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Friday, June 01, 2007

Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult

This book was hard for me to read as a teacher because it was about a school shooting, but it was very compelling and I was reminded of some things that teachers need to think about. Peter, the main character in this story, the school shooter, was a teenage boy who all his life was teased, humiliated, and bullied at school. This does not justify his going into his school and killing ten people and injuring many more, but it does help explain it. And the adults around him did not give him the help he needed. It was really sad - for Peter, for the families who lost children in the shooting spree, for the other students who were there, for the whole town that lost its feeling of safety. There were very few good outcomes, although there were some.

Picoult is a fabulous writer - her novel My Sister's Keeper was a senior division young Reader's Choice nominee - and like this one, both had shocking endings. I would not recommend this book to middle schoolers because it is too raw and too real. I would recommend it to other educators and adults. Available at Multnomah County Libraries.

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