Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Breaking Night by Liz Murray

In the vein of The Glass Castle, Breaking Night is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard. Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls' home. At age fifteen, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep.
When Liz's mother died of AIDS, she decided to take control of her own destiny and go back to high school, often completing her assignments in the hallways and subway stations where she slept. Liz squeezed four years of high school into two, while homeless; won a New York Times scholarship; and made it into the Ivy League. Breaking Night is an unforgettable and beautifully written story of one young woman's indomitable spirit to survive and prevail, against all odds.
Praise for Breaking Night
"As much as it is a memoir, Breaking Night is a primer on how poverty and drug abuse create a heartbreaking underclass of children, one that goes largely unnoticed. By the truly uplifting ending, Liz Murray has shown us the worst, and the very best, of America."
--Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch

Amazing, moving story. After reading Lizzy's story I realize have nothing holding me back. If a girl can go from homeless to Harvard I can accomplish great things too. 
At times, the story was so emotional it was hard for me to read, even uncomfortable. I wish I could help all the youth who have potential and end up on the streets. How do we fix an overloaded system and help families? How do we teach our youth that education can save them?

Rating: PG19 for drugs, sex, hard situations
S: Yes, not graphic
L: Yes, sprinkled through out
V: Yes, druggies, dealers, etc

Page 69 test:
I couldn't post this page in good conscious for me. This page had the main character tell about when she was sexually abused. It was only a paragraph and it wasn't graphic but it still made me uncomfortable. Sorry.

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