3.8 51
by Walter Dean Myers

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Cameron: "Deep inside, you know that whoever gets up in your face gets there because he knows you're nothing, and he knows that you know it too."

Carla: "What I'm trying to do is to get by -- not even get over, just get by."

Leonard: "I have bought a gaw-juss weapon. It lies beneath my bed like a secret


Cameron: "Deep inside, you know that whoever gets up in your face gets there because he knows you're nothing, and he knows that you know it too."

Carla: "What I'm trying to do is to get by -- not even get over, just get by."

Leonard: "I have bought a gaw-juss weapon. It lies beneath my bed like a secret lover, quiet, powerful, waiting to work my magic."

Statement of Fact: 17-year-old white male found dead in the aftermath of a shooting incident at Madison High School in Harrison County.

Conclusion: Death by self-inflicted wound.

Ages 12+

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"In this chilling cautionary tale, Myers revisits the themes of his Monster and Scorpions in a slightly more detached structure, but the outcome is every bit as moving," wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, May 2004: The acclaimed author of Monster and many other books for YAs turns his attention to a school shooting in this disturbing look at how such a terrible event can come to pass. The novel, a collage of sorts, begins with an interview with Cameron, a 17-year-old African American student whose role in the shooting is not immediately clear. What does emerge is a portrait of an outsider, a bright but lonely boy who is befriended by Len, a white boy full of hate and anger. Len teaches Cameron to shoot and involves him in vandalizing a church. Both boys are bullied at school by jocks, but the authorities overlook it. Through more interviews, school, police, and newspaper reports, and finally Len's handwritten journal, we piece together the tragedy and the roles of each player, and understand how it came to pass. As in Todd Strasser's Give a Boy a Gun, Myers' use of multiple viewpoints to tell the story of a school shooting gives it an impact beyond that supplied by just one perspective. Issues of racism, bullying, family dynamics, and the nature of friendship all play a role as Cameron, an articulate teenager, struggles to make sense of his participation. A sobering look at how such tragedies develop, and the kind of personalities involved. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2004, HarperTempest, Amistad, 223p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
Psychologists, an FBI investigator, and a county sheriff interview seventeen-year-old seniors Cameron Porter and Carla Evans for a threat analysis report regarding the high school shooting that resulted in multiple injuries, murder, and the suicide of their friend, Leonardo Gray. Reports and newspaper clips add perspective—or demonstrate the lack of it. Piece by piece, a façade is torn away and the truth comes to life—a painful, horrifying, chilling truth. The events portrayed on that tragic April day are simply a culmination of the stark, gripping reality that was the life of the shooting catalyst, Leonardo Gray. Through journal entries that comprise the last half of the book (printed in a typeface to resemble Leonardo's "own" scrawled printing), Len discloses his brilliant, confused, sad, and disturbed self, drawn into the spell of guns via the influence of his father, who abuses his mother. He craves revenge against a hotshot jock who bullies him. He wants love and friendship but misses the mark in his relationships. He is drawn to literature, especially the Bible, but twists words and undermines teachings. He cries out in an exceptionally poetic and sensitive voice in contrast to the whisper of scurrying rats in his head that lead him to choose death in an attempt to "create the real me." This novel is a powerful, intriguing, and imaginative fictional exposé of a teen crying out for emotional and mental relief. It draws the reader in with its unique format, reminiscent of Myers's Monster (HarperCollins, 1999/VOYA August 1999), and its unfortunately recognizable setting of high school violence, leaving a wake of unsettling emotions. Fans of Todd Strasser's thought-provokingGive a Boy a Gun (Simon & Schuster, 2000/VOYA October 2000) will clamor for this book. VOYA Codes 5Q 4P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, HarperCollins, 240p., and PLB Ages 12 to 18.
—Diane Tuccillo
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Six months after a deadly shooting at a suburban high school, educators and psychological and criminal experts compile their interviews and analyses to assess any ongoing threat in the school environment. Through these documents, Myers skillfully tells the story of the shooting, its precipitating causes, and the aftermath for the shooter's closest friends. As in Robert Cormier's The Rag and Bone Shop (Delacorte, 2001), readers are made aware of the realistic and insidious biases different interrogators bring to their investigations. Seventeen-year-old Cameron Porter, the deceased shooter's closest friend, expresses himself one way when being debriefed by a psychologist and necessarily comes across differently when questioned by an FBI agent. Readers also are shown how such diverse types of inquiry are committed to paper with subtle but telling differences, as one interviewer asks that the transcriber retain Porter's pauses while the other directs the transcriber specifically to omit them. Other characters include the boys' one female friend, and, ultimately, Len, the shooter himself, through the clearly disturbed pages of his diary in the months leading up to the "incident." Myers uses no narrative frame other than the documents themselves and excels in providing clear and distinct voices through these interviews, notes, and reports; only the newspaper items lack a genuine ring. In addition to young adults who will find this story intensely readable as well as intense, adults working with teens should read and discuss the questions and implications that the tale reveals.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When a shooting occurs at Madison High with two students killed and six injured, investigators try to get to the heart of the tragedy in hopes of preventing further occurrences. Absent or abusive parents, bullies at school, students feeling like powerless outsiders, access to guns, and a troubled student who's a "ticking bomb" waiting to go off seem to form the deadly combination, but is this after-the-fact analysis likely to help prevent future shootings? Told through transcripts of interviews, official reports, newspaper articles, Miranda warnings, and a handwritten journal, the story has the feel of an official report and about as much drama. The hodgepodge of documents and the dense print create a heaviness to the work, and readers may not have the patience to sift for the nuggets of insight the reports contain. Though the volume is not as effective in its innovative format as Myers's Monster (1999), the subject matter, as current as today's headlines, will attract readers. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.51(d)
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


