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Violent Ends
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Violent Ends
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In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the...
In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the...
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  • In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the viewpoints of a group of students affected by a school shooting.
    It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto the school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

    But this isn't a story about the shooting itself. This isn't about recounting that one unforgettable day.

    This is about one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, playing saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing bullets at his classmates.

    Each chapter is told from a different victim's viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he'd become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties. This is a book told from multiple perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—by some of YA's most recognizable names.

About the Author-

  • Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of numerous books for young adults, including The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, At the Edge of the Universe, and We Are the Ants. He also edited the anthologies Violent Ends and Feral Youth and wrote the memoir Brave Face, which chronicles his struggles with depression and coming out during his teenage years. He lives in Seattle, where he enjoys drinking coffee, yelling at the TV, and eating cake. Visit him at ShaunDavidHutchinson.com or on Twitter @ShaunieDarko.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 17, 2015
    Seventeen young adult writers including Steve Brezenoff, Beth Revis, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Courtney Summers contribute to this powerful project—a single story told through multiple perspectives—to provide insight into what drove Kirby Matheson, an imagined school shooter, to kill five classmates, a teacher, and himself. The voices include those of Kirby's girlfriend, childhood neighbor, and even the gun he used, creating an external portrait of a complex character who "did some good things and some monstrous things in life." There are hints at Kirby's motivation—he saves a suicidal student, kills helpless bugs, gets bullied, is preyed on by a teacher—but, as is often the case in real life, the killer never explains himself. In the aftermath, Kirby's younger sister realizes that the shooting "doesn't define her" or even tell Kirby's whole story, while a school bully wonders why when Kirby "had a shot at me... he didn't take it." These stories humanize a troubled teenager, as well as the people who hurt him along the way, but the authors don't let anyone off the hook, Kirby least of all. Ages 14–up. Agent: Amy Boggs, Donald Maass Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2015
    A variety of characters affected by a school shooting offer their perspectives in this work of realistic fiction penned by 17 different authors and coordinated by Hutchinson. When Kirby Matheson, a high school student with a history both of being bullied and of coming to the aid of others being maltreated, kills six of his fellow students and then himself, everyone searches for answers. Each chapter offers a singular point of view from a person who knew him well, such as his sister, a close friend whom he tried to help escape horrific sexual abuse by her father, and a girl with whom he'd had a romance, as well as those who knew Kirby only in passing: a former neighbor, a cheerleader with an eating disorder who'd previously been in the school band with him, and a girl who turned down his invitation to a school formal. A vignette from the point of view of his childhood tormentor is deeply troubling. The most experimental section is narrated by the gun Kirby used to commit the murders. This collection of stories provocatively and effectively illustrates the multidimensionality of someone considered to be a monster, and readers will find much of it fascinating and moving. However, the sheer number of perspectives feels unwieldy at times. Engaging and heart-wrenching but spread a bit too thin. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2015

    Gr 9 Up-Seventeen chapters, each from a different point of view, tell the story of Kirby Matheson, a teenager who walks into school and opens fire on a pep rally before committing suicide. Narrators vary from those close to Kirby, like his sister, to more removed observers, such as his childhood next-door neighbor. While readers never enter Kirby's mind, his environment, upbringing, family, and social interactions breathe life into his character. He is dynamic, at times sympathetic and loyal, while also angry, lashing out or isolating himself. Kirby's various relationships emphasize his humanity and help to avoid stereotyping him as a pure villain. Each chapter becomes a window, slowly revealing what, perhaps, could have driven him to such a heinous act. Ultimately, no concrete reason is defined. Motive is left for teens to determine after exploring Kirby's experiences with bullying, family drama, and the suggestion of a predatory teacher. Although each chapter is written by a different already established YA author, the narrative is cohesive. Using different voices opens a dialogue on a topic that is too often prevalent in young people's lives. Kirby's story is one of how instead of why. VERDICT A fresh and thought-provoking take on a disturbing but relevant topic.-Carrie Fox, South Park High School, PA

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2015
    Grades 9-12 What must it be like to know, even tangentially, a shooter who kills 6 teens? This is the horrible realization of 16 young people (and a gun), all of whom have at least a vague memory of, if not a direct link to, high-school junior Kirby Matheson, the strange, quiet good kid who kills 6 and wounds 5 of his fellow students one morning at Middleborough High School. Some of the memories are sweet and poignant, others harsh. Many are guilt-ridden sins of commission or omission. Editor Hutchinson has gathered 16 of his fellow YA authors, from Neal Shusterman to Kendare Blake to Trish Doller, to collaborate on a set of perspectives, with each writer challenged to create a different picture of an average teen gone wrongand the young people who knew him. They have no answers, of course, only insights that may serve as a wake-up call to readers regarding the consequences of their actions or inactions, intended or unintended, on their fellow teens during that difficult time we call adolescence.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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