Other books by Melissa Fay Greene available at GWM:

$17.99   Praying for Sheetrock

$22.99  The Temple Bombing


Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love

There are children so isolated—as a result of illness, disability, or calamity—as to seem unreachable.

But a profoundly solitary child may give friendship a try if the playmate and helper who shows up is a service dog.

The dogs dispatched to families around the globe by the non-profit Ohio-based service dog academy, 4 Paws for Ability, perform miracles of love and empathy.

And yet current scientific research into the emotional and cognitive abilities of dogs suggests these are not “miracles” at all, because intelligence, devotion, and sensitivity are woven into the very nature of dogs.


A Work of Nonfiction

Finalist for the 1991 National Book Award and a New York Times Notable book, Praying for Sheetrock is the story of McIntosh County, a small, isolated, and lovely place on the flowery coast of Georgia–and a county where, in the 1970s, the white sheriff still wielded all the power, controlling everything and everybody. Somehow the sweeping changes of the civil rights movement managed to bypass McIntosh entirely. It took one uneducated, unemployed black man, Thurnell Alston, to challenge the sheriff and his courthouse gang–and to change the way of life in this community forever. “An inspiring and absorbing account of the struggle for human dignity and racial equality” (Coretta Scott King)


Finalist for the National Book Award
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize
Winner of the The Salon Book Award For Non-Fiction
Winner of the QPB [Quality Paperback Books] New Voices Award
Winner of the Annisfield-Wolf Book Award
Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award
Winner of the Georgia Historical Society Bell Award
Winner of the Georgia Author Award


In 1958, anti-Semitic white supremacists dynamited Atlanta’s oldest Jewish synagogue, whose rabbi, Pittsburgh-born Jacob Rothschild, was an outspoken advocate of integration. A trial of the accused terrorists ended in a hung jury, and a second trial in acquittal. The Reform Jewish Temple became a rallying point uniting blacks and Jews in efforts for racial justice, and Rabbi Rothschild (who died in 1974 at the age of 62) befriended Martin Luther King Jr., who in 1960 moved home to Atlanta, the scene of many critical confrontations in the early civil rights movement. Greene recreates these events in a spellbinding narrative written with fierce moral passion and a great sense of historic drama. By delving into the exclusionary policies and attitudes of Atlanta’s white Protestant elite, tensions within the city’s Jewish community, related terrorist incidents and links among right-wing extremist, racist and anti-Semitic organizations, she has reclaimed a forgotten chapter of the civil rights era.


Finalist for the National Book Award
Winner of the Southern Book Circle Critics Award
Winner of the Georgia Historical Society Book Award
Winner of the Haddasah Myrtle Wreath Award
Winner of the Georgia Author Of The Year Award
Winner of the ACLU National Civil Liberties Award

Amanda Vining photo

Amanda holds a BS in Biology from Georgia College & State University. She began her career as an educator with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. After leaving the DNR, Amanda became a formal educator with Baldwin County School System and Jasper County School System. Amanda began her museum career at the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MAS) in Macon, Georgia, where she served as Curator of Environmental Science
(2011-2020). While at MAS, Amanda developed a love for sharing the world around us with the many students who visited on school field trips. During her time as Curator of Environmental Science, Amanda launched a storytime
program for preschool children.

Since 2020, Amanda has been serving Georgia Writers Museum as a volunteer on the Education Committee. Amanda has brought her love of sharing stories with students by launching Peaches’ Reading Pasture. As Museum Manager, Amanda looks forward to serving the community and helping to inspire those within our community to put words to paper and share their stories.

Amanda was born and raised in nearby Shady Dale, Georgia. Her husband, Rodney, is a native of Eatonton, and they currently reside in Putnam County. They have three children.