Harrison County School Safety Committee
Threat Analysis Report

Submitted by:

Dr. Jonathan Margolies
Superintendent, Harrison County Board of Education

Dr. Richard Ewings
Senior County Psychologist

Special Agent Victoria Lash
F.B.I. Threat Assessment Analyst

Dr. Franklyn Bonner
Spectrum Group

Sheriff William Beach Mosley
Harrison County Criminal Bureau

Mission Statement

The Harrison County School Safety Committee, headed by Dr. Jonathan Margolies, is to investigate public school safety using interviews and all available records, with particular emphasis on the tragic events of last April; and to analyze and assess all pos-sible threats and dangers within the County's school community; and to report to the Governor of this State any findings consistent with imminent or possible threats to:

  • Any student or group of students
  • Any educator or administrator
  • Any other person
  • Any structure or building

It is understood by the members of the Safety Committee that the generated report will not carry a prima facie legal obligation but that it might be used in some legal capacity, and that all inter-viewees must be informed of their Miranda rights.

Madison High School Incident Analysis Report I -- Interview with Cameron Porter
Submitted by Dr. Richard Ewings,
Senior County Psychologist

Cameron Porter is a seventeen-year-old African American youth who attended Madison High School in HarrisonCounty. His grades ran in the high eighties and there is no indication, in his school records, of difficulty in social adjustment. He lives in a two-parent household and is the only child. The parental income is quite high, and there is no indication of deprivation.

Cameron has been advised that the interviews will not be privileged and that they can be subpoenaed for any subsequent legal action, but that the primary aim of the interviews is for analytical purposes. He has agreed to be interviewed in an effort to cooperate with the Analysis team and has signed a waiver to that effect.

He appeared at my office punctually, accompanied by his mother, who then left for another appointment. Cameron is a good-looking young man, neatly dressed, of medium to dark complexion. He seems reasonably comfortable and no more nervous than would be expected under the circumstances. A letter informing Cameron of his Miranda rights was drafted, signed by him, and put on file.

The initial taped interview began at 10:30 on the morning of October 24. This was six months after the incident at the high school.

Notes to transcriber:

  • Please return all tapes to my office as soon as possible.
  • Please indicate significant pauses or other voicings in the unedited draft of this report.

Dr. Richard Ewings

Richard Ewings: Good morning.

Cameron Porter: Good morning.

RE: Do you mind if I call you Cameron?

CP: Fine.

RE: Cameron, can we begin by you telling me something about yourself? Where do you live? Who do you live with? That sort of thing?

CP: Sure. I live over on Jewett Avenue. I live with my mom, Elizabeth, and my father.

RE: Can you give me your father's name and tell me what sort of work your parents do?

CP: My father's name is Norman. He does quality control for Dyna-Rod Industries. They manufacture heavy equipment, and they lease it to building contractors. What he does is travel around and check out how the leasing end of their business works. My mother works for an office-supply company.

