Tightrope by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

How I Read It: Audiobook/Ebook

Dates Read: 1/16/20-1/19/20

How I Found It: Book of the Month

This book marks off the “A Book With a Powerful Message” badge on the 40 Book Reading Challenge from Once Upon a Book Club

I went into this one planning to listen to it while I was at work. However, if you know me and my reading preferences, I am not a huge fan of nonfiction books, especially ones that are not memoirs. This one was even harder for me to read that I thought it would be, but I got the deed done and I am happy to say it made me start to think.

Some background on me, I grew up in a working class America small town. I grew up in a farming community, and I have already seen multiple members of my graduating class get buried due to the opioid crisis. I was lucky to be in the upper middle class where I wanted for nothing, which gave me a huge head start into college and beyond. I watched a lot of people with less growing up and I know how easy it is to fall into that path.

This book is a conversation about the working class and how hard it is to get out of it. We talk about poverty as if it isn’t happening in our country, but it for sure is. And this book offers options to solve the problems that can end the cycle. There main point is that we need solutions for young at-risk children. If we give them opportunities out, then the statistics shows crime will go down.

Also, we discuss mass incarceration in this book. And while we don’t go into a lot of detail, mass incarceration is the easy way to keep someone from getting a job, thus continuing to put them through the negative spiral.

And while I have many opinions about this issue, I strive to make this blog as non-partisan as possible. Though this really shouldn’t be a partisan issue to begin with, I am just trying to share my thoughts on the book without getting backlash about being biased. And more importantly, this book isn’t trying to be partisan. It is about how we can fix the issues in our country. So I think that there are a lot of things that we could change, and if we start younger, we probably could do a lot more. I don’t agree with decriminalizing drug charges, but I do agree that we need to offer better and more accessible rehab programs. And more importantly, we need to work on financial education while in schools so that when we become adults, we know more about how to keep money in our bank account than to just balance our checkbooks.

This book obviously makes some good points, and some that I can’t see our political system implementing. But for anyone that is interested in what poverty looks like in the United States, make sure to read Tightrope. I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

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