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Booktalking "Shooter" by Walter Dean Myers


cover of Shooter

Why school shootings? Look through the eyes of Leonard Gray, Cameron Porter and Carla Evan, three teens who were at one, two of whom had weapons, one of whom died.

Another teen lays dead, too: 17-year-old Brad Williams, an exemplary student who received scholarship offers from four colleges. Why?

Feelings of belonging, rage at domestic violence, jealousy metamorphosed into an inferno, access to guns, a jock culture at school? Some, all or none of these reasons.

Threat analysis reports of Cameron and Carla by psychologists, and assessments of Cameron Porter by an FBI special agent and a sheriff. Incident analysis final report by a school superintendent and dissent by an FBI special agent.

Newspaper clippings of the “incident,” statements waiving Miranda rights, and a medical examiner’s report are all included.

Leonard’s use of language is fascinating. He uses rhyming, deliberate misspellings, and a lyrical style. He could have been a talented writer if he had used his energy for an alternate purpose.

Shooter by Walter Dean Myers, 2004

Walter Dean Myers is brilliant. I love the fact that the book comprises fictitious reports and diaries; it is an unusual, but very effective, format.

Walter Dean Myers grew up in Manhattan, where he frequently utilized the George Bruce Branch  of NYPL.


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