Reading With Patrick: a Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship
by Michelle Kuo
I wept over this book. It is beautiful. My tears were for the friendship formed by a teacher, Ms. Kuo, and her student, Patrick, and for the difficult life our society foists upon poor people of color - lack of opportunity and poor education which lead to years of heartache. Also for the transformation that can be brought about through the sharing of literature. And above all, the beautiful souls of both Ms. Kuo and Patrick.
Amidst the difficulties is intense beauty. Ms Kuo takes a Teach for America job in a very poor and depressed area in Arkansas, the Delta. She relates well to all her students but is particularly drawn to one student, Patrick, who shows a spark within. She encourages him and watches him grow, then leaves to attend law school. Later she learns that Patrick has landed in prison, and she feels terrible - she returns to the Delta and visits Patrick in jail, reading with him and continuing to teach.
This is the best book I have read so far in 2018 (as of 12 Oct. 2018). I highly recommend it.