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VOYALook no further for a comprehensive and well-written book about school violence. After giving historical information, the author explores why students are violent. Chapter four is particularly impressive because it features experts on the subject of violence, including psychologist Jana Martin, author Rabbi Yehudah Fine, and Perry Core, an expert on brain development. Following each section by a different expert, readers are given questions to ponder. Further questions included at the end of every chapter are valuable for discussions and as possible research topics. Solutions to violence that have succeeded or failed are explored, including prevention programs, uniforms, zero-tolerance policies, peer mediation groups, school security, stereotyping, and software warnings, such as Mosaic 2000, that track information about perpetrators. In the final chapter, the author advises students how they can help decrease school violence, including by taking a pledge against gun violence, appreciating diversity, and breaking codes of silence. The book is interspersed with facts and excellent photos. For example, in discussing why school violence happens, photos of guns for sale at Wal-Mart, teenagers watching the movie Natural Born Killers, teens playing video games, and Marilyn Manson singing enhance the text. There are excerpts from the diaries of school shooters, as well as a suicide note written by Eric Harris of the Columbine murders. Besides being extremely useful for students and those curious about the subject, this book will benefit youth service workers as they learn more about school violence. It is a highly recommended resource for public, academic, and school libraries. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4PJ 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). 2003, Franklin Watts, 192p.; Glossary. Index. Photos. Biblio. Chronology., Ages 12 to 18.
—Sheila B. Anderson