A stirring memoir about the life-changing friendship between an idealistic young teacher and her gifted student, jailed for murder in the Mississippi Delta.
When Michelle Kuo went to the Mississippi Delta for Teach for America in 2004, she found that one student every teacher dreams about: thoughtful, eager and lacking only the opportunity to excel. His name was Patrick Browning, and they formed a bond. Three years later, in her last year at Harvard Law School, Michelle gets a call. Patrick is in prison for murder. Determined to make good on promises she made to the student she left behind, Michelle moves back to the Delta to resume Patrick’s education. What follows is a powerful story of books—from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to The Narrative of Frederick Douglass and the poetry of W.S. Merwin—and friendship across seemingly insurmountable social barriers.
About the Author
Michelle Kuo taught English at an alternative school in the Arkansas Delta for two years. After teaching, she attended Harvard Law School as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and worked at a nonprofit for undocumented immigrants in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, California on a Skadden Fellowship, with a focus on tenants’ and workers’ rights. She also clerked for a federal appeals court judge in the Ninth Circuit. Currently she teaches courses on race, law, and society at the American University of Paris.
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“In all of the literature addressing education, race, poverty, and criminal justice, there has been nothing quite like Reading with Patrick.”—The Atlantic
A memoir of the life-changing friendship between an idealistic young teacher and her gifted student, jailed for murder in the Mississippi Delta