"I am satisfied, though, that I have ‘thrown my pebble into the pond’...a meaningful expression, one that stands for involvement in the world."

The author recounts his troubled childhood growing up in NYC. His German father was stern while young Brooker was a stutterer in need of affection. Childhood suffering abated with acceptance from teachers. Their encouragement would influence his life’s work helping children. When fourteen, a Monsignor paid for his tuition at Rice High School. When seventeen, he joined the Christian Brothers of Ireland mission to become a monk and served seven years as a teacher.

After leaving the order, a dichotomy developed in his life. Helped by secular teachers to join their ranks, he challenged students with the most creative parts of himself. He met and married his first wife; they had three children. Family life became a rewind of his stern father. He began to drink. The 1980s brought healing—Alcoholics Anonymous and a new wife, Sheila, who taught him a love for all life, including animals. He started Youth Ending Hunger at his school. Sheila encouraged his projects, trips, and the organizing of conferences for poor children around the world. Brooker flew over 900,000 miles, visiting over 100 countries on all seven continents.

In the second half of this book, the author becomes the activist. Readers get a taste of that passion from his poetry read at conferences. As a rational man wanting rational answers, his conclusions may help anyone stymied by German prison camps and the Holocaust. Trips to Japan offer future hope to all directly impacted by the atomic bomb, especially the children. The 385-page memoir, sprinkled with photographs and nuggets from this Mensa member, could easily become a study guide. A reader can’t help but ponder Brooker’s advice on using an inborn template to find love or his confession as a fallen-away Catholic who fearlessly questions God’s existence based on evil seen but yet argues back due to blessings received.

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