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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartbreaking and thought-provoking story
"Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son," by Leroy Aarons, tells a powerful true story. Mary Griffith was a woman who believed in a strict, oppressive version of Christianity and pressured her gay son to try to "change." But after his suicide she reexamined her theology and beliefs about homosexuality and was herself radically...
Published on April 7, 2003 by Michael J. Mazza

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Lets not whine here
The book was a tedious whine fest, got tired of hearing god will get you for half the book and the other hslf was mary breaking her arm patting herself on the back. read the book because I saw yje movie, the movie is much better
Published 5 months ago by Coming home after 25 years


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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartbreaking and thought-provoking story, April 7, 2003
This review is from: Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son (Paperback)
"Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son," by Leroy Aarons, tells a powerful true story. Mary Griffith was a woman who believed in a strict, oppressive version of Christianity and pressured her gay son to try to "change." But after his suicide she reexamined her theology and beliefs about homosexuality and was herself radically transformed.
The book begins with Bobby's suicide and then moves back and forth in time to tell 2 parallel stories: that of Bobby's life and that of Mary's life after his death. This is a profoundly moving story, skillfully told by Aarons. Despite the tragic subject matter, I found the book ultimately very hopeful and uplifting. It's a real story of spiritual liberation and rebirth.
This is also an important book in that it exposes the deadly danger of anti-gay prejudice. The book includes a useful appendix of organizations that deal with gay/lesbian youth and gay/lesbian issues more generally.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prayers For Bobby is one of the most inspirational books!, July 30, 2001
By 
Porfie "Porfie Jr. Medina" (Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son (Paperback)
This book PRAYERS FOR BOBBY is about a a young adult named Bobby Griffith who was an all american guy, but who also happened to be gay, and his mother who has to come to terms with the suicide of her gay son. In this book you see how Bobby faced with the pressure of his family and his religion telling him it is wrong to be gay. You will also read many bone chilling excerpts of Bobbys most personal thoughts straight out of his journal, which shows how much Bobby had been going through from the fight with his religious beliefs to selling himself on the streets as a SUBSTITUTE FOR LOVE. There seems like no other answer and soon the pressure is to much to take and Bobby decides to take his own life. Bobbys mom Mary Griffith who was fearful of her sons sexuality and who was a churchgoer used to pray her son would be healed from this sickness, but once her son dies she decided to transform her life by being a national crusador for gay and lesbian youth. This book realy touched my heart and soul because when I was 10 I lost my uncle who was 20 to suicide. We were very close my uncle was NOT gay, but suicide became something I had no choice but to learn at an early age. This book was a life changing book for me as it made me confront many of my own issues I had to face growing up as a teen and now in to my early twenties. PRAYERS FOR BOBBY is one of those books that inspire you to be better and to not judge others by there sexual preferences, as it is such a small part of ones self. I say if you have not read this book you really need to. This book is sad, but yet one of the most inspirational true stories I have ever read, but this is about real life and real life does not always have the storybook happy ending!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, heart-breaking slice of reality., January 7, 2000
This review is from: Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son (Paperback)
Simply put, this book changed my life. I only wish everyone could read it and understand what it is sometimes like to be a young gay man living (and sometimes dying) in America today. Heart-breaking, but amazingly empowering, this is a tale that needs to be told.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic and, paradoxically, somehow triumphant, March 31, 1998
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This review is from: Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son (Paperback)
The subject of teen suicide is a difficult one and one never easy to deal with. The suicide of a gay teen is even more of a problem because it is difficult to study without enough documented research. Inserting religious beliefs into the equation, along with family values, make for a very interesting story. The suicide of any teen or anyone is tragic. The initial teachings/actions of Mary Griffith make for difficult reading for a gay Christian; however, her ultimate acceptance of her son (and herself) in a way make this book somewhat validating. After the tradgedy, she does begin to review her thinking, but the point is, she is referencing it with the same scripture that she had been reading all along. After her son's death, there was a time where she seemed to act in a way that was against her families wishes and yet she was doing it just for that reason (part of her family.) "Prayers for Bobby" blends many common problems/themes together of being gay or having a gay son in a "straight" world, and yet, it is candidly honest and intelligent. My main praise for the book is this: It blends many difficult themes and reveals enough of each to educate the reader. It is important not to forget the difficulty of the subject matter when reading this book. It doesn't give answers or attempt to sway the reader into believing one thing or another, it only speaks.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why was Bobby not "Saved"?, August 30, 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son (Paperback)
Mary was absolutely certain that with enough prayers, counseling and love God would heal her gay son of his homosexuality. Mary was a kind and loving mother of four4 children.
Bobby was a loving son and a sensitive person. His highest values were to be accepted by God and by his family. After trying prayers and counseling for several years, realizing that his attraction to men had not diminished at all, he had tried to preserve his inner core by rebelling. However, the lack of acceptance by his beloved family was too painful to rebel against, and he committed suicide.
His suicide was a big shock, and a wake up call for his family. Mary, a deeply spiritual and loving person was unable to fathom why God had not cured Bobby and why did God allow him to die. After many months of inner searching, she also started listening to the gay perspective She read books, talked to a gay minister, and met other parents of lesbian and gay children.
A dream lead her to the answer for the first question: God had not cured Bobby because Bobby was beautiful and perfect to God. Being a caring person, Mary answered the second question by resolving the Bobby's death and her learning must save other lesbian and gay kids from depression and suicide.
The books is beautifully written, describing the evolution of Mary from an insecure person, trusting authority to guide her every motion, to a strong leader affecting the social change of attitudes towards lesbian and gay youth. Leroy Aarons' rich journalistic experience provides us with a narrative which maintains journalistic objectivity, while at the same time wrenches our hearts. We can be deeply affected by the tragedy and the following triumph of the human spirit, not because the author hummers it into us, but because he allows Mary and Bobby tell their own stories in this amazing book.
I am so grateful to Sigourney Weaver who accepted the role of Mary in an upcoming TV movie on Life Time channel. I hope that this movie will deliver Mary's message to many more parents who really need to hear this message, before it's too late.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inching forward, January 23, 2009
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son (Paperback)
In advance of a television movie of the same name, I decided to read "Prayers for Bobby", written in 1996. It's a tragic and wonderful story at the same time...tragic for Bobby's suicide but wonderful at his mother's complete turnaround regarding her views on homosexuality. It also begs the question of just how far we've come in the twelve years since the book was published and the quarter century since Bobby's death.

