The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
The auditorium doors won't open.
Someone starts shooting.
This explosive, emotional, page-turning debut about a high school held hostage is told from the perspective of four teens—each with their own reason to fear the boy with the gun.
This is the type of books we need to see more of. Real life being played out and the ripple affect that is carried out in the process. There are so many young people that are struggling to make each day one they can be apart of. We live in a society were bullying runs rampant and little is being done about it. Sadly, it is not just at schools, but at home as well. When you have children that lives 24 hours a day their own personal hell and no one to whom they can really connect with and reach out to, you have a receipe for disaster. This book portays the heartbraks that occurs when someone reaches the depths of despair and gives up on themselves and others.
In the course of 54 minutes, a community is forever changed. The story is told from the alternating view points of 4 very differnt students at Opporunity High school: Claire, Tomás, Sylv, and Autumn. It is also the story of the Tyler Browne, a soul full of despair and grief. He and his siter, Sylv not only lost their mother the year before, but have to endure the daily torture of living with an abusive alcoholic father. Ty feels alone in the world, unawnted, unloved, misunderstood and full of hurt and anger from his life's circumstances. Sadly, these feelings evolve into his taking drastic measures and holding a entire school hostage during the principals yearly assembly.As the story moves you learn the hisotry of Claire, Tomás, Sylv, and Autumn.
My heart broke as I read this book. Even though this particualr stroy is fiction, for so many in the world this is their current reality. Yes, this book is controversial, but all the great ones really are. They tell the stories that need to be told. They make us think, put us outside our comfort zone, but they hopefully spark someting deep inside us that make us want to change the way the world is. I cannot wait for more stories like this one.
About the Author:
Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and is an executive member of We Need Diverse Books, the founder of DiversifYA, and a founding contributor to YA Misfits. She lives in the Netherlands. Visit her at mariekenijkamp.com.