Books and Documentaries

Current Book, Cleft Heart.

Schonborn’s latest, Cleft Heart, follows a kid with birth defects who realizes his wildest dreams as a young man…only to be confronted by his scariest nightmares as a young adult.

Bullied for his unintelligible speech—though not by his father like Prince Albert in “The King’s Speech“—Schonborn becomes a star debater in school and college but soon has to race half way around the world to fight for his girl. He has put himself on the line before–in New York City and other places–to follow his dreams. And these tests prepare him for the greatest challenge of his life –cracking the mystery of the tragic violence that befalls his family. He unravels the mystery, in part, to give himself the normal life he’s wanted ever since he was a kid.

A true, yet inspirational, coming-of-age story.

Not a medical misery memoir by any stretch, Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal is also a love story. A story about the love of a mother for her son, the love of that son for one of the few girls who’s ever truly accepted him, and the love of life that propels the young man through searing challenges .

Order via Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

A Note To Parents

Finally, there’s a  book that’s that shines the light on bullying in a serious way. After reading Cleft Heart, you and your kids won’t dismiss bullying as nothing to worry about.

Bullying kills kids and ruins lives. It’s not just about “kids being kids.”

Help the anti-bullying movement, energized by  the movie “Bully,”  and give a copy of Cleft Heart to your kids.

Also, if your child suffers from birth defects or a serious childhood disease,  share Cleft Heart with him or her. The book will inspire them to swing for the fences and not settle for a life with limits and frustrated aspirations.

Testimonials for Cleft Heart

“A poignant, heartfelt tale of endurance and hope. Schonborn’s story is an inspiration to all who endure physical or mental health challenges and those who care about them.”                                                                    John Kerry (Former United States Secretary of State)

Schonborn’s courage and candor are impressive as he tells of trying to become ‘normal’ despite endless visits to the doctors and speech therapists who give him a fighting chance at proving naysayers wrong.”  

                                              Rhoda Agin, PhD   (Internationally known Speech Therapist & Author)

“Gives hope to all who contend with deformities, disabilities or depression.   Additionally,  Cleft Heart reads like a mystery book and has a love story to boot.”                                           

             Ronald Iverson, MD (Adjunct Prof Plastic Surgery, Stanford U., Former President ASPS)

 “Courage, humor, and a silver tongue help Karl Schonborn overcome a series of daunting birth defects and a tragic personal loss that might have defeated many others . He shows us how in his inspiring memoir. His story left this reader cheering.”                                                                                                                                                Chris Bernard   (author,  A Spy in the Ruins)

 “Schonborn details how he has overcome the cards dealt him. His narrative is inspiring and most helpful, particularly as he describes his changes throughout the decades.”

                                       Luis Vasconez, MD (Chief of  Plastic Surgery, U.of Alabama Med School)

“I was really moved and excited to see the tale unfold. It’s a great story, an example to help others get through tragedies or misfortunes.”

                                      Steve Clark (World’s fastest swimmer early ‘60s, Olympic Gold Medalist)

Related Screenplay, Stop, Look, and Listen.

This work is about a young man with a disfigured face and an intermittent speech handicap who dreams of being a TV reporter and anchor. He battles incredible odds and finally gets what he wants by means of hard work, charm, and guts.

New York City agent Bertha Klausner represented the screenplay before she died. Afterwards,  scriptbroker Bob Breitel and consultant Henry Ehrlich came within a hair of having Sherry Lansing, president of Paramount Pictures, accept it for production.


Other Books.  

Violence and Conflict

Yellow-orange book cover for 2nd Edition of Schonborn's Violence & Conflict.

2nd Edition

  • Policing Society

    Blue and white book cover of "Policing Society" wh deals with bullying .

    A comparative look at violence, the use of force, and other issues in the US and the UK. 

  • To Keep the Peace
  • Dealing  with Violence
    Blue book cover of Dealing with Violence: The challenged faced by police and other peacekeepers.
  • Responses to Social Conflict

Other Works  –  Documentaries/ Socumentaries.

Have written and directed the following films/videos/DVDs which have been cable cast, rented, and sold nationwide on a non-profit basis.

Alcohol, Disorder and the Police,”
        Dist’ Insight Media” (29min) 2007.

“Dealing with Sports Fans – the Drunks, the Disorderly, the Rioters.”
        Dist’d. by Insight Media (36 min) 2006

“Parenting with the Point System: a way to change kids’ problem behavior,”
        Dist’d. by Insight Media (22 min)   2000

“Gang Signs: How to Tell if Gangs are Influencing Your Kids or Community,”
       Dist’d. by Nimco & Blockbuster Video Stores (30 min)   1996  

“The Rich and the Servant Class,”
       Dist.’d by Indepth Video (28 min.) 1981 

“The Guardian Angels: Police or Vigilantes?” 
         Dist.’d by Indepth Video (28 min.) 1981

If you’re having trouble finding books or documentaries, email me via the Contacts page.


  1. Karl Schonborn says:

    An important character in CLEFT HEART, Ira Sandperl, died this week. He’s in the chapters dealing with folksinger Joan Baez. As a mentor to her and numerous others, Ira played a critical role in some of the key political events during the middle decades of the 20th century.
    Ira’s death is a great loss to those of us who knew him . . .and to those affected by those quiet ripples of nonviolence he generated which often turned into waves.
    Ira’s keen intelligence, playful wit and ability to articulate the lessons of history always charmed the pants off people. He will be sorely missed.

  2. Thanks for the update everyday on waiting for new articles from you cheers for the good work

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