RE: What would heavy equipment consist of?

CP: Cranes, derricks, specialized vehicles.

RE: How would you describe how you get along with your parents?

CP: Okay. Just normal I guess.

RE: Do you go out with them much? Are there family conversations, say, around the dinner table?

CP: My father travels a lot. He's away about a week and a half every month. Maybe more, I don't know. We sort of -- I wouldn't say that we talk a lot. I wouldn't say that we don't talk a lot, either. We go out -- we used to go out to eat once a month. Arturo's. You know where that is?

RE: About a mile off 95, isn't it?

CP: Down from the mall.

RE: Right. That's a nice place. Good Italian food. Do you enjoy eating there?

CP: It's okay. No big deal. They like it.

RE: What kinds of things do you talk about at Arturo's? Actually, what kinds of things do you enjoy talking about with your parents?

CP: I guess we don't really talk that much. When we do talk -- usually it's about something -- maybe about their jobs or something. They talk about their jobs a lot. They're trying to -- they have these goals they work on. You know, what they want to accomplish every year, that sort of thing.

RE: What do you think of their goals?

CP: Their goals? They're okay. They have things they want to do. Financial security -- that sort of thing. They're, like, doing the right things.

RE: When you say they're doing the right things, do you mean that you think they're doing the right things?

CP: Yeah. Yes, I guess so.

RE: How would you describe your relationship with your parents? Can you tell me how you think you get along with them, perhaps if there were different things you would have liked to have done with them than you were doing?

CP: They asked me that at the county office.

RE: And what did you say?

