December 2016 NewGen Debut of the Month.
In a Nutshell: Shocking school shooting | Heartache behind headlines A thoroughly thought-provoking tale of a family’s struggle with grief and guilt in the aftermath of an atrocious act committed by a loved one.
It’s Britain, 1996, and sixteen-year-old Sam is plunged into unimaginable turmoil the day his brother Charlie walks into their school and shoots his peers before turning the gun on himself. From that fateful day, Sam’s mum lunges from denial to utter distress, while his dad shuts himself away in the garage (the moment readers discover what he was doing there will bring a lump to the throat, at the very least). In addition, the entire family is ostracised by their community. “Perhaps people thinks it’s a disease they might catch - a contagious need for death and disorder”, Sam wonders. Already eaten up by guilt - would this have happened if he’d been a better brother to Charlie? - Sam is asked not to return to school, which leaves him feeling like he’s being forced to do his brother’s life sentence. His therapist suggests that starting a new school might be his “turning point” and, as things turns out, he’s unexpectedly invited into a new social circle: “They were accepting...they offered you a place without condition or question”. But, while Sam finds strength in these new friendships, not least in his burgeoning romantic feelings for Izzy, his home life is deteriorating further, and the hate mail and abuse intensifies as a petition to ban hand-held guns gains ground nationally.
This big-hearted book doesn’t shirk from tackling big issues, emotions and questions - how do we survive and recover a sense of hope through the most destructive personal tragedies? What leads an individual to commit mass murder, and where does the blame lie? What role does the media play in inciting abuse and prolonging grief? It also gives voice to the oft-forgotten victims of such tragedies, and will make readers think, and see comparable real-life events through different lens.~ Joanne Owen
Death should never meet the young. But it did. Thanks to my brother, death made fourteen new friends that day. Maybe even fifteen, if you count Charlie. At sixteen, Sam Macmillan is supposed to be thinking about girls, homework and his upcoming application to music college, not picking up the pieces after the school shooting that his brother Charlie committed. Yet as Sam desperately tries to hang on to the memories he has of his brother, the media storm surrounding their family threatens to destroy everything. And Sam has to question all he thought he knew about life, death, right and wrong. Endorsed by Amnesty International UK for reminding us that human rights belong to all of us.
Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
Publication date: 20/10/2016
Publisher: HQ an imprint of Harlequin (UK)
|Publication date:||20th October 2016|
|Author:||N. D. Gomes|
|Publisher:||HQ an imprint of Harlequin (UK)|
|Genres:||NewGen - YA Fiction, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Relationship Stories, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||School stories (Children's / Teenage), General fiction (Children's / Teenage),|
N.D. Gomes graduated from the University of Stirling with a BA in Media & Journalism Studies, and went on to receive her Master's degree in Education in the U.S. She currently works in a public school system to increase educational opportunities for students with special needs. Prior, N.D. Gomes wrote for the London-based online student political magazine, deAlign and stage-managed student plays at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City where she attended for two years. She currently divides her time between the US and Scotland, but hopes to spend more time at her cottage ...More About N. D. Gomes