Bobby Griffith led a tortured life... a closeted teen who was coming to grips with his sexuality and pummeled by a religious mother who wanted him "cured". His diary was often his only companion and through it we are able to see Bobby from the inside out....the loneliness, the depression and the hopelessness. He predicted he wouldn't live a long life, and sadly, that came to pass.

Yet his mother was able to realize, through her own grief, how much she had contributed to her own son's lack of self-worth. After his death she got involved in a public way, taking small steps at first as her new identity was being formed. She realized education was the key in helping people overcome homophobia, and to that end she has succeeded. But the book also serves as a reminder that even though things are better in many ways for gays since Bobby's suicide, we really only inch forward as a society. Since the book's publication, Matthew Shepard was murdered and his killing increased awareness of the dangers that still are felt by many gays.

"Prayers for Bobby" needs to be viewed on both a personal and a public level. It shows the triumph of a woman who so completely changed her life that she and others like her offer hope to those thousands who are still closeted and a yearning for better things to come. I highly recommend it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Prayers for Bobby" is a Blessing!, November 14, 2002
This review is from: Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son (Paperback)
Author Leroy Aarons chroniles Betty Griffith's journey after the suicide death of her gay son, Bobby. While some readers may claim that this book is "too sad and depressing" I actually found it filled with hope, as I saw Mary's 180 degree turn and transformation from Prebysterian religious fundalmentalist to a woman who questions the church's position on homosexuality. Simply put it is not God who finds fault with homosexuality. It is more those that interpret the Bible and their interpretations on it. This is one book that I wish more people would read, because I think their is something here for everyone, given the current political nature of this country. Readers of this book may never know all the reason why Bobby Griffith took his life, but we can hope that out of his death many lives can be saved.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As relevant today as when it was written, January 17, 2009
This review is from: Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son (Paperback)
I read this book when it first came out in 1996, then I re-read it a few months ago. It's just as powerful and relevant now as when it was first published. I'm so happy that Lifetime has made it into a movie (premiering 1/24/09) that will introduce a new generation of teens and parents to this moving story. To really understand the power of the story, though, read the book before or after seeing the movie. Leroy Aarons captured the voices and stories of both Bobby and his mother Mary in ways that speak to us today.

I knew the author, Leroy (Roy) Aarons personally, and he told me about getting many letters from gay youth who had contemplated suicide before reading this book -- it literally saved their lives. Many gave it to their mothers, hoping that they would reach the conclusion that Mary finally did without having to deal with the death of a child first.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gut Wrenching, Could not put it down, December 5, 2003
This review is from: Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son (Paperback)
As soon as a child comes out to their parents this book should become required reading for the parents. It shows the struggles of a boy between his religion, family and his own sexuality. Somehow the family considered themselves the same as their religion and forgot their role as parent and unconditional love. The son paid for it from his agony and eventual suicide. This book will rip at you, it is an emotional read. It is a necessary read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone who knows a person who is gay MUST read this book., October 5, 1997
By A Customer
My best friend is male, 17, and he is gay. Currently he is struggling with the issues of whether or not he is going to "go to heaven" because of it. His parents have not accepted it. I am going to buy him this book for Christmas and show him that God does not care who you love, He cares about what kind of heart you have. Matt has the greatest heart in the world. This book can teach everyone who ever had to deal with Religon/gayness, not to judge because you don't know what you may be doing to someone you love. No matter what religion, race, or sexuality you are, God gave you a gift, and He would not have given it too you if He did not think you could handle it.
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Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son
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