Back in October of 2020 I was asked if I'd like to narrate a new book. I usually get asked if I'm available and interested, and then they submit me as one of several voices for the publisher and author to choose. The title grabbed me right away, "Find the Helpers: What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose, and Hope by Fred Guttenberg.
I didn't recognize the name of the author, but the subject was one I am definitely interested in. See, I was in New York City on 9/11/2001 and I live in the town next to Sandy Hook (and have a friend who's daughter went to Sandy Hook Elementary, though she wasn't in the morning class that day). Fred lost his brother to cancer brought on because he was an EMT a the towers on 9/11, and his daughter at the Parkland school shooting in Florida.
I immediately wrote back and said "Definitely count me in."
In early November I got the news that I had been chosen. The end of the year was pretty busy for me, so I started recording the book in early January.
And today is the release day! I'm really pleased I was able to bring Fred's voice to life. I am fully behind his vision to bring down the NRA and bring sensible gun laws to the entire US.
But the book isn't just about doing that. The book is about seeing those around you who can and want to help you through a crisis.
Here's the book description:
Fred Guttenberg loved watching Mr. Rogers with his daughter and son when they were little. Their favorite wisdom was: In the midst of tragedy and catastrophe, find the helpers. "Always look for the helpers. There will always be helpers. Because if you look for the helpers, you'll know there's hope." (Fred Rogers, 1999)
Life changed forever on Valentine's Day 2018. Thirty-four people were shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Jaime Guttenberg, a 14-year-old with a huge heart, was the second to last victim. That she and so many of her fellow students were struck down in cold blood galvanized many to action, including Jaime's father, Fred, who has become an activist dedicated to passing common-sense gun-safety legislation.
This book is not about gun safety or Parkland. Instead, it tells the story of Fred Guttenberg's journey since Jaime's death and how he has been able to get through the worst of times thanks to the kindness and compassion of others. Good things happen to good people at the hands of other good people - and the world is filled with them. They include everyone from amazing gun-violence survivors Fred has met around the country to Pres. Joe Biden, who spent time talking to him about finding mission and purpose in learning to grieve.
So, pick up this book or audiobook wherever you normally shop. It's available on Audible and I'm sure wherever else you find your audiobooks. The book was produced by Tantor Media, a division of Recorded Books.
I've recorded a bunch of books in the past few months that I haven't had time to highlight here. But you can find all the books I've narrated in the Audiobooks section of my website.