SUNBURY — Kim Piermattei’s life is full of so many stories it seems inevitable she’d someday write a book. She finally has, but it’s not about growing up in Sunbury or finding success after leaving the area.
Her book is about the Islamic faith and terrorism.
Piermattei and three older brothers grew up in Sunbury in the same house that, over the years, 174 foster children also called home.
The children “were great and miserable, like all siblings. The kids all came from troubled pasts. Most had been in prison for a host of crimes ... all just needed a stable home, rules and love. That’s what we tried to provide,” she said.
“It was never a ‘them versus us’ type of situation. We were all kids just having fun. We always had enough people for a baseball or football game on a moment’s notice. It was a great way to grow up.”
Not all the childhood memories are happy ones. “The worst of times involved the losses. We had a few who fell back into old habits after they left. One in particular went to New York and died of a drug overdose,” she said. “Those are the hard times.”
From that experience, Piermattei learned “not everyone is born with great parents or a great home life; sometimes you have to take that into account before you judge someone.”
Her mother, Jackie, actually did write a book about all this, but has yet to publish it.
The 1984 Shikellamy High School graduate went on to study sociology and psychology at Dickinson College then earned a law degree from Temple School of Law.
During those years, she spent time in England studying at the University of East Anglia and then interned in the British parliament in London. As a researcher in the House of Commons, Piermattei helped draft several legislative bills and learned her way around international politics.