Becoming by Michelle ObamaBecoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming

byMichelle Obama

Hardcover | November 13, 2018

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An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
 
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
 
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the Univ...
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Title:BecomingFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:448 pages, 9.5 × 6.4 × 1.3 inShipping dimensions:9.5 × 6.4 × 1.3 inPublished:November 13, 2018Publisher:CrownLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1524763136

ISBN - 13:9781524763138

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!! I bought this book for a summer read and it seriously is a book I couldn’t put down. Definitely an interesting read for those who are curious about who Michelle Obama came to be the woman she is today
Date published: 2019-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read if interested in Obamas It was nicely written. It is a good read if you would like to learn about Michelle’s life. I actually learned a lot about her and her husband...some of it very surprising as sometimes you have preconceived notions of what would be like to live in the White House.
Date published: 2019-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Insightful I enjoyed reading this book and having an interesting insight into her life. This is a very honest and detailed read; if you like Michelle Obama, you will probably enjoy reading this.
Date published: 2019-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! I debated whether to read this book for a long time, so when a colleague offered to lend me her copy, I decided to take the plunge and I am really glad I did. The book was very well written and Michelle's story was interesting, inspiring and honest.If you want to learn more about Michelle, this is definitely a great read.
Date published: 2019-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simple Read, Better Understanding Simply written, clear and concise. This is no great work of literature, but it does give the reader an idea of who Michelle Obama really is, especially her rise from humble roots in Southside Chicago to being a hotshot corporate lawyer to working to make change in the world. Before reading this book I only knew her as the First Lady. Now I have a better understanding of her as a person.
Date published: 2019-06-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from inspiring! “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end. I became a mother, but I still have a lot to learn from and give to my children. I became a wife, but I continue to adapt to and be humbled by what it means to truly love and make a life with another person. I have become, by certain measures, a person of power, and yet there are moments still when I feel insecure or unheard.” Wow. Just wow. The memoir was moving and monumental. Michelle eloquently details the trials and triumphs that she faced in all walks of her life. What brought her from the South Side of Chicago, to Princeton, then to Harvard, and then many places along the way to wind up in the White House. Her motives and goals are so selfless, and empowering, and she passionately advocates to invest time in what you love, and work towards bettering the health and well-being, education, and access and tools for youth from all walks of life to excel. The memoir is divided into sections entitled `Becoming Me`, `Becoming Us`, and `Becoming More`, which neatly lies out how Michelle established herself and identity and successful career, how she established a family with Barack, and then how they became MORE than just the first black President of the United States and First Lady in American history, but became all the ideals and movements they fought for within their two terms. But presidency aside, it is a tale of how we are always growing, changing and becoming (we hope) better versions of ourselves. . . . “Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It is not about being perfect. It’s about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your own voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”
Date published: 2019-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from inspiring! “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end. I became a mother, but I still have a lot to learn from and give to my children. I became a wife, but I continue to adapt to and be humbled by what it means to truly love and make a life with another person. I have become, by certain measures, a person of power, and yet there are moments still when I feel insecure or unheard.” Wow. Just wow. The memoir was moving and monumental. Michelle eloquently details the trials and triumphs that she faced in all walks of her life. What brought her from the South Side of Chicago, to Princeton, then to Harvard, and then many places along the way to wind up in the White House. Her motives and goals are so selfless, and empowering, and she passionately advocates to invest time in what you love, and work towards bettering the health and well-being, education, and access and tools for youth from all walks of life to excel. The memoir is divided into sections entitled `Becoming Me`, `Becoming Us`, and `Becoming More`, which neatly lies out how Michelle established herself and identity and successful career, how she established a family with Barack, and then how they became MORE than just the first black POTUS and FLOTUS in American history, but became all the ideals and movements they fought for within their two terms. But presidency aside, it is a tale of how we are always growing, changing and becoming (we hope) better versions of ourselves. . . . “Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It is not about being perfect. It’s about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your own voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”
Date published: 2019-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very cool memoir, give it a chance Michelle is a special lady, super cool to learn more about her.
Date published: 2019-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable memoir & inspiring human This book was gifted to me. I would recommend this to any young person or adult. Michelle Obama is the kind of female woman young ladies can look up to and inspire to be. She is passionate about education, change, community, family and using her voice to bring awareness to important matters.Recommended read.
