Children's Literature - Jacob Kehl
Adam, a teenager, attends what he thinks is just going to be another day of school. Along with the other students and faculty, Adam soon realizes this is no normal day when the school is put on lockdown because of an armed intruder. Adam and three classmates find themselves in trouble when they cannot get into any classroom and must hide elsewhere. The terrified students soon discover that Josh, a ridiculed classmate, is the gunman. When Adam learns this, he begins to feel sorry for Josh and partly blames himself for not befriending him. Adam goes on a quest to stop Josh not only from hurting or killing other students but also from killing himself. This book describes an event that unfortunately has occurred in many schools recently. Because Adam narrates this story, readers can vicariously experience the fear and regret that Adam feels. The book describes a situation in which a student is bullied and humiliated to the point where he resorts to violent actions against his teachers and fellow students. Young students can learn a great deal about what their words and actions can do to sensitive fellow students. Reviewer: Jacob Kehl
As a former public school educator who has lived through bomb and shooting threats, I was not, at first excited about reading a book about an ostracized boy named Josh who, after experiencing yet another humiliating and defeating incident in a classroom, takes matters into his own hands. However, Tullson creates much depth and complexity in Josh's character, so, while readers will wince at his actions, they should also wince at how fellow students treat him. Readers are also introduced to Adam, a slacker with a heart; his romantic interest, Zoe; and the tennis-shoe wearing, young principal, Mr. Connor. They, along with other intriguing minor characters, find themselves in the middle of a lockdowntrapped in their own school without a clue as to who is shooting and why. Not only will the ending create much discussion, reluctant readers will also appreciate the book size, pacing, and colorful characters. Reviewer: Jacob Stratman
"Diane Tullson is a wonderful up and coming author."
"The language will suit less skillful readers, who will find this story of teen-related current issue quite accessible."
"The title and cover alone are sure to catch the eye of many teens looking for an accessible and interesting story. Recommended."
"A worthwhile read."
The Horn Book Guide
"This story of a school in crisis is an intense, suspenseful read."
CBC Radio One - All Points West
"High tension drama... grabs you by the throat at page one and it's an adrenaline rush all throughout the book...the type of book that could stimulate some really good discussions in a high school classroom or at home."
Read an Excerpt
It's like the entire school floods into the stairwell. People pound down the stairs toward us. Their voices clamor, frightened voices. They push and shove toward the blocked exit door, trying to escape the school.
Like fish in a bucket, that's what we are. My mouth goes dry. A locked stairwell seems like a good place to kill a lot of people at one time. I grab Zoe's hand.
"Come on. We have to go back up."