John Prendergast and Michael Mattocks relate their very different, but connected, experiences in this joint memoir.
Prendergast wrote a Huffington Post article to explain his hopes for the book, including increased awareness of the issues around which he co-founded the Enough Project, which works to “end genocide and crimes against humanity” in Sudan, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, Chad and Zimbabwe.
For a preview of the text itself, click over to Scribd.
Adult/High School–A memoir in duet, Unlikely Brothers chronicles both sides of a relationship that began in a homeless shelter in Washington D.C. where, in 1983, a 20-year-old college student showed up for his first visit to Michael and James Mattocks as part of the “Big Brother” program. Michael and James thrived under the kind of attention they had never before experienced. Prendergast would take the brothers fishing, to the library, and for visits with his own family in Philadelphia. As the boys became adolescents, they began to grow apart from Prendergast, whose attention was now more focused on their younger brother. Michael and James began to sell drugs and became kingpins of the streets of D.C., while John began travels to Africa and eventually became an expert in African affairs working in the Clinton White House. As tragedy and loss changed the course of their separate lives, Michael and Prendergast began to evaluate how they were each living and moved toward healing themselves and their relationship. In alternating contributions, they reflect on the forces in their own families that shaped their experiences and choices. Each young man is a survivor–of gun battles and street wars and family challenges. Each one has made a remarkable journey of transformation, one that Mattocks describes as a journey from rags to respect. Teens will find his voice true, his descriptions of survival on the streets riveting, and the impact of his brotherhood with Prendergast inspiring.–John Sexton, formerly at Westchester Library System, Tarrytown, NY