Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Shooter by Caroline Pignat

This book came across my Twitter feed a while ago and I put it in my virtual cart at Chapters.  Last week when I went to order another book I saw it there.  I'm not sure why I waited so long to place my order (maybe waiting for free shipping?) because I am a huge fan of Caroline Pignat.  Many years ago I read and reviewed Egghead and I have since used it many times in my classroom as a read aloud.  I picked up Shooter yesterday and finished it in one sitting, it is as powerful as Egghead was, I've already texted a friend telling her she needs to read it to her grade 8 class this year.

Shooter deals with something many teachers and students experience often in our classrooms- the idea of lockdowns to practice just in case something happens.  In Shooter, the story opens with the beginning of a lockdown.  Four grade 12 students find themselves locked in the boys bathroom on the top floor.  The story is then told from each of their different perspectives.

  • Alice, who tries to stay hidden from sight and who is charged with looking after her autistic brother.  
  • Isabelle, the popular girl at school who lives a charmed and perfect life.  
  • Hogan, the ex-football player who walks around in a cloud of anger all the time after a family tragedy
  • Xander, the nerdy boy who takes brutally honest photographs as a way to explore what is happening around him. 
As the lockdown progresses, and as they learn more and more about the events that are happening in the hallways, the four locked in the bathroom realize that they have information that could change the outcome of the lockdown.  But they need to trust each other and in themselves.  

This story is incredible. As someone who has experienced both real and practice lockdowns, the characters that Pignat describes really hit home. The fear, the excitement, the boredom...all of those are emotions students (and teachers) go through during one of these events.  While I would be careful what age I read this book with, I think grade 7's and 8's could handle it.  Grade 8's for sure.  Pignat writes in such a careful way that even with such a serious topic, she handles it beautifully and allows the readers to see the pain that hides in everyone.  I love how she peels back the layers of each of her characters until you realize they are all hiding something. If you teach intermediate grades I would highly recommend picking this book up. 

No comments:

Post a Comment