Date published: 2019-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Greatness in Humility Through Ms. Obama vivid portrait of her life, her parents legacy and her own . I am reminded of the ambiguity and fierceness I am able to accept my own personal life goal and experiences. And has it happens in a sequence I am able embrace her the Great woman she is and still has to be in the future of a political climate that may or not come in favour of major of minorities .
Date published: 2019-03-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good Start, Then Flat By the end of this memoir I was wondering if it is too soon for Michelle Obama to write an autobiography. She writes very candidly about her childhood and early career but once she meets Barrack, she begins to hold back. At the point in which Barrack is given the green light to run for president, the narrative becomes flat. There is half a book left to go at this point. She has good reason to protect her husband and children's privacy by withholding personal information, but that does not make for good reading. Most of what she covers in the book could be dug up by a good researcher. I could be wrong and Michelle Obama has written candidly. In that case, this memoir simply proves political life is truly boring.
Date published: 2019-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you like Michelle, read it. If you don't, don't. As someone who very much loves and respects Michelle Obama, and as a Canadian who didn’t know a lot about her life, this was a really interesting and eye-opening read. I appreciated how much she delved into some hard topics, like grief, infertility, marriage counselling, parenting etc. She really didn’t hold back anything. I also appreciated the way she talked about Barack because it felt real; yes of course she loves him, but she also showed that she didn’t love his political career and what it was to their marriage and family. The transparency in this book was wonderful. Also, the writing itself was beautiful and raw. I marked several pages and quotations to return to in the future. Specifically the way she wrote about the passing of her father when she was young (because #relatable). Overall, if you love Michelle Obama, you should read this book!
Date published: 2019-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Humble Beginnings I loved learning about Michelle’s childhood and the way she overcame so many obstacles. Her childhood was great preparation for living in the Whitehouse.
Date published: 2019-02-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love Michelle! How could you not adore her? Loved reading about her life and her journey. Highly recommend for anyone!
Date published: 2019-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I love Obama Books I loved this book. It was a little slow to start, but once it got into the presidency I LOVED it. I loved all the details that were behind the scenes that most people don't get to hear about. I really like listening to Michelle speak, and now reading her books.
Date published: 2019-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! Beautiful story of her life up until now, I found her childhood interesting!
Date published: 2019-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this good read Wonderful read, she came from humble beginnings and never forgot where she came from, great story of her life
Date published: 2019-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring and Insightful This is a wonderful moving memoir by the former first lady. Funny story about her first meeting with her future husband and stories about what it was like to live in the White House.
Date published: 2019-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An even bigger fan now!!! Great advice from a truly inspiring woman!!! Beautifully written and deeply perosnal. Wish she would run for President!
Date published: 2019-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good! I loved Michelle Obama as the First Lady and this book is a great read if you want to learn more about who this wonderful person is and just how she got to be where she is. It's superb! #plumreview
Date published: 2019-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Remarkable What is there to say about this book that hasn't been said? It is remarkable, in every way. It completely removed all the preconceived notions I had about the Obama's as a political family. It is written in a way that is filled with warmth, hope, understanding and passion. It shares intimate piece's of Michelle's life in a way that makes you feel like you are chatting with a dear old friend. It inspires even more respect for a woman who deserves our respect and grace in spades already. It's phenomenal, and well worth the read.
Date published: 2019-01-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent Michelle is a very powerful writer. Although this book was wrote very very well, and most of what she wrote was interesting, I found the chapters to be very dragged out. I didn't find myself as engaged in the book as I had hoped I would be. She is an amazing writer though and you can tell it comes from the heart,
Date published: 2019-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I just finished this book. A wonderful account of a great lady!!! Highly recommend
Date published: 2019-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This was such an amazing story to read. So inspiring and empowering, I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2019-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great political memoir I read this book and was amazed by how well written it is. I have read several political books over the years but this one was relatable and interesting.I recommend this book!
Date published: 2019-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I read it during the holidays and highly recommend it.
Date published: 2019-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing story and so well written I loved this book! It was honest and thoughtfully written, and I found myself nodding throughout at lessons she had learned/her take on her own life experiences. She writes in a way that makes you feel like you are talking to a close friend. I loved this honest and insightful read.
Date published: 2018-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Two days of reading - hooked! This book was beautifully written. A lovely read and very inspirational
Date published: 2018-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love! Doesn't get much better than Michelle! A powerful and inspirational woman.
