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Jason Sole’s Reading of From Prison to PhD: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances

In a cosy room meant to seat 35 people at maximum, set off the main bookstore room, several of us sat energized and anticipating the event. A few people trickled in here and there, engaging in spirited conversation. The bookstore in question, Boneshaker Books, is a Minneapolis-based, volunteer-run store with a mission to sell radical zines as well as radical fiction and nonfiction books. It includes such sections as anarchy and economics, stuffed full with the kind of sociopolitical history I would have loved to learn about in high school and college. The event is led by Jason Sole, author of From Prison to PhD: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances.

Officially, this is my first reading that I’ve been to and I was uncertain as to what to expect. My exposure to them has been limited to what little is shown in movies and TV shows. As an educator and a writer, the book intrigued me. In education, there is a lot of discussion around behavior management, the School-to-Prison pipeline, and some discussion on restorative justice within schooling. I was eager to see his experiences with the justice system, especially in relationship to his schooling experiences.