In this “beautiful, heartfelt, and ultimately important story about love, kinship, gratitude, and miracles” (Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author), a beloved high school English teacher with terminal brain cancer undertakes a cross-country journey to reunite with his former students in order to find out if he made a difference and discovers what is truly important in life along the way.
David Menasche lived for his work as a high school English teacher. His passion inspired his students, and between lessons on Shakespeare and sentence structure, he forged a unique bond with his kids, buoying them through personal struggles while sharing valuable life lessons.
When brain cancer ultimately stole David’s vision, memory, mobility, and—most tragically of all—his ability to continue teaching, he was devastated by the thought that he would no longer have the chance to impact his students’ lives each day.
But teaching was something Menasche just couldn’t give up. Undaunted by the difficult road ahead of him, he decided to end his treatments and make life his classroom. He turned to Facebook with an audacious plan: a journey across America—by bus, by train, by red-tipped cane—in hopes of seeing firsthand how his kids were faring in life. Had he made a difference? Within forty-eight hours of posting, former students in more than fifty cities replied with offers of support and shelter.
Traveling more than eight thousand miles from Miami to New York, and visiting hundreds of his students, David’s fearless journey explores the things we all want and need out of life—family, security, independence, love, adventure—and forces us to stop to consider what truly matters in life. Evocative, moving, and inspirational, Priority List “is a rousing testimony to the ways in which, in the face of death, living fully in the present moment becomes possible” (Publishers Weekly).