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An Invisible Thread

An Invisible Thread

The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny

Foreword by: Valerie Salembier
  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
  • common core
  • freshman reading
An Invisible Thread tells of the life-long friendship between a busy sales executive and a disadvantaged young boy, and how both of their lives were changed by what began as one small gesture of kindness.

When Laura Schroff brushed by a young panhandler on a New York City corner one rainy afternoon, something made her stop and turn back. She took the boy to lunch at the McDonald’s across the street that day. And she continued to go back, again and again for the next four years until both their lives had changed dramatically. Nearly thirty years later, that young boy, Maurice, is married and has his own family. Now he works to change the lives of disadvantaged kids, just like the boy he used to be.
An Invisible Thread is the true story of the bond between a harried sales executive and an eleven-year-old boy who seemed destined for a life of poverty. It is the heartwarming story of a friendship that has spanned three decades and brought meaning to an over-scheduled professional and hope to a hungry and desperate boy living on the streets.
Choose a format:
  • Howard Books | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451642926 | 
  • November 2011
List Price $2.99

Video

A Lunch Date with Destiny

The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny

Read an Excerpt

The boy stands alone on a sidewalk in Brooklyn and this is what he sees: a woman running for her life, and another woman chasing her with a hammer. He recognizes one woman as his father’s girlfriend. The other, the one with the hammer, he doesn’t know.

The boy is stuck in something like hell. He is six years old and covered in small red bites from chinches—bedbugs—and he is woefully skinny due to an unchecked case of ringworm. He is so hungry his stomach hurts, but then being hungry is nothing new to him. When he was two years old the pangs got so bad he rooted through the trash and ate rat droppings and had to... see more
An Invisible Thread
“Excuse me, lady, do you have any spare change?”

This was the first thing he said to me, on 56th Street in New York City, right around the corner from Broadway, on a sunny September day.

And when I heard him, I didn’t really hear him. His words were part of the clatter, like a car horn or someone yelling... see more
An Invisible Thread
We walked across the avenue to the McDonald’s, and for the first few moments neither of us spoke. This thing we were doing—going to lunch, a couple of strangers, an adult and a child—it was weird, and we both felt it.

Finally, I said, “Hi, I’m Laura.”

“I’m Maurice,” he... see more

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for An Invisible Thread includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Laura Schroff. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


INTRODUCTION


It could have ended with a passing glance. He could have been just another panhandler, and she could have been one of many New Yorkers who simply walks on by. Instead, Laura Schroff stopped and bought lunch for eleven-year-old Maurice. From that day, their unique bond evolved into a profound friendship that changed the course of their lives in ways neither could have imagined.

TOPICS & QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. An Invisible Thread introduces readers to some of the realities of poor families living in large metropolitan cities. How would you characterize Maurice’s family life? What kind of differences do you think exist between urban and rural poverty?

2. Why do you think Maurice throws Laura’s business card away? How does trust influence the early stages of their friendship? What about later in their relationship

3. Laura’s grandfather would say “Il solo tempo lei dovrebbe baciare i sue bambini in quango dormono,” or “The only ti see more

About the Authors

Laura Schroff
Photograph by Joseph Moran
Alex Tresniowski
Photograph by Lorraine Stundis

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