Regina Calcaterra’s Powerful Story Makes Waves at St. Petersburg College

Some stories are and their lessons so devastatingly human that they’re impossible to forget. As the St. Petersburg College community learned during its “One Book, One College” program this winter, Regina Calcaterra‘s 2013 memoir Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island is such a story.

Regina Calcaterra book signing at St. Petersburg College.

Regina Calcaterra book signing at St. Petersburg College.

Etched in Sand follows the five Calcaterra siblings as they struggle to overcome a childhood plagued by abuse, addiction, abandonment, and homelessness. Despite its dire details, the book is ultimately a lesson in human resilience. It bespeaks the power of unconditional love to uplift and education to transform at-risk youth.

This week, Ms. Calcaterra visited several campuses in the St. Petersburg College (SPC) system to discuss Etched in Sand, which was the title pick for SPC’s 2015 campus-wide reading program. According to media coverage of the events, Ms. Calcaterra was as powerful in person as she is on the page:

“[She] elicited gasps, tears and applause as she discussed how she and her siblings survived on the fringes of society and broke the cycle of abuse in one generation.”

Ms. Calcaterra is an attorney and activist in New York, but she presents at colleges, libraries, and in private functions across the country. To have her speak at your next event, contact Books in Common.

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