Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Endgame **** 1/2

Garden, Nancy. Endgame. 2006.

This book received a starred review in School Library Journal, so I had to read it, of course! When I realized it was a school shooting novel, I sort of sighed, because that is the trend now, to do novels about a school shooting. Something can be learned from reading these books, though.

Gray and his family have just moved to a new town. The reason was pretty much because of Gray. He had been getting into trouble at his previous school and was suspended twice for bringing weapons in to school. He was bullied mercilessly, and he didn't know what else to do. He wants things to be new at this new school, but things go downhill quickly.

Peter, Gray's older brother is the super kid, and his parents seem to favor him, particularly his father. The father doesn't even like Gray and doesn't take an interest in him and his activities at all. He does make a friend at school, Ross. Immediately, a popular jock Zorro decides to torture Gray and Ross. They can't get through a day without being harassed, beaten up, and worse. Teachers turn a blind eye and other students do nothing to help. Finally, Gray takes him father's gun in to school to get revenge against Zorro, but others get in the way of the crossfire. Now he is in the juvenile detention center on trial for murder and attempted murder.

This was a great novel. If only a few kids in each school would read this, it could make life better for even just one kid. It will hopefully encourage kids to come forward and defend those that are being teased, or to go to authorities for help before things get to this point. If the reader is like Gray, it will convince them that revenge like this isn't the way to go about things, and that getting help is important. This is a great choice for any reader.

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