October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

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Candlewick Press, 2012 - JUVENILE NONFICTION - 111 pages
13 Reviews
WINNER OF A 2013 STONEWALL HONOR!

A masterful poetic exploration of the impact of Matthew Shepard’s murder on the world.


On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a Wyoming bar by two young men, savagely beaten, tied to a remote fence, and left to die. Gay Awareness Week was beginning at the University of Wyoming, and the keynote speaker was Lesléa Newman, discussing her book Heather Has Two Mommies. Shaken, the author addressed the large audience that gathered, but she remained haunted by Matthew’s murder. October Mourning, a novel in verse, is her deeply felt response to the events of that tragic day. Using her poetic imagination, the author creates fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence Matthew was tied to, the stars that watched over him, the deer that kept him company, and Matthew himself. More than a decade later, this stunning cycle of sixty-eight poems serves as an illumination for readers too young to remember, and as a powerful, enduring tribute to Matthew Shepard’s life.

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Review: October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

User Review  - Laura - Goodreads

I feel conflicted about this book. I think it is important to remember Matthew Shepard, and what happened to him. I think that this book is a good way to do that, and to help educate those too young ... Read full review

Review: October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

User Review  - Courtney Pearson - Goodreads

October Mourning by Leslea Newman is about the 1998 hate crime in which a 21 year old gay man named Matthew Shepard was murdered. Matthew Shepard was lured out of a bar, tied to a fence, beaten, and ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Lesléa Newman is the author of more than sixty books for children and adults, including the groundbreaking children's classic Heather Has Two Mommies. A former poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, she has received poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation. She lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

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