Date published: 2018-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice Surprise I usually don't enjoy memoirs BUT, to give this book a shot, I tried it on audiobook and enjoyed it!! Definitely recommend!
Date published: 2018-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Grateful for this Book I just closed the cover on "Becoming" by former First Lady, Michelle Obama. This book kept me up late at night, and found me waking up in the early morning hours to read "just one more chapter." I devoured it. I have never really felt grateful about a book I have read, either for pleasure or academics...I do now.
Date published: 2018-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If this book doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will!! I LOVE THIS BOOK!! Listened to the audiobook, all 19+hours of it, narrated by the author and the time just flew by!! I feel privileged that she shared with us her struggles, her love, her triumphs, her loss and her disappointment with us. But she also shared her hope, lots of it, calling for all of us to make the world better AGAIN!!
Date published: 2018-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from powerful this book shows why she is one of the best first ladies
Date published: 2018-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly Incredible This book had me hooked from the preface. What a beautiful memoir about an amazingly inspirational woman. I'd highly recommend reading this, even if memoirs or non-fiction isn't your thing.
Date published: 2018-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not usually a non fiction reader but I love this book! I really enjoy this book and how relatable it was for me. I was hooked right from the start when she described a childhood of Barbie dolls and piano lessons.
Date published: 2018-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from She's Badass! She is the first female first lady that ive actually liked she has such a powerful inner voice!
Date published: 2018-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Refreshing and empowering This book is amazing! Michelle Obama even if she has reached certain heights in her career and been the First Lady of USA, she was quite relatable in a lot of aspects. Her openness, honesty and firmness is inspiring, refreshing and empowering—not to mention, she’s quite engaging too. She is a breath of fresh air.
Date published: 2018-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this ! This book pulls you in quickly ! A must read for all women and minorities.... very inspiring
Date published: 2018-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book... Extremely powerful and an inspiration...insights are amazing, love :)
Date published: 2018-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful Michelle Obama is an inspirational person for us all. Love reading through this book and learning so many great things about her and life around us.
Date published: 2018-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from inspiring I loved michelle obama's story and her motivational advice
Date published: 2018-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love! I loved this book so much! It was so fascinating, and a joy with each page. Totally recommend!
Date published: 2018-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing woman Looking forward to get my hands on this book, inspirational and promising.
Date published: 2018-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspired strong lady and inspired to hear her real life story
Date published: 2018-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from inspirational She is an inspiration and such a strong woman to look up to
Date published: 2018-06-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from inspiring to read A very inspiring book to read about the formal first lady Michelle Obama, a real life story
Date published: 2018-06-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Inspirational Read! A great book - I really enjoyed the insight into Michelle Obama's world!
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant An astounding book into the world of Michelle Obama, such a pleasurable read.
Date published: 2018-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I like to buy! I have not bought it yet. But as I found it is Very insightful! Iam going to buy one!
Date published: 2018-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Recommend An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
Date published: 2018-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I love it Michelle is just amazing loved her book #plumreview
Date published: 2018-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eye opening A wonderful memoir to read and learn and see life through her eyes
Date published: 2018-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I can only imagine! I can only imagine how amazing this book is going to be! Michelle Obama is truly amazing and such a role model. Everything she stands for, speaks for and promotes is remarkable. I cannot wait to read this book!
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! I reread this book and that's how amazing of person she is.
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So excited One of the most meaningful First Ladies ever, can't wait to read this.
Date published: 2018-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cant wait to read it I'm just waiting for this book to come out. I cant wait to read it and get my hands on it. I already pre ordered it. Just waiting
Date published: 2018-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful I actually read it. Very insightful. Whether you like her or not, there will always be nuggets of knowledge when reading any book. Very deep reflection. Life lessons included. She describes her triumphs and pitfalls.
Date published: 2018-04-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed Does not live up to the hype and anticipation, but not a bad book
Date published: 2018-03-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from nice timing This is easily going to be a best seller. The big question is: Will it be worth the hardcover price? I say go with the Kobo.
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Filled With Anticipation!!! She rarely disappoints!!! Really looking forward to her latest and what is sure to be her greatest!!
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from CANNOT WAIT! she is an exemplary woman and I cannot wait to read this!!
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from so excited love her so much, can't wait to read this and gain more insight on her and her life
Date published: 2018-02-27