Shooter. Copyright © by Walter Myers. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Walter Dean Myers was the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award; a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He was the author of two Newbery Honor Books and six Coretta Scott King Awardees. He was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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Shooter 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
mynameischucknorris More than 1 year ago
I am 16 years old and I'm a sophomore at Holt. I recently finished reading Shooter by Walter Dean Myers. I read this book as a free reading book for English class, and a few of my other friends in the class read the book also. I chose to read Shooter because the cover of the book got my attention because it had a bullet hole on it and also because I've read a few other Walter Dean Myers books before and they were good overall. In the book, Cameron, the main character, is friends with Len and Carla. The three of them are basically outcasts and don't really fit in with many other people. They like shooting guns for fun. It's exciting to them. They all go to this range sometimes and shoot together. Len and Cameron get pushed around at school a lot. Len is the type of guy that doesn't take crap from people, but Cameron just lets things go on and doesn't do anything. When the three of them all encounter problems in their life at home and at school, they rely on each other for support. Len becomes very radical in his efforts to stop violence in the world and he starts acting very dark. Throughout the book, Cameron and Carla are interviewed about their lives and how they got caught up in more problems with Len. As the book goes on, things really start heating up and things go haywire. Events take place that are detrimental to the three of their lives. A key theme in the book is friendship because when things in Cameron, Len, and Carla's lives go wrong, they turn to their friends. I guess this book is a good in bringing up who your real friends are. If you enjoy reading other Walter Dean Myers books, you will enjoy reading Shooter because it will keep you guessing what happens next and make you keep turning the pages. Overall, I would rate this book a 3 out of 5 starts. It's got a very good plot, but after a while the book gets a little old because the majority of the book is talking and interviews of what already took place. Even though they book is a little boring at parts, it was still a great book that anyone can enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very weird in a way because you got to go into the mind of the murderer himself. Just knowing what was going threw his head makes you shiver in your seat. I would recommend this book. Very interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Shooter' is an amazing book. The interviews really gave me an idea about what was going on in their head. Len is a strange character, but I'm sure many teenagers can relate to him in some sort of way. I really liked how Meyers let you know about almost every little detail, and made it seem like you were in the school with the kids that day. The book overwhelmed me with emotion, and I felt the sorrow and hurt the friends and family all felt after the incident.
69Rocks More than 1 year ago
I am a sophomore at Holt High School and I read the book Shooter as a free-read in my English class. This book was recommended to me by my school librarian as she said I was likely to enjoy it, and I most definitely did. Shooter was written by Walter Dean Myers. Myers tells the story of seventeen year-old Cameron Porter and his interactions with his best friends Leonard Gray and Carla Evans. The book consists of various interviews between Cameron and Carla and multiple detectives, doctors, and writers. In fact, each chapter of the book is a different interview. During these interviews, the investigators are trying to figure out what caused Leonard to commit a horrible crime. They find out a plethora of facts including his father owning a gun club, him going "black" (going black was the term given in the book for dressing in all black clothes and wearing dark make-up), and Leonard's isolation from the "real" of life. It is these factors that eventually drive Leonard to threatening to bring a gun to school and shooting his peers. It was up to Cameron and Carla to do something or to just sit by and let it happen. They were forced to decide between being good friends and doing what is right. The book Shooter provokes a variety of themes and questions to the reader. The main theme is the split between friendship and doing what is right. Other themes include isolation from "realness," friendship, and responsibilities. The book also brings up some real-life questions while reading. At various points throughout the book I would find myself asking, "What would I have done if I were Cameron, and I had to decide whether or not to betray my best friend?" It is interesting to put yourself into the plot and see what you would have done. Overall, I would give Walter Dean Myers' Shooter a 4 out of 5. The reason why it's not quite a 5 is because the entire plot is told in past tense so at times it is difficult to understand. Also, some of the interviews seem to be too lengthy and seem to drag on. It is for that reason that I would recommend this book to people who are in either high school or college. It is a somewhat challenging read if you can't stand long periods of reading so it would not be a good read for younger students. I would also recommend it to people who enjoy war novels or action books. This book reminds me of Fallen Angels, which was also written by Myers, so if you enjoyed that book, pick up Shooter. So, if you can get over the fact that the book takes a lot of concentration and long periods of reading to understand the plot, then start reading Shooter today; I would highly recommend this book for any intermediate to high level reader.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cameron Goode, Timber Creek High School, Class of 2008 This dynamic story is of Cameron Porter, and his analyzed character after the suicide/mass homicide committed by his best friend. This story leaps onward into the mind of a teenager, who orchestrated a school shooting, and into the mentality of his best friend, who as bloodcurdling as it may be has an identical thought process. This is a riveting book I recommend for anybody over the age of 16 or anybody who would be able to grasp the complexities, or the significance of the story¿s conclusion. This is a must read for anybody interested in the field of psychology, or anybody who is intrigued by the human mind.
cardenas 4 months ago
