Harper Academic

A Stone of Hope

A Memoir

by Jim St. Germain, Jon Sternfeld

On Sale: 07/04/2017

Price: $27.99

A Stone of Hope

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A Stone of Hope

A Memoir

by Jim St. Germain, Jon Sternfeld

On Sale: 07/04/2017

Format:

Price: $27.99

About the Book

Born into abject poverty in Haiti, Jim St. Germain moved as a young boy to Brooklyn’s Crown Heights with his alcoholic father. He quickly adapted to street life and began stealing, joining gangs, dealing drugs, and growing increasingly indifferent to the despair and violence that would eventually claim the lives of sixteen of his friends. By the time he was arrested for dealing crack cocaine, he had been handcuffed more than a dozen times.

A convicted felon at age fifteen, the walls of the system closed around him. But instead of prison, St. Germain, was placed in “Boys Town,” a non-secure detention facility designed for rehabilitation. Surrounded by mentors and positive male authority who enforced a system based on structure and privileges, rather than intimidation and punishment, St. Germain slowly found his way. It proved a tortured path, but he got his GED and graduated from college. Then he made the bravest decision of his life: to live, as an adult, in the projects in Crown Heights where he had lost himself, and to work from within to reform the way the criminal justice system treats “at-risk” youth.

A Stone of Hope is more than an incredible coming of age story, told with a degree of candor that requires the deepest courage, it is also a rallying cry. No one is who they are going to be—or capable of being—at sixteen. St. Germain is living proof of this. He contends that we must not just imagine, but work to build, a world in which we do not simply give up on a whole swath of the next generation. Passionate, eloquent, and timely, A Stone of Hope is an inspiring challenge for every American, and is certain to spark debate nationwide.

Critical Praise

“[A] potent new memoir…What distinguishes [Stone of Hope] is the perceptive acuity with which he narrates his personal journey through the ‘system,’ and explains how he was able… to skirt its usual outcomes.” - Vice

“[Jim St. Germain] vividly describes the fear and loneliness of life in Brooklyn without his parents…. Like Wes Moore’s The Other Wes Moore, St. Germain’s gritty and self-reflective memoir is an excellent and informative cautionary tale.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An affecting and earnest testimonial to the power of a humane criminal system built on rehabilitation more than punishment.” - Kirkus

“Jim’s story is visceral and unsparingly honest. Ultimately it is one of transformation and—most important—hope.” - Booklist

“Near the end of A Stone of Hope, a passage describes the value of young peopleall young peopleto society. As in all the rest of this book, the words sing: with painful trauma experienced and overcome, profound knowledge of the human condition, and deep empathy. Jim St. Germain is particularly artful in shining light on the small moments and minute decisions and seemingly innocuous interactions that can doom a life or bring it to blossom. This is tremendous and courageous storytelling that, one hopes, will touch many lives with positivity in the way Germain’s was touched.” - Jeff Hobbs, author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

“This book is a new perspective on the all-too-familiar story of an inner-city black boy left to go bad. First, we see clearly through the boy’s incisive eye how the grinding machinery of poverty cripples so many young lives. Second, despite the odds, the boy overcomes them and goes good, drawing on his experiences to try to save the next endangered generation. It’s a frightening but ultimately hopeful story.” - Geoffrey Canada, president, Harlem Children’s Zone

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062458797
  • ISBN 10: 0062458795
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 07/04/2017
  • Trimsize: 6.000 in (w) x 9.000 in (h) x 1.010 in (d)
  • Pages: 304
  • List Price: $27.99
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • BISAC2: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civil Rights
  • BISAC3: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural Heritage