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Check It Out: Dear Jacob: A Mother's Journey of Hope by Patty Wetterling with Joy Bake

This is Michael Maxwell with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.

Today, I'm recommending Dear Jacob: A Mother's Journey of Hope by Patty Wetterling with Joy Baker. I was living in the Twin Cities when authorities found Jacob Wetterling’s remains and caught his killer, and I remember my coworkers reacting as if the boogeyman himself had just been arrested. Having not grown up in Minnesota, it struck me how affected my Minnesotan coworkers were by the entire Jacob Wetterling saga. After reading Dear Jacob, written by his mother Patty, I fully understand why this kidnapping was, as Patty says in this book, the crime of the century in Minnesota.

I read a lot of true crime, but it’s rare that I would describe a book in this genre as “beautiful”. That’s the word that first came to mind after finishing Dear Jacob, though. A memoir of a grief-stricken mother could risk feeling maudlin and voyeuristic to read, but Patty has devoted so much of her life to the issue of kidnapped children that she functions both as victim and expert. I was stunned by how much of the legal infrastructure in place today to protect children has been developed since, and often because of, Jacob Wetterling’s case and his mother’s persistent advocacy.

Patty Wetterling is unlike any memoirist I’ve read, and her voice is strong in a distinctly Midwestern way that many Siouxland readers will relate to. Dear Jacob is a testament to the adage “crime doesn’t pay”. When that horrible man took Jacob Wetterling that night, he should have known that Jacob was loved and there would be people who would stop at nothing to get justice.

Check out Dear Jacob: A Mother's Journey of Hope by Patty Wetterling with Joy Baker and other stories about fighting for justice at the Sioux City Public Library today!

 Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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