Bookclub Guide

“I’m an ordinary person who found herself on an extraordinary journey. In sharing my story, I hope to help create space for other stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for who belongs and why.” —MICHELLE OBAMA1. Mrs. Obama begins her book with a story about making cheese toast on a quiet night at home, a few months after leaving the White House. Why do you think she chose this story to begin her memoir?  2. Mrs. Robinson is the opposite of a helicopter parent. She was tough and had very high expectations for her children, and she also expected them to figure some things out on their own and learn from their missteps and the process of making choices. She gave her children agency at a very young age. How did that shape Mrs. Obama? What is the balance between discipline and trust? 3. In Becoming, we get to know the constellation of Mrs. Obama’s extended family through her eyes. Her grandfather, Southside filled his house with music and makeshift speakers and merriment. Years later, Mrs. Obama would fill the White House with music and culture through live performances and several programs aimed at children. How do those kinds of early memories leave an imprint on us as we grow older? What were the sights and smells that you remember from visiting grandparents or other elders, and how have they left a mark on you?   4. In discussing her neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Mrs. Obama writes, “Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.” How did this insight shape Mrs. Obama’s work and mission as First Lady? What can we all do—as individuals, parents, and community members—to help break this cycle?” 5. Mrs. Obama writes about the early influences of her mother, Marion Robinson, and her TV role model Mary Tyler Moore. One was a single, professional living on her own in the big city. One was a wise and supportive stay-at-home mother, who later went to work to help pay for her children’s education. Where do you see the influences of both of these women in Mrs. Obama’s life? 6. Early in her senior year at Whitney Young High School, Mrs. Obama went for an obligatory first appointment with the school college counselor. Mrs. Obama was treasurer of the senior class. She had earned a spot in the National Honor Society. She was on track to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class and she was interested in joining her older brother, Craig, at Princeton University. The guidance counselor said to her, “I’m not sure that you’re Princeton material.” How did Mrs. Obama handle hearing that statement? How does one avoid having one’s dreams dislodged by someone else’s lower expectations? 7. In high school Mrs. Obama said she felt like she was representing her neighborhood. At Princeton, faced with questions of whether she was the product of Affirmative Action programs, she felt like she was representing her race. Was that more than a feeling? Was she actually representing her communities in those settings? Have you had moments in life where you feel as though you are representing one of your communities? 8. In her early life Mrs. Obama writes about being a “box checker,” but as she gets older she learns how to “swerve” to adjust to life’s circumstances. What does it mean to swerve and how do we develop that skill in life? 9. In Becoming, Mrs. Obama describes a number of women who have served as mentors for her at different times in her life, including Czerny Brasuell, Valerie Jarrett, and Susan Sher. What do these women have in common? What lessons did Mrs. Obama learn from them about finding a fulfilling career as a parent? Who are your mentors and how do you cultivate those relationships?  10. In Chapter 15, Mrs. Obama explains why she chose to support her husband’s run for the presidency despite her misgivings about politics. What made her change her mind? Would you have made the same choice? How do you balance the competing worlds of family life and work in your life? 11. As Mrs. Obama notes, First Lady is a role without a job description. How did Mrs. Obama choose to approach the role? If you were in charge of writing the job description for the First Lady, what would you include and exclude?  12. In Becoming, Mrs. Obama writes candidly about detractors who tried to invalidate her standing or her work. “I was female, black, and strong, which to certain people, maintaining a certain mind-set, translated only to ‘angry.’ It was another damaging cliché, one that’s been forever used to sweep minority women to the perimeter of every room, an unconscious signal not to listen to what we’ve got to say.” What is the root of that “angry black woman” cliché? How and why does it do damage?    13. Throughout her life, Michelle Obama has been a meticulous planner. It is evident in her approach to her studies in high school and at Princeton. It is evident in the way she transitioned through jobs as a professional. And it is evident in the way she approached her role as First Lady. Where did that come from? How did Fraser Robinson’s approach to life impact his daughter? Are you a planner or more spontaneous? How does it impact those around you and your life?  14. In the epilogue, Mrs. Obama writes, “I’ve never been a fan of politics, and my experience over the last ten years has done little to change that.” Did you find her statement surprising? Do you think politics is an effective way to make social change?    15. Why do you think Michelle Obama chose to name her memoir Becoming? What does the idea of “becoming” mean to you?    ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AND FURTHER CONVERSATION   1. Mrs. Obama writes that her parents talked to her and Craig like adults, “indulg[ing] every question we asked,” from juvenile complaints about breakfast to more serious topics like sex, drugs, and racism. How did Fraser and Marian Robinson’s parenting strategy influence Mrs. Obama later in life? Do you agree that parents should answer their children’s questions honestly, or do you think it’s better to shield them from the messiness of adult life?  2. Early in Mrs. Obama’s life, a young relative asks her, “How come you talk like a white girl?” Mrs. Obama came from a home where she was expected to be smart and to “own” her smartness and “inhabit it with pride” but lived in a neighborhood where “speaking a certain way—the ‘white’ way, as some would have it—was perceived as a betrayal . . . as somehow denying our culture.” What is it like to live straddled across different worlds? What is like to harbor ambitions that put you at odds with the community and the people you love and trust the most?  3. In thinking about the students who acted out in her second-grade classroom, Mrs. Obama writes, “Kids know at a very young age when they’re being devalued.” Is this a dynamic you’ve witnessed in your own community? How do you make the children in your life feel valued?  