A Mother's Reckoning

A Mother's Reckoning

Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

Book - 2016
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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.

Publisher: New York :, Crown Publishers,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781101902752
Branch Call Number: ANF 373.097888 KLE
Characteristics: xxii, 305 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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AL_HOLLYR Aug 29, 2017

In this remarkable book that must have been unimaginably difficult to write, Klebold offers another harrowing perspective of Columbine. She tells her story with great sensitivity to everyone involved and uses her experience bravely to search for ways to avoid such tragedies in the future.

t
taylorwoods
Feb 17, 2017

“We teach our kids the importance of good dental care, proper nutrition, and financial responsibility. How many of us teach our children to monitor their own brain health, or know how to do it ourselves?”

Thank you, Sue Klebold, for writing this heavy, inspiring book. I appreciated her open and raw honesty about not knowing anything about Dylan's severe depression. In a world where parents can be full of themselves and believe their child can do no wrong, this was a huge sigh of relief, I imagine, for her to say everything and put it all on the table.

Before I picked this one up, I had the brief idea in my mind that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were the two young men who had made the devastating decision to commit mass murder before taking their own lives in April of 1999 at Columbine High School. I left my ego at the door, and my whole perspective on these scenarios and suicide has changed tremendously. I feel as though I can understand Dylan's heartbreaking case, but not so much Eric's. According to the specialists that Sue had spoken with, Eric's lack of empathy and potential psychopathy and Dylan's feeling of isolation and wish to die made the perfect combination for what happened.

I strongly urge everyone to at least skim, if not read entirely, this book because it is tremendously educational on the big elephant in the room: suicide is the #1 killer in young people and there is a whole stigma behind even talking about it. Although this book broke my heart over and over again, especially in a specific part where she names off all the victims, I cannot stress how impactful this book has been.

AL_MARYA Jan 26, 2017

I appreciate Sue Klebold's courage and vulnerability in sharing the horrifying account of her son's part in the 1999 Columbine massacre. This is a heart wrenching, but important, read that I recommend to any parent.

AL_CHRISTINE Dec 07, 2016

Very thought provoking and heart wrenching!

AL_SIDDRA Dec 01, 2016

This was a sad and interesting read. It's such a well known story. I learned so much about this tragic event and about teen depression from this mothers account.

t
toby65
Sep 11, 2016

A difficult read. I had to skip a lot as it was so painful.

d
dutcheja
Sep 08, 2016

This was an interesting book. It takes you through all ranges of emotions. There were times when I felt so incredibly sad for her and there were other times when I felt like she was playing the Martyr. She was definitely defensive in parts and I totally understand that. This book was also terrifying to me, because she was like every mother out there. She raised her 2 sons in a loving home and felt like she and her husband were vigilant in taking care of their children. She didn't see any signs leading up to the mass shooting and suicide. She felt like she would know if there was something bothering her children and could tell if they were lying. I think every mother feels that way. In the aftermath there were many people she talked to that all said they would have also missed the signs. Dylan had been seeing a counselor and he knew exactly what the counselor wanted to hear so that was what he said. This book is definitely enlightening and addresses the needs for better mental health education and assistance.

m
maipenrai
Aug 07, 2016

As a clinical psychologist I am always interested in the why of human behavior. I believe Ms. Klebold is honest in her memories of her relationship of her son, but reading "No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine High School" by Brooks Brown, one of Dylan's friends, still leaves me wondering how disconnected this family was from their son and his secret activities. Recommend

g
gritslover
Aug 04, 2016

Poignant, heartbreaking, transparent. What a lady! Sue has done everything she can to turn a personal tragedy into a life of giving hope and inspiration to others.

Cynthia_N Jul 21, 2016

Such a painful book to read but such an important one too. Klebold starts the book on the day of the Columbine school shooting. She does an extremely realistic job of describing the stages of acceptance and denial she went through as the days went on. A great one for parents to read because while there were no large signs that anything abnormal was going on with her son there were small ones and she states now she would have pushed to find out and perhaps could have prevented her son's involvement in this tragedy.

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taylorwoods
Feb 17, 2017

“We teach our kids the importance of good dental care, proper nutrition, and financial responsibility. How many of us teach our children to monitor their own brain health, or know how to do it ourselves?”

AL_MARYA Jan 26, 2017

I wish I had listened more instead of lecturing; I wish I had sat in silence with him instead of filling the void with my own words…acknowledged his feelings instead of trying to talk him out of them, and that I ‘d never accepted his excuses to avoid conversation - I’m tired, I have homework to do - when things felt off. I wish I’d sat in the dark with him, and repeated my concerns when he dismissed them. I wish I’d dropped everything else to focus on him, probed and prodded more, and that I had been present enough to see what I did not. 263

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r0by
Jun 17, 2017

r0by thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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