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Shooter Paperback – March 29, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad; Reprint edition (March 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064472906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064472906
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Cameron, Carla, and Len were fascinated (for different reasons) with guns and target shooting at the Patriots' club range until the day Len brought his Kalashnikov rifle, his AR-18, and his Ruger pistol to school, and shot and killed football jock Brad Williams, and then himself. Here is yet another school shooting story that begins with bullying and ends with disaster--a type that is becoming almost a sub-genre of YA fiction. Yet Walter Dean Myers, winner of many awards for his young adult novels, brings freshness and new anguish to this familiar tale (and growing social problem) of unstable victim tormented by bullies to homicidal rage. Following the example of his own masterwork Monster, Myers uses different perspectives in the aftermath of the "incident" to reveal the characters and to tell the story: interviews with Cameron and Carla by The Harrison County School Safety Committee, newspaper reports, a police report, Len's handwritten "die-ary" of his deranged thoughts, and finally, a grim medical examiner's report. The contrasts and contradictions in these various perspectives challenge readers to produce their own versions of why Cameron and Carla became Len's followers and what could have prevented this tragedy and others like it in real life. (ages 12 and up) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 7-12. Like Myers' Printz Award book, Monster (1999), this story is told from multiple viewpoints, and questions of guilt and innocence drive the plot and stay with the reader. This time there's a shooting in a high school. Len, a senior, commits suicide after he shoots a star football player and injures several others in the schoolyard. The actual facts of that carnage emerge slowly, as Len's best friend, Cameron, is interviewed at length by a therapist, a sheriff, and a threat-prevention specialist. Adding more perspective are newspaper and police reports, and Len's personal journal, which reveals his fury and hurt about his macho father and school bullies. The multiple narratives move the story far beyond case history, the chatty interview format is highly readable, and Cameron's voice is pitch perfect. One of the few black students in the school, he's an outsider like Len, but he's quiet about it, "an ordinary guy." He doesn't want to stand out; he does nothing about the racism implicit in an image of Martin Luther King on a shooting-range practice target, and he's ashamed. It's this bystander role readers will want to talk about, as well as who is to blame. Why does Cameron just go along with things? What about the parents, the principal, the counselors who knew about the bullying and tell Len to "grow up"? Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

There was also a very big problem at the end of the book.
Kingham's Kids
I would recommend this book to people who like books that read fast.
TigersRule
Myers has a gift for expressing the voices of his characters.
Teen Reads

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Huntress Reviews on May 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Ever since Columbine, perhaps before, the public has been aware of the potential for violence in youths. In Shooter, we get a glimpse of the aftermath of a similiar incident. In what is termed a cult shooting, two boys are killed, one of them as a result of suicide, one murder. Six other students are injured. Police and psychologists are left with the task of reconstructing what was going on in the minds of those involved. Their assessments focus on two students, a young black boy who was the best friend of the suicide victim, and the girlfriend of the suicide victim. Both are a mix of anger, confusion, and hurt that cries out for love. Both are too old to be so young.
***** Readers sit in on the interviews with these two and are given a peak into police records, news articles, and reports. It is a harsh, grim, bleak read; but very insightful and telling. Although billed as a teen book, parents should exercise caution due to the darkness of the subject matter. However, adults might benefit from reading it, so as to get an insight into the world that their children are exposed to and may be part of if they are not careful. *****
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on May 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Walter Dean Myers, author of the Michael L. Printz Award-winning MONSTER and many other acclaimed children's books, has done it again. Told from multiple perspectives in the aftermath of a high school shooting, Myers's latest effort SHOOTER tells the haunting story of three misfit teens.
Through a series of interviews, newspaper clippings and the diary of a troubled teen, the story unfolds. The reader learns about the shooter, Leonard, through in-depth interviews with his best friend Cameron and his ex-girlfriend Carla. Conducted by a school psychologist, an FBI agent, a threat analysis specialist and the town sheriff, the meetings demonstrate the different voices of the characters and reveal the teens' angst and desire to belong to a group.
Leonard assumes the role of leader with his friends. He introduces them to guns and brings them to the Patriots' target shooting club. Cameron and Carla are so needy for companionship that they don't see how disturbed Leonard truly is. They don't know the extent of his inner demons until it is too late. Leonard shows up at school one day with his guns and goes on a shooting spree, killing Brad, a jock and source of constant torment, and then himself.
SHOOTER is a haunting story that uncovers the pain of several high school students. It explores the tragedies of school violence and how the result of bullying can go to the most dramatic extreme. Myers has a gift for expressing the voices of his characters. Through every word, pause and breath in these interviews, we gather understanding. The excerpt from Leonard's diary, or as he calls it, "die-ary," reveals the twisted mind of the force behind the event. Parts of the diary are almost poetic, a technique common in Myers's writing. SHOOTER is not a light read, but it will leave you reeling.
(...)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book by Walter Dean Myers was deffinately one of the best books I have read so far! The detail with which he describes the story, almost makes you believe what you are reading to be an actual event that has, at some point, taken place in the real world. I also loved the emotional side of this story, and I could really sympathize with what the characters were going through. It really makes you think about life and what it means to you. And it also brings to light just how easy it is to drive someone to "the point of no return". This book shows that if you keep pushing and pushing someone, eventually they will fall. I really enjoyed reading Shooter, and I strongly recoment it to anyone who has a strong interest in people and emotions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E.M. Bristol VINE VOICE on February 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Shooter" is the story of a school shooting told from the perspective of the two friends of the perpetrator, in interview format after the tragedy has occurred. Cameron Gray is the shooter's friend, and Carla is their mutual friend. Both teens have problems in the form of indifferent or abusive parents, bullying by peers, and in the girl's case, sexual abuse.

However, neither is as troubled as Leonard, who plots to blow up the school and eventually makes an attempt.

The book's strength comes from the fact that both Carla and Cameron are entirely believable teens. They don't speak in pop culture soundbites, they aren't endlessly snarky, and they don't have insight into their situation more appropriate for an adult of the author's age. I appreciated the fact that none of the young characters sounded as if they were on a primetime teen TV drama. The reader is given enough clues to piece together what happened and figure out why, without it being overly obvious or "message-y".

So why the semi-low rating? When it comes to the shooter, Leonard, himself, the author makes it impossible to figure out what is making this guy tick. Is he mentally ill? His diary entry has the language usage of someone suffering from perhaps either schizophrenia or manic depression. At times, I found it nearly unreadable, though that could have also been the font. While I felt sorry for the teen, I was unable to glean any insight into his behavior. While this is an interesting direction to take with a character, it removes a lot of responsibility for his actions, and makes the issue of bullying, bad parenting, etc., secondary. At least if you believe these conditions are caused by nature, not nuture.

"Give A Boy a Gun" by Todd Strasser uses a similiar format as "Shooter," only expanded to include interviews with the shooter's classmates and teachers. I think that might have helped provide more insight into the Leonard character.
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More About the Author

Walter Dean Myers is a New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author who has garnered much respect and admiration for his fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young people. Winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award, he is considered one of the preeminent writers for children. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family.

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