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Waidner-Spahr Library

Spring into the Semester Community Reading Program: 2019

The Spring 2019 Common Reading Selection: Educated: A Memoir

Educated: A Memoir

Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when Tara’s older brother became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Description from https://tarawestover.com/book/.

Borrow Educated From The Waidner-Spahr Library

Dealing with Trauma Triggers

In Educated, Tara Westover describes violent incidents that she experienced as a child. Some readers may feel triggered by this material.  

This self-care checklist for dealing with trauma triggers in the media may also be useful in a non-emergency situation. 

In the case of an urgent need, please refer to these Emergency Resources