Friday, July 20, 2012

The Tragedy of Mass Shootings

Welcome to That Reminds Me of a Book, a regular feature where we link current events and pop-culture happenings with YA books.

Hate Gets a Gun
As another story breaks about a mass shooting, this time in a Denver movie theater, it's so hard to grasp around why someone would shoot and kill random, innocent people. These latest shooting victims were just watching a Batman movie.

Thankfully, good fiction can offer insights into the real world. For instance, events like the movie theater shooting affect many, many people, even people like us who weren't involved. But imagine that you were. One teen book tells the story of a school shooting from a unique perspective: a girl who helped to make the list of victims. Check it out:

Hate List
By Jennifer Brown

At the end of their junior year, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend pulls a gun at school, leaving six students and a teacher dead and many others wounded. Valerie gets shot in the leg trying to stop him just before he ends his own life.

Until then, Valerie had no idea that the "hate list" she and Nick created would be used to target victims in a vengeful shooting spree. For her, the list of tormentors was a way to ease the pain of being bullied and an outlet against the constant fighting between her parents. Although the police investigation reveals that Valerie had nothing to do with the shootings, many people, including her parents, have a hard time believing that she is not at fault too.

After a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends, and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy--and her role in it.

(Click on the title to reserve a copy at your favorite CCPL branch.)

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