Kent State by Debra Wiles is an audiobook I picked up without any clue what I was getting into. I expected a more detailed explanation of the events that made Kent State University synonymous with the shootings of May 4, 1970. I did get some of that, but also got much more.

I am still unsure how good or bad this book (performance) is. Rather than someone reading the facts (slanted or not) in chronological order in an attempt to make a point, this was a free verse performance that featured the voices of protesters, townies, national guardsmen and more. The voices spoke passionately and often, over each other. What you are left with in this VERY short book is a real understanding of the frustrations felt by those on all sides of the incident.

I did find it completely interesting and it was over shortly after it began. Part of that is because it is so short, but part is because it was captivating. While I did not learn much new about the Kent State shootings, I did come away wanting to find more free verse audiobooks.

by Chris Doelle