Tara Westover’s Educated is a must for your high school reading library. In this heart-wrenching introspective, Westover recounts her Mormon upbringing in the isolated mountains of Idaho. She is one of 7 siblings, many of whom have never stepped foot in a classroom or a doctor’s office. Westover is entrenched in a patriarchal world where women’s bodies are shamed for merely existing. As Tara ages, her interest in life beyond the mountain grows; she becomes interested in theatre, and ultimately discovers a thirst for knowledge. Her eventual enrollment in a college program catapults her on a journey of self-discovery from which there is no turning back.
Westover’s eyes are soon opened to a world beyond the fearful and paranoid one her father has constructed for her. She discovers feminism and experiences freedom through learning. Away from the mountain, Westover’s worldview is continually challenged and she soon finds that, despite the magnetic pull of the mountain calling her home, the ties that bind her to family are beginning to wane.
Educated enthralls readers, forcing them to the edge of their seat gasping in both shock and awe. Westover’s experiences are a testament to the power of learning, and will instantly allure any reader invested in education.
Let this be the next book you purchase for your classroom; be sure to put it in the hands of as many readers as you can.
Amy Bourgaize teaches at Fredericton High School. She read 51 books last year.