part Two, and Epilogue, with an Introduction and Afterword by the poetess.  Each poem reflects a myriad of views on both Shepard and the two men convicted of his murder: Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson.  The first poem, The Fence (before) is a brilliant piece of writing. 

It first appears the fence is talking about itself when it says, "the sun warms me/the wind soothes me", but then it shifts to what can be seen as what could be Shepard's own ideas (or that of any person): "will I always be out here/exposed and alone? will somebody someday stumble upon me? will anyone remember me after I'm gone?"  The transition is so smooth one barely notices it.

Another brilliant poem was The Armbands (yes, about armbands used in support of Shepard).  "Though we are worn/we are not weary...though we are yellow/we are not afraid...though we are tattered/we are not broken...though we are many/we are standing as one".  The double meaning within the poem is clear ('worn' as in wardrobe and 'worn' as in 'exhausted'), especially when put against 'weary'.  They 'wore' the armbands, but they themselves were not 'worn out'.

Of course, with sixty-eight poems, not all of them were as smooth or as clever or as gentle as others.  There is Thirteen Ways of Looking at Matthew.  It is divided into thirteen words, each punctuated with a Roman numeral.  When we get to X, we slip from respecting and honoring Matthew Shepard and slip into virtual worship.  X: Martyr.  XI: Hero. XII: Legend.  XIII: Star. 

Another poem that caused me concern was The Defense's Job, which is a companion piece to The Prosecutor's Job.  They mirror each other in style, but they also mirror each other in hatred towards Henderson and McKinney.

his job
his only job
his one and only job
is to protect
is to preserve
is to spare
the client's
the criminal's
the killer's
even if no one else thinks
even when no one else thinks
even though no one else thinks
the brute's
the bastard's
the son of a bitch's
is barely worth
is hardly worth
is just not worth
a damn

Perhaps it is my own background (one that firmly opposes the death penalty as I oppose abortion, seeing them as two sides of the same coin: namely, state-sanctioned killing not in defense of the country or self), but I am a firm believer in redemption for all.  It is not within my heart to say that even the most loathsome individual is beyond salvation (however he/she interprets that). What McKinney and Henderson were convicted of is evil, and the gruesome details are sickening.  However, unlike another poem, Jury Selection, I cannot condone killing one man for having killed another.

Jury Selection: the poem consists of the line, "No I would not hesitate to kill the killer in a heart beat  in a heart beat", with each line adding an extra word until it forms the complete sentence, then taking a word away after the sentence is formed.

Of course, this is what I think good poetry should do: affect us on a personal level.  There were many poems in October Mourning that did so.  A Chorus of Parents is like all the poems in the book, an imagined conversation, this time putting us in the minds of several parents who broke off relations with their gay sons and now wish to reestablish them in the wake of Shepard's murder.  So many stories collide ("I called my sixteen-year-old, eighteen-year-old, twenty-five-year old, thirty-seven-year old, fifty-six-year old son", "I called my son who came out when he was fourteen, fifteen, nineteen, twenty-two, thirty-two, fifty-two, a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, five years ago, half a century ago").

I placed myself in their shoes, thinking if I had a gay son who came out to me what would my reaction have been.  I personally know of no parent who danced in the streets when their son/daughter told them they were gay.  I don't know of any parent who said, "I'm thrilled that my son is gay.  It's a dream come true, everything I've always hoped he would be.  My greatest desire was to have a gay child."  I know parents who are very accepting of this news, but I also know that within every single parent I know who has faced this news, there has been at least a touch of sadness in the news.  To say that there isn't is to lie. 

We as a society have not progress to the point where a parent rejoices in the news that their child is gay/lesbian.  We have parents who accept it and love their children no matter what, but I have yet to hear one parent ever say they wanted their son/daughter to be gay.  Acceptance of a gay child is not the same as desiring to have a gay child.

Recently, there has been a whisper of a disparaging word against the Legend of Saint Matt.  Stephen Jimenez's The Book of Matt presents an alternate version of the motive in Shepard's murder.  Instead of being a monstrous hate crime due to Shepard's homosexuality, Jimenez (who himself is gay) argues that his murder was a result of the drug trade Shepard was alleged to be involved with.  IF Shepard's murder was not connected to his sexual orientation but to illegal activity, it more than changes the narrative.  It all but obliterates it.  The central premise of all the works on Shepard (including October Mourning) now become grist for a myth, perpetuating a false narrative if Jimenez's allegations are true.  It doesn't rob the good poems of their power, but it does undermine the premise that they are built on, the story of an innocent now becomes a darker tale, one where the truth is not as clear.  It also has the effect of making Matthew Shepard less a saint and more a sinner like you and me, with the same flaws, faults and failings as any other mortal.  It doesn't justify, rationalize, or condone his killing, but it does make Matthew Shepard less than the sum of his official story.

It brings to mind the famous quote from the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.  "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend".  Does it really matter what the motive was in Shepard's murder?  If it wasn't homophobia gone wild but instead a sordid drug-related crime, does that take away from the important symbolism of Shepard?  It certainly doesn't justify the murder, but one has to ask, would there be works like October Mourning, Elegy for Matthew or The Laramie Project to lament someone killed in a sordid meth-related crime gone hideously wrong?   

I now have serious questions about both The Book of Matt and works like October Mourning.   Is the former true or a lie?  Is the latter perpetuating a myth or a passionate reaction against a monstrous evil?  I can't answer either  with total certainty.  As Newman stated, there are only three people who know for certain what happened: two in prison, one dead. 

However, I think we can get an idea of where Newman would stand on this if asked.  In The Prosecutor's Job, she writes of "a robbery/a kidnapping/a killing; which cannot be excused/which cannot be forgiven/which cannot be undone; the rest is irrelevant/the rest is history/the rest is baloney; he rests his case" (emphasis mine).  October Mourning was written long before The Book of Matt gave an alternate version of the story, and I'm only speculating, but perhaps Ms. Newman spoke for those who believe that even if Shepard was not the "Martyr/Hero/Legend/Star", in the end "the rest is irrelevant".

October Mourning comes from the heart, a true emotional outpouring of the author's feelings over her interpretation of the crime from various viewpoints.   No one has ever argued that Shepard's murder, whatever the motive, was right or justified.  It was a brutal, horrific crime.


In the Kirkus review for October Mourning, it was pointed out that "while the collection as a whole treats a difficult subject with sensitivity and directness, these poems are in no way nuanced or subtle." It also took Newman to task for being 'somewhat heavy-handed".  I find these observations to be highly accurate, but I also think that despite some stumbles (which shouldn't come as a surprise for a work that contains so many works), October Mourning, when it works, works extremely well.  October Mourning is itself a very moving Elegy for Matthew.

A great program would be to have a GLBT speaker talk about his/her experiences pre and post-Matthew Shepard.  A production of The Laramie Project would also be advisable if possible, and a display of the various social moments in America (suffragists, civil rights, gay rights) might also be good.  I also think the creation of a rainbow artwork with messages could be constructed.

Matthew Wayne Shepard:


Book Review: October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman (2012, July). Kirkus Reviews.  Retrieved from