Reading With Patrick

Kuo, Michelle

  13 Reviews

Under the auspices of Teach for America and armed with a strong social conscience and a recent college education, Michelle Kuo opts to teach in an alternative school in one of the poorest areas in the US, the Mississippi Delta. One of her students is Patrick Browning, a 15-year-old African-American boy who thrives under her tutelage. She then heads off to Harvard Law School, and when she is next in contact with him, he's in prison for murder. Michelle returns to pick up where she left off, reading with him and mentoring him into a different future.

This is an inspirational memoir of two memorable characters with a mutually transformative friendship, that confronts the politics of disadvantage and confirms that books do indeed have the power to change lives. [Larger font]



CHCH 532
Well worth reading. Lively discussion.
TAUP 007
Some of the group liked this book, others found it repetitive and a bit tedious.
Most enjoyed the book. The teachers in our group could really relate to the author. An interesting insight into the problems caused by poverty in the southern parts of the U.S.
TAUR 014
Interesting reading for a group of mainly ex-English teachers!
WANG 001
What a 'read'. The deprivation he experienced in his life was something else! Made us all grateful for our education here in N.Z.
We all got something out of it. What an amazing determined young woman. But, was it about Patrick or about the author The history of the Mississippi was unknown to us.
There were mixed responses to this book. Some members didn't read much of it at all. others found it an engaging read. There was a good discussion of family culture - one of the issues where the author draws parallels with her own Taiwanese immigrant family culture, and Patrick's family culture. Similar themes to 'Just Mercy'. Thought provoking and disturbing. 3.5 average, some were up to 4.5.
TAUR 049
Unusual that the author paralleled analysis of her own life with that of her main character, Patrick. Some of the group saw benefits of that in terms of expanding our own thinking, and other members felt it detracted from Patrick's story. I thought it was a clever tool. Once again great discussion generated by the book.
ASHB 003
Those of us who were able to attend the meeting despite the flooding found this book inspiring. Michelle's empathy for the students, ability and imagination to test what engaged them was remarkable. The pull of trying to please her parents while still dedicating time to support and rekindle Patrick's love of reading led to much discussion. We found gaps in our history knowledge, and were appalled that some southern states were still so neglected.
WELL 001
This book provoked the longest and most wide-ranging discussion we have had for a long time - not because of disagreement, but because it gave a lot to discuss. While everyone agreed the book was well-written and easy to read, most people had reservations of one kind or another.Everyone finished the book and nobody regretted reading it, but most said they would hesitate to recommend it to a friend...
WARK 005
Everyone enjoyed this book, although the author's writing not as good as expected. Very thought provoking. Expectations of Asian and Black cultures discussed. Despair felt especially for Southern black communities. Also felt that other cultures from this area were disadvantaged eg" white trailer trash".
So much discussion that we didn't get the questions started. Several teachers in the group - many found it depressing but agreed a very important book.
AUCK 122
Enjoyed by all - very moving.