Relates how one boy--who had friends, enjoyed reading, playing saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before--became a monster capable of entering his high school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates, as told from the viewpoints of several victims. Each perspective is written by a different writer of young adult fiction.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Hutchinson, Shaun David|
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 182402
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 9 Up—Seventeen chapters, each from a different point of view, tell the story of Kirby Matheson, a teenager who walks into school and opens fire on a pep rally before committing suicide. Narrators vary from those close to Kirby, like his sister, to more removed observers, such as his childhood next-door neighbor. While readers never enter Kirby's mind, his environment, upbringing, family, and social interactions breathe life into his character. He is dynamic, at times sympathetic and loyal, while also angry, lashing out or isolating himself. Kirby's various relationships emphasize his humanity and help to avoid stereotyping him as a pure villain. Each chapter becomes a window, slowly revealing what, perhaps, could have driven him to such a heinous act. Ultimately, no concrete reason is defined. Motive is left for teens to determine after exploring Kirby's experiences with bullying, family drama, and the suggestion of a predatory teacher. Although each chapter is written by a different already established YA author, the narrative is cohesive. Using different voices opens a dialogue on a topic that is too often prevalent in young people's lives. Kirby's story is one of how instead of why. VERDICT A fresh and thought-provoking take on a disturbing but relevant topic.—Carrie Fox, South Park High School, PA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2015 What must it be like to know, even tangentially, a shooter who kills 6 teens? This is the horrible realization of 16 young people (and a gun), all of whom have at least a vague memory of, if not a direct link to, high-school junior Kirby Matheson, the strange, quiet “good” kid who kills 6 and wounds 5 of his fellow students one morning at Middleborough High School. Some of the memories are sweet and poignant, others harsh. Many are guilt-ridden sins of commission or omission. Editor Hutchinson has gathered 16 of his fellow YA authors, from Neal Shusterman to Kendare Blake to Trish Doller, to collaborate on a set of perspectives, with each writer challenged to create a different picture of an average teen gone wrong—and the young people who knew him. They have no answers, of course, only insights that may serve as a wake-up call to readers regarding the consequences of their actions or inactions, intended or unintended, on their fellow teens during that difficult time we call adolescence. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.