For the staff of BookTrib, most national news stories happen somewhere else. The Newtown tragedy was different. We are based in Southwestern Connecticut, only 28 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many of us have connections to the children and educators who were lost, some live in neighboring towns. Sandy Hook was the tragedy that took place in our own backyard.
Everyone has a different way of dealing with grief, especially with grief this profound. To try to understand the inexplicable, journalist Matthew Lysiak has written Newtown: An American Tragedy. “Newtown is an important story that needs to be told. Hopefully, this book contributes to a better understanding of that tragic day…and as a result, better informs us on how to best move forward,” Lysiak says.
We are giving away a copy of Lysiak’s book in an effort to open up a conversation on mental health and how we might be able to provide aid and assistance to families dealing with extreme mental illness. We hope that this book, along with acts of kindness, charity and volunteerism, will help us all heal and move forward as a nation.
The author is donating a portion of his proceeds from this book to The Avielle Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building safer communities through brain health initiatives. To learn more about the foundation, please visit aviellefoundation.org and visit your local bookstore or click here to visit the author’s website to buy a copy of the book.
Below is an excerpt from the introduction of Newtown: An American Tragedy
The morning of December 14, 2012, changed America. As we struggled to understand what could have been done to prevent the bloodshed at Sandy Hook Elementary School and, more important, how to prevent future tragedies, the country soon found itself embroiled in a national dialogue about society’s role.
Much of the debate centered around our access to high-powered weaponry, flaws in our mental health system, school safety protocols and the violent images that have become increasingly pervasive in today’s culture. Sweeping legislation was discussed, new laws were debated, some laws were even passed, while other legislative proposals will still be debated long after the publication of this book. But while the country continues to debate what to do next, the facts of what led up to the tragedy still remain largely unknown. To have any hope of preventing the next Sandy Hook, we must first know the facts and circumstances that led up to the horrific act.
Who was Adam Lanza? Why did he do this? Could he have been stopped?
This book hopes to inform the debate and provide a broader context.
I believe this is an important story that needs to be told. Hopefully, this book contributes to a better understanding of what happened on that tragic day of December 14, 2012, and as a result better informs us on how to best move forward.