Friday, December 30, 2016



YA fiction
"About the bullying. There are different parts to it. There's the
part where someone is pushing you around, or throwing your books on
the ground, that sort of thing. Another part is when you're not being
bullied and still not dealing with other kids. Mostly the whole thing
is how you feel about yourself. If you feel like you can be punked
out, then that's where it is. You're punked out even when nobody's
Walter Dean Myers is a masterful writer whose work can get
downright disquieting. Shooter, one of his vintage pieces, is
spinechilling because in quite a few places it comes very close to
something you'd read in the news. A novel format contributes to this
The book takes the form of a threat analysis report done by a
school safety committee. The mission of the group is to assess
threats and dangers to the school community. You learn that this is
more than a theoretical exercise in the line that all interviewees
must be read their Miranda rights.
Reading Shooter is like piecing together a darkly fascinating
jigsaw puzzle. Clues gleaned give a picture of a deeply disturbed
young man, the final act of desperation he committed, and the two
peers who were his friends. The unusual format proves more alarming
than a more traditional one could have.
Even though Shooter is twelve years old it is sadly worth
reading. In a world where too often school admin and boards put
lawsuit prevention over creating safe and welcoming environments for
all students, in a political time and place where scapegoating is on
the rise and are going to have more incidents.
On a personal note, we did have ourselves a lovely white Christmas
here in Maine. Now we've got rain and temps in the 40s.
A great big shout out goes out to the people who do weather
predictions, those on call to deal with precip that comes down in the
form of snow or sleet, and everyone who understands that said precip
does not negate the very real threat of global climate change.
jules hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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