TITLE OF THE PUBLICATION
SURNAME AND NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
Myers Walter Dean
Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins
PLACE AND DATE OF PUBLICATION
LANGUAGE OF THE DOCUMENT
LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW
Identification of students’ at risk, School bullying
DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
Shooter is not a simple story, but a complicated and disturbing look at the tragedy that can result from bullying. This is a compelling and an insightful book suitable for teens.
On the morning of April 22, 17 year old Leonard Gray began shooting at students at Madison High School. One student was killed. Nine injured. The gunman wrote “Stop the Violence” in blood on the wall and then proceeded to take his own life. The shooting incident led to a full scale analysis on the potential threats of school violence. Two psychologists, the school superintendent, police officers, an FBI agent, and a medical examiner interviewed and gave reports to help determine what caused Leonard Gray to shoot down his peers. High school students Cameron Porter and Carla Evans knew Leonard Gray and through their interviews reveal details of Leonard’s personal and school life. Leonard had a fascination with guns, was overdosing on prescription drugs, and spoke frequently of an enemies list. The analysis team uncovers that all three students endured constant bullying and came from dysfunctional homes. All three students kept silent about their own abuse. In the end, Leonard Gray wanted to reveal his sufferance and decided to do it in the most violent way he knew how.
COMMENTS ON THIS PUBLICATION
Shooter is a genuine analysis of a shooting incident. The theme of bullying is central to this story. The layout of the novel reads as a collection of various reports from a team of professionals who are trying to determine the causes leading to school violence. Myers doesn’t offer solutions to bullying in this book, but he does put forth reasons for why shooting incidents are occurring. When a psychologist asks Cameron if he admired Leonard for what he’d done. Cameron hesitates and then says, “At first, right after the incident, I didn’t. And I don’t think I admire him now. But the more I think about him, the more I talk about him, the more I understand him. And when you understand somebody that changes your relationship with them.” Cameron understood Leonard’s actions. He didn’t agree with them, but because of his own experience with bullying Leonard’s actions made sense.
Shooter is a powerful message about bullying. Today, bullying goes beyond physical threats and includes harassment, teasing, and even cyberbullying. When asked about the message of Shooter Myers responded, “I want to send the message that the people who are being bullied are not unique. This is a very common problem that happens in every school. Kids need to recognize and understand that and look for help. I want to say that the people who are doing the shootings and committing the crimes are doing it as a reaction of things that are happening to them.”
Walter Dean Myers knows how to connect with teens, especially teens who are struggling mentally and emotionally. He remembers growing up in the inner city neighbourhood of Harlem and getting into trouble. He remembers being teased because of a severe speech impediment. Myers dropped out of school and joined the military at 17, but he knew he could do more with his life. He knew he had a gift for reading and writing and these talents helped him to resist going down a more dangerous and unfulfilling path. Myers stays current with teen struggles and he knows the language of the street because he continues to work in outreach programs with inner city kids from low socioeconomic communities and because he often hires teens to read his manuscripts and give him feedback.
Name of Compiler
Name of Institution
I.P.S.S.A.R. Matteotti - Pisa
Role in the institution