Using varying points of view, ranging from inanimate objects (such as the fence Shepard was tied to, and the clothesline that bound him) to strangers’ reactions to his murder, Newman recounts the horrific beating and ultimate death of Matthew Shepard. Shepard was attending the University of Wyoming when he was lured from a bar one night by two other students, driven to a deserted road, beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die. Newman tells Shepard’s story using unique, emotional poems, sending a strong message of tolerance, and solidifying the fact that what happened to Matthew must never happen again.
Newman presents emotional, provocative poems about the murder of Matthew Shepard. While the loss of Matthew occurred almost 20 years ago, I don’t feel that our society has fully evolved out of the hatred toward the GLBT community. Newman presents a powerful message — that hatred can lead to irreversible consequences, Consequences easily avoided with tolerance and love. I thought this was an excellent and unique tribute to Shepard, with my only criticism being that I wanted more poems from the point of view of people, rather than inanimate objects.
*This one just made YALSA’s 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound list!!
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