I grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a young girl and have always admired Fred Rogers’ quiet strength. But Rogers didn’t make his children’s television show alone. Other trusted companions, such as Officer Clemmons, helped make each episode special.
Dr. François Clemmons is an African-American man who began life in the south at a time when racism was fierce. He learned to cope with disappointment and fear by singing and had the voice of an angel. It would help mold him into the man who would later portray Officer Clemmons, a singing policeman in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. François Clemmons was quite religious/spiritual, and also gay. He went into how this affected his relationships with friends, family, and Fred Rogers.
Clemmons writes with depth, feeling, and honesty. If you are expecting this book to be about Mister Rogers, you may be disappointed. If you are looking for a memoir that you can learn from and at the same time, relate to, this may be the one for you. It is an intimate portrait of an amazing man. At times I was uncomfortable with what I read because it was such a different life from my own, but that is also one of the things I appreciated about the book. It wasn’t an easy read, but one that enlarged my world.
Singers will especially appreciate this book, as will people interested in LGBTQ issues. Officer Clemmons is available now.
I give “Officer Clemmons” 4 stars!
Thank you to NetGalley and Catapult for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan, with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, despite their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.