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Publisher's Summary

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill 12 students and a teacher and wound 24 others before taking their own lives. 

For the last 16 years, Sue Klebold, Dylan's mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently? 

These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother's Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and countless interviews with mental health experts. 

Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother's Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent. 

Includes a PDF of acknowledgments and resources from the book.

All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2016 Sue Klebold (P)2016 Random House Audio

What listeners say about A Mother's Reckoning

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  • Overall
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I kept on driving just to listen to a few more chapters

Sue Klebold is an astounding woman, full of grace, carrying around the most unbearable things. This memoir is sincere, honest, forthright and gut-wrenching. The book is completely mesmerizing and sheds light on issues of suicide, murder-suicide and the devastation that is left behind. This book is a confrontation of all we believe to be true.

33 people found this helpful

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Heartbreak on Every Page

I have lived the same grief because of my children committing terrible crimes together that led to many years in prison. My grandchildren were taken far away to escape the publicity of their father's crime. So many people hurting over things I had no control over. Loving them still, when others hated them. Feeling ashamed of them. Wondering what I could have done differently while I raised them. I felt her grief and heartbreak on every line and chapter. I couldn't stop listening until the last word was spoken.

12 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking

After seeing the headlines, it was nice to hear thr back story. We all know how the mefia distorts things. This book untangles the misinformation surrounding the event. I am a mother of 2 boys and know how easily influenced they are. This book was well written and Sue did an excellent job reading. This one one of the best books I've listened to in a while.

22 people found this helpful

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Thank you Sue.

I have appreciated your honesty in this book. As a "brain" health professional that works in Colorado schools I thank you. We can't stress enough the signs our children may show when they aren't feeling well physically or emotionally. I remember when this tragedy unfolded and my high school teacher had to go and pick her son up at Columbine this day. This of course was deeply impactful and my choice to become a school social worker. I will recommend this book to anyone who has children.

18 people found this helpful

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A must read

Sue Klebolt fully exposes herself in this heart-wrenchingly honest, articulate and insightful review and analysis. A must read for everyone.

8 people found this helpful

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truthful and unapologetic

this story is one that is little told and necessary. sue klebold tells the story of her and her family's suffering after what her son did at columbine high school in 1999. she never once makes an excuse for dylan's actions but holds him accountable while raising much needed awareness for recognizing signs of mental illness in teens. this was raw honesty and emotion put to words and it is powerful.

15 people found this helpful

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Courageous. Real. Laced with love.

This is a must read! I found myself speechless and emotionless yet filled with sorrow. Sue Klebold is brave, selfless and honest in her writing.

14 people found this helpful

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A balanced journey of a mother's heartache

I recently read a number of books about Columbine and always wondered about the parents experience with the fallout of their sons choices. I commend Susan Kiebold for her honesty, her convictions to the truth, and her courage to face the hurricane of judgement, heartache, and still wrestle with the storm single visioned on the truth. as a parent of 3 teens, I get that it could happen to me and mine ..Thank you Susan for sharing your thoughts and heart.

14 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking

I didn't know what to think when I saw Sue Klebold had written a book. But having a small child in the school system at that time and running to school after I heard about Columbine to once again have my boy in my arms; compelled me to hear her side of the story. I found Sue to be extremely honest, heartbroken not only for her loss but the destruction her son caused. Her careful remembrance of each of the victims was spoken with compassion and deep regret.
I remember only thinking of those beautiful children, the teacher, the ones hurt and their grieving families. I prayed for each of them. I did not think of the shooters or their families I must admit. It takes courage for this book to be written. I can't image what they went through. My prayers do go out to the Klebolds. I'm sorry I wasn't praying for them 17 years ago.

36 people found this helpful

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Brain health/illness (rather than "mental")

1. "Brain" rather than "mental" is ingenious. I think that step alone would do wonders to help alleviate stigma.
2. I can tell you from experience all it takes is one other person to make you "brave." Things my teenage friends and I did we never would have done by ourselves.
3. The author seems to have shouldered this tragedy alone. In my opinion there should have been more "we/us/our" ... "we, his parents" instead of "me, his mother."
4. It sounds like Sue was a GREAT mom, I wish my mom had been like her ... heck, I wish I had been like her for my children.
5. I suffer from a brain illness. I have sought help for the past 38 years. I have been on medication for the past 37 years. My life is a waste and I just wait for it to end. I think that statement is a testament to how inadequate our brain health system is.

6 people found this helpful