4. When Mrs. Obama’s friend Suzanne is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it destabilizes Mrs. Obama’s view of “the world as it should be.” How does Mrs. Obama cope with Suzanne’s death, and the death of her father the following year? How did these early experiences of loss shape her decision to step off the career path of a corporate lawyer?  5. As a young professional, Mrs. Obama seemingly had it all—a great job, a great wardrobe, and a clear path to great things in a top-notch Chicago law firm. But she writes, “In my blinding drive to excel, in my need to do things perfectly, I’d missed the signs and taken the wrong road.” She decides to change careers to focus on public service—a move that surprises some who were close to her. What is the value of listening to that little voice that suggests you might be on the wrong path even though the world thinks you are doing exactly the right thing? How do you support someone who decides to follow their own path or create a  new one? 6. In describing her relationship with her husband, Mrs. Obama writes, “Coexisting with Barack’s strong sense of purpose—sleeping in the same bed with it, sitting at the breakfast table with it—was something to which I had to adjust, not because he flaunted it, exactly, but because it was so alive.” How did this sense of purpose affect their life as a married couple? Do you have someone in your life who supports or shares your own sense of purpose? 7. Life on the campaign trail was a constant education for Mrs. Obama. Among the lessons was the power in people coming together to see her and to see each other eye to eye. “I’ve learned that it’s harder to hate up close.” How do we create spaces where people can come together to talk, listen, and share stories and ideals to build stronger communities, even when people might not agree or share the same history or perspective? How do we as a nation push back against cynicism and the “us vs. them” battles that so often divide us? 8. There is an oft-cited maxim in the black community: You’ve got to be twice as good to get half as far. Mrs. Obama said the First Family felt the weight of that statement when they moved into the White House. “Any error or lapse in judgment, we knew, would be magnified, read as something more than what it was.” What is the reality rooted in that twice as good/half as far maxim that so many parents pass on to their children? Why and how would that maxim feel familiar to some and surprising to others? 9. Mrs. Obama writes about the lives of people who influenced her world view as she entered her role as First Lady. How are we shaped by the role models in our histories? How do we bring our own histories, cultures and experiences into spaces where they have never existed? 10. When describing her visit to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in London, Mrs. Obama finds herself experiencing “a strange, quiet revelation: They were me, as I’d once been. And I was them, as they could be.” What did it mean for the girls to see themselves in Mrs. Obama? Why does she feel such a connection to these girls, and to girls’ education more generally? How did she use her visibility as First Lady to bring attention to these issues?   11. In Chapter 23, when describing her visit to Harper High School, Mrs. Obama writes, “America is not a simple place. Its contradictions set me spinning.” How did these contradictions play out in the lives of the students at Harper? What are the barriers to ending gun violence in their community and throughout the country? After reading this chapter are you optimistic that these barriers can be surmounted?  12. Malia and Sasha Obama were young children when their father was elected president. How did the Obamas balance the need to protect their daughters’ safety with the desire to allow them to grow and become independent? How do you handle the pressures of the outside world with the children in your life? 13. Mrs. Obama writes about being “flung out of my world.” It is something she experienced time and time again, transferring to Whitney Young, moving to Princeton as one of the few African American students on campus, joining the juggernaut of a presidential campaign, and moving into the White House. She writes: “You don’t really know how attached you are until you move away, until you’ve experienced what it means to be dislodged, a cork floating on the ocean of another place.” What is the value of being flung out of one’s world? What do we learn about how Mrs. Obama handled transitions as she got older, wiser, and more experienced? What is the best advice for young people who find themselves in new or uncomfortable terrain? 14. Mrs. Obama has surrounded herself with a strong and supportive circle of friends from an early age. In some cases the circle was  within reach; as she got older and busier, she had to work harder to create and maintain her circle of support. She writes “Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built of a thousand small kindnesses . . . swapped back and forth and over again.” How did she create the building blocks of strong friendships in her life? What is the value in creating and maintaining a circle of strength?  15. Mrs. Obama will always be remembered for her fabulous sense of style. Many of her fashion choices were strategic and she writes, “My clothes, I was learning, were an extension of my voice.” How did she speak to America and the world through what some call “fashion diplomacy”? How and when do you use clothing or accessories as an extension of your voice?