Shooter, by Walter dean Myers is a story about a big tragedy. This book is told in 1st person point of view which is in Cameron’s point of view the protagonist is an African American named Cameron porter. Cameron felt like he didn’t belong to any group at school, but feels like he actually belongs when another African American named Leonard became his best friend. Until Leonard starts making bad decisions and their relationship starts to change. Cameron remembers that Len is his best friend so he helps him with all the trouble that Len gets into, just so he won’t lose his friendship with Len. One of the themes in Shooter is figuring out what is the difference between what is right and what is not. Cameron never had time to talk with his parents, but once Len came along he actually felt like he belonged in a group not like before, “I didn’t hang out with a lot of different people, well I didn’t hang out with anyone.” (19) At the beginning of the beginning of the book Cameron played basketball he did like it but then he just did it to please his dad (Norman) so his dad could be proud of him and think he actually had a purpose in the world. And by Len being there for him it made Cameron feel special and like he had someone to be and talk with. Compared to another book, Emako blue, has that one friend that makes her feel special and like she’s not alone. In emako blue, emako had a best friend named Monterey and Monterey believed in Emako, and also like Cameron Len believed in Cameron but while having a different relationship as friends. Overall this is a fascinating story of how a boy see’s the mistake that had been happening, and who really cared for him. For me this story receives an 8 out of 10 stars, this is a good book but I feel like this should be at an older age level, because even for me this book was confusing. But overall this book is interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this book had a powerful plot, I wish it was less after and more before and during.It felt so much like a story going around the halls instead of the thoughts from the characters that led to the incident. Len's diary really didn't do anything for me in that aspect because it was more wat was happening than what he was thunking about it. I wish part of it had been written in Cam's perspective- maybe a week before then during the shooting, then theinterviews and everything and then a more detailed diary. It was a quick and easy read, and it captured me in a way I haven't known of until now, but I found I wasn't emotionally invested in the plot or characters. It is hard for me to get emotionally invested anyways, but that is one way I judge a book: whether it was good enough to put me in a state of limerence with it. Unfortunately, this wasn't fo me, but given it's strange way of writing and the ineffability of my enrapturement, I am giving it 3.5 stars. If you are looking for a quick read with an interesting enough plot, read it. I'd say 12 and up. Enjoy it more than I did. :) -Casey
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was really interesting but i thought it would have been better if it was told through either of the boys perspetive rather it being a whole bunch of people telling their side
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the description, but then some one said it was MURDER. I love murder mysterys, but this iss confusing. And no, i cant just get the book. Five stars i guess.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm 16 years old. I'm a sophomore at Holt High School. I recently just read the book Shooter by Walter Dean Myers. I read this book for my own reading book for English class and a few other of my classmates in the class read it also. This book looked good sitting on the shelf and caught my eye and that's the reason I chose it. The main character in the book is Cameron. His best friend Len gets into a lot of trouble and tries to stop violence. He also gets their other friend Carla involved in most of the things they do. Carla is the one that Len and Cameron fight over and/or like as more then a friend. The three of them don't fit in at their school or really anywhere and are outcast. All three of them stick together no matter what happens and they all have problems in their life and at school. Some of the themes in this book are showing who your true friends are, picking friends wisely, enjoying life and stopping the violence. All of these themes are all throughout the book. The whole book is interviews and questionings about what happens at the end of the book. If you like this book, you may like the TV show 60 Minutes. They both interview people about cases and mysteries that have happened. People that like putting things together and listening to cases and short stories would like this book. People that wouldn't like this book are people who like long stories and people who don't like books that don't tell a story. Overall I would give this book a 3 out of 5. The book is interesting and kind of cool to read. I just thought that the story could have been told with more details and a little longer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a sophomore at Holt Public Schools, and I just finished reading the book Shooter by Walter Dean Myers. I picked up Shooter as an independent reading book in my school library. The cover of the book inspired me to read it, but also the title. Shooter sounds like an intense name and made me wonder what the book would be about. In the book, Cameron and Carla are being interviewed about a crime their friend has committed. It is up to them to tell the police what really happened that day at the school. Cameron and Carla are at the wrong place at the wrong time. Friendship is a main theme in Shooter. But, this book brings up the thought, who really are your true friends? And in the end, Cameron and Carla have a really tough decision. Cameron, the main character, is a friend of Len, and they both are friends with a girl named Carla. All three of them are what you could call outcasts of their school. Being friends, they all would go out to a gun range and shoot guns for fun. Len is a black kid who never really fit in with the jocks or popular people. So, he is bullied a lot of the time, but he doesn't like to take crap from other people. Len gets very angry and sometimes he does dangerous and illegal things. All of these add up to one final, life-changing event. Anyone that enjoys a mystery may be interested in reading Shooter. It always makes you want to know what happens to everyone in the book. You just want to keep reading until the end. Overall, I would rate this book a three out of a five. This is a good book, but after a while it kind of gets boring because the majority of the book is an interview. I think that it would be a whole lot better if it were a story of the time when the event happened. Reading an interview for a whole book just gets old, even though it tells you what happened, just not in an interesting way. Another book recommended to read is Fallen Angels, also by Walter Dean Myers. Both of these books are full of action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Callie23 More than 1 year ago
The tone of this book is depressing. This is a story in high school that something serious happens and they interview two students whose names are, Cameron and Carla. These interviews though were taken a year and half later than the incident did. This tragedy is discovered through the whole entire book. Keeps your nose in the book. Cameron was interviewed because it was one of his friends that got shot at Madison High school in Harrison County. Through the whole interview they find out that Cameron and Carla were a part of the school incident. This is a book about kids and students commiting crimes. This book is like a journal or diary. The way they read from letters or things from the diary makes it seem real life. This book teaches kids reading this book about gangs and how picking on other kids and what it can lead to. For this kid, it was death, others it¿s just humiliation. It makes you wonder why people bully other kids. Maybe it makes themselves feel better about themselves and boosts their confidence. Cameron was a really good student in school and his grades were in the high eighties. He lives with his mom and dad and he is the only child. The interview was a year and 6 months later. Shooter is a story that reveals the heartache of students that have to deal with tragedies at the school. It shows how dramatic how the bullying can lead to the worst and how it should teach everyone about this. Through the interviews we learn to understand more about the story and about what happened. This is a tragic story and makes me remember Leif Brittian who went to our school and who was mugged and shot and was a tragedy at our school. So when I read this book, it was kind of hard for me.