Speak Out Against Domestic Violence & Free Spirit

Speak Out

I have often wanted to be a more topical blogger. The kind that times his reviews and content to events and seasons so that maximum interest and topicality can be achieved.  Alas, I have almost never succeeded.

But today I want to briefly post on Book Sparks’ campaign to Speak Out Against Domestic Violence. I know this is not exactly the type of issue or coverage you might expect of me, and some of you might even want to be cynical or see it as simply a clever marketing campaign, but it is an important enough issue that I wanted to take the time to post.  If this post raises the issue or awareness in some small way it is worth it.

As it happens, Book Sparks has tied this particular campaign to a book Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid by Joshua Safran

When Joshua Safran was four years old, his mother–determined to protect him from the threats of nuclear war and Ronald Reagan–took to the open road with her young son, leaving the San Francisco countercultural scene behind. Together they embarked on a journey to find a utopia they could call home. In Free Spirit, Safran tells the harrowing, yet wryly funny story of his childhood chasing this perfect life off the grid–and how they survived the imperfect one they found instead.

Encountering a cast of strange and humorous characters along the way, Joshua spends his early years living in a series of makeshift homes, including shacks, teepees, buses, and a lean-to on a stump. His colorful youth darkens, however, when his mother marries an alcoholic and abusive guerrilla/poet.

Throughout it all, Joshua yearns for a “normal” life, but when he finally reenters society through school, he finds “America” a difficult and confusing place. Years spent living in the wilderness and discussing Marxism have not prepared him for the Darwinian world of teenagers, and he finds himself bullied and beaten by classmates who don’t share his mother’s belief about reveling in one’s differences.

Eventually, Joshua finds the strength to fight back against his tormentors, both in school and at home, and helps his mother find peace. But Free Spirit is more than just a coming-of-age story. It is also a journey of the spirit, as he reconnects with his Jewish roots; a tale of overcoming adversity; and a captivating read about a childhood unlike any other.

And today simply by buying the book you can contribute:

FreeSpirit-197x300If you buy Joshua Safran’s book, FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid, let us know and we will match with a donation to a domestic violence awareness organization. On October 24th only, if you buy the book for you, a friend, a holiday gift or all of the above, send us your receipt(s) and we’ll be donating up to 20% of book sales that day (based on emailed receipts) to the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women in support of BookSparks Speaks Out: Domestic Violence Awareness and victims everywhere.  Buy on Indie Bound; Buy on Amazon; or Buy on Barnes & Noble. Send receipts to erin@sparkpointstudio.com.

So check out the book and maybe take a moment to raise your awareness and profile on this important issue.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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