"This book is special and could not be more right on time. 

An absorbing, tender, and surprisingly honest examination of race and privilege in America, READING WITH PATRICK helps articulate what is often lost, seemingly intentionally, in national debates over criminal justice and education: the inner life and imagination of a young person.”  

-- Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore


Reading with Patrick is available for pre-order in hardcover here:



Advance Praise for Reading with Patrick

"Warmhearted but never sentimental, and acutely self-aware, Michelle Kuo’s memoir is the most profound, tender, and intensely moving portrait of a student-teacher relationship I’ve ever read. It shows how deeply a student and teacher can change each other’s lives. Kuo knows the complications and the limits of helping, but she is brave and generous and stubborn enough to do it anyway."—Larissa MacFarquhar, author of Strangers Drowning

"Every American should read Michelle Kuo's remarkable memoir. Honest, generous, humble and wise, READING WITH PATRICK will endure as a defining story for our times, and, abidingly, a testament to the power of language and of books."—Claire Messud, author of The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs

"Michelle Kuo takes on the subjects of race, privilege and the debt that the human community owes to its most disadvantaged members with a bracing intelligence, honesty and self-scrutiny. This is a gorgeous, urgent and heartbreaking memoir."—Darcy Frey, author of The Last Shot

“Riveting . .  an essential addition to our national conversation about institutional racism. It is also an empathic story of connection: between a dedicated teacher and her student, between history and our current times, and between literature and life. It is hard to imagine a more inspiring testament to the transformative power of reading.”—Elliot Holt, author of Pushcart Prize-winning You Are One of Them

“This memoir of teaching literature in one of the poorest counties in America is a reminder of how literacy changes lives. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal (starred review)

"The invitation and reminder of Reading With Patrick could not be more timely. Michelle Kuo invites us all to exquisite mutuality with each other and underscores the power of tender attention. She compellingly shows us that we don't go to the margins to rescue anyone. But if we go there, go figure ... we all find rescue."—Greg Boyle, author of Tattoos on the Heart and founder of Homeboy Industries, a renowned gang-intervention program

"Honest, thoughtful, and humane, Kuo’s book is not only a testament to a remarkable friendship, but a must-read for anyone interested in social justice and race in America."—Kirkus Reviews

“I delighted in this book and read it in a single weekend. Reading with Patrick is a significant work that could swell the ranks of highly motivated and qualified teachers—people who understand they are not just transferring information but transforming lives.”—Bill Moyers