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Charlestown Branch Library

Author Talk and Book Signing


6:30 PM



About the Author

   ohn Francis Kelly III, better known as Jack, lives in Boston. He is a writer and has advised and served, on various boards for political figures, companies and non-profits regarding public health policy and substance use disorder. He was also a founder of a mobile app tech startup, connecting people in recovery to one another from their phones. Jack remains a vocal leader on issues surrounding addiction and recovery. Additionally, Jack holds a political science degree from the University of  Massachusetts at Boston. He is an avid runner and has completed the Boston Marathon and over 20 half marathons. Recently, Jack successfully trekked to Mount Everest base camp in Nepal.


Book Jack for a speaking event. High Schools, community organizations, or corporate events

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Get Your Copy of Sharp Needle


Sharp Needle is an autobiographical account of Jack Kelly's tragic spiral into heroin addiction, recovery and running for office, in the cut throat world of Boston Politics. In the late 1990's, Jack was a member of a premier high school hockey team in Massachusettes. But after sustaining a significant shoulder injury that required surgery, Jack was prescribed opiate pain meds and became addicted. At this exact time, the powerful and dectructive opiate Oxycontin, was introduced onto the market. Quickly, Jack descended into the sordid life of heroin that ultimately lead to homelessness and the loss of his family.

Sharp Needle offers a detailed and at times, uncomfortable front seat into the dark side of heroin addiction. It is a gripping, first-hand account of how the opiate epidemic began. More importantly, through the intimate eyes of Jack, we see his painful perseverance, transformation and hope.

But at the age of 22, Jack found recovery and battled his way back. Jack began a lengthy process of rebuilding his shattered life, and regaining trust of his loved one's. After establishing a solid foundation in recovery, Jack became a prominent voice in the recovery movement and has helped lead the fight against the opiate epidemic ravaging the American landscape. This activism propelled Jack to run for political office in 2013, where he was endorsed by the Boston Globe and garnered over 23 thousand votes.

Jack's story proves that not only can people recover from heroin addiction, but they can thrive. This book will help reduce stigma while offering answers of why. Sharp Needle is a must read for any parent, policy maker or person seeking recovery and maintaining it.