Book Discussion Books Thriller YA

Books About School Shootings that will change your perspective

Kaili

I know most of you guys are probably wondering why exactly am I creating a books about school shootings list. They are horrible situations that seem to be a pretty common thing in America now. I hate to admit that it seems to be a more common thing. It shouldn’t be happening at all but it does.

So, why am I doing this post? I think reading about this kind of thing brings awareness to the situation. Everyone needs a little bit of awareness about it and how to handle it. Granted most of these books are fictional but they give you an idea about what happens and what they go through.

Books about school shootings

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. What this means is that if you purchase anything through the links I have provided for you then I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please consider supporting my blog!

Why can it be important to read these type of books?

I know most of you probably don’t think that it’s important to read books about school shootings. They’re violent and can scare other kids into thinking that it might happen at their school. I do think that it’s important to make them aware that it can very well happen. They can give them insight into what to do if they are able to escape. Granted you never know what you’re going to be like in this sort of situation. They also help you sympathize with what’s happening and make you realize that it can happen to anyone.

I do think reading about it rather than watching the news about it is a little different and can make a difference.

Books about school shootings

I know most don’t really care about reading books about school shootings. They happen often enough and they are devastating. No one wants to get scared about something that could potentially happen in real life. But I do think reading them lets you sympathize and gives insight into why kids do this sort of thing.

Aftermath

When I originally first read Aftermath I don’t think I really enjoyed the book. Now I’m starting to wonder if maybe I should reread the book over again. For the most, part I know Kelley Armstrong does a great job with writing anyways!

I’m glad we get the point of view of the shooter’s family. For me having that point of view is an awesome idea. I can see so many people treating her horribly just because of what her brother did. I get that just the sight of her will remind them of what happened, but it doesn’t mean that she’ll do anything about it.

Aftermath is a good option when it comes to books about school shootings. It is a good thing to be able to read from the point of view of someone who is related to the shooter. It makes you realize that you still need to treat them with kindness.

Here is what Aftermath is about.

Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there’s no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn’t a victim; he was a shooter.

Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don’t heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend–Skye.

Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can’t resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.

If you’re interested in this book then you can find it through the link below.

Amazon

And we Stay

Books about School Shootings

This is such a scary idea to me. It seems like more and more high schoolers are starting to have super strong “feelings” to the point where it’s almost creepy. I’m by no means saying that we shouldn’t have feelings but when it comes to books and real-life it seems like a lot of people’s feelings are going a little overboard.

Still, I know things like this book are bound to happen. I do think this is a good example of being able to see things through the victim’s eyes.

This is one of those books about school shootings that really scares me a bit. Now that I have a kid I hope this isn’t something that I have to work through as he gets older.

Here is what And We Stay is about.

Senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school with a stolen gun, threatens his girlfriend, Emily Beam, and then takes his own life. Soon after, angry and guilt-ridden Emily is sent to a boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where two quirky fellow students and the spirit of Emily Dickinson offer helping hands. But it is up to Emily Beam to heal her own damaged self, to find the good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

Amazon | Bookshop

Crash and Burn

books about school shootings

Crash and Burn is such a great book to maybe start off with. It makes you realize that there are tons of people out there who will be willing to try and save those around them. It takes a lot of bravery to do what the main character does in Crash and Burn.

There are so many heroes when it comes to these sorts of things so it’s great to portray them when it comes to books about school shootings.

Here is what the story is about.

On April 21, 2008, Steven “Crash” Crashinsky saved more than a thousand people when he stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage armed with assault weapons and high-powered explosives. You likely already know what came after Crash: the nationwide notoriety, the college recruitment, and, of course, the book deal. What you might not know is what came before: a story of two teens whose lives have been inextricably linked since grade school, who were destined, some say, to meet that day in the teachers’ lounge of Meadows High. And what you definitely don’t know are the words that Burn whispered to Crash right as the siege was ending, a secret that Crash has never revealed.

Amazon

Damage Done

Books about school shootings

So, this is a book I bought on my kindle a few years ago. I know I know I’m horrible about getting to books but it takes me forever to actually get to them. It’s a bad habit I really need to stop and soon.

Damage done has a great concept to it and I hope I can manage to read it soon.

Here is what Damage Done is about.

22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she’s able to begin again. She’s even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy’s forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . . 

If you have read this one then let me know what you thought about it!

Amazon

Give a Boy a Gun

So, I am by no means saying that using guns as a threat or even shooting your classmates is an appropriate thing. But getting the point of view of those who think about doing it is a good idea because it’s not always a mental illness.

I swear bullying is only getting worse as the years go by. It’s not as simple as it was decades ago when most would just get pushed around some and that was about it. Kids now are relentless and it gets to the point where it messes with people’s heads. They want a way out and no one is helping them.

Like I said I don’t agree with shooting people but at this age, your brain kind of comes up with irrational ideas. It’s good to sometimes see where they are coming from!

Having books about school shootings that have this point of view is such a good idea despite what others think!

Here is what Give a Boy a Gun is about.

For as long as they can remember, Brendan and Gary have been mercilessly teased and harassed by the jocks who rule Middletown High. But not anymore. Stealing a small arsenal of guns from a neighbor, they take their classmates hostage at a school dance. In the panic of this desperate situation, it soon becomes clear that only one thing matters to Brendan and Gary: revenge.

If you’re interested in this book you can find it through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

Hate List

Hate list is another book I have been meaning to read. This is kind of a crazy idea to me. I get making a list of people you don’t like at your school and wishing something somewhat bad would happen to them. You don’t want them to get killed but you do wish they would have a bad day. Or you wish they would break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend.

You don’t want them dead though. I understand why both characters would be questioned in this book. They both made the list but only one of them acted on it.

It’s such a scary thing to realize that your boyfriend acts out on a list that you helped him create.

Here is what Hate List is exactly about.

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends, and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

If you’re interested in this book then you can find them through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

#NeverAgain

So, I do remember what happened on that day but I didn’t realize that a few of the students actually wrote a book about it.

This is probably going to be a book that I might try to read soon. It would be kind of cool to read about their perspectives on things and what had happened to them.

What better way to read books about school shootings than by reading a book by kids that have actually gone through it.

Here is what #Never Again is about.

On February 14, 2018, seventeen-year-old David Hogg and his fourteen-year-old sister, Lauren, went to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like any normal Wednesday. That day, of course, the world changed. By the next morning, with seventeen classmates and faculty dead, they had joined the leadership of a movement to save their own lives and the lives of all other young people in America. It’s a leadership position they did not seek, and did not want–but events gave them no choice.

The morning after the massacre, David Hogg told CNN: “We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Get over your politics and get something done.”

If you’re interested in this book you can find them through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

Nineteen Minutes

Nineteen Minutes gives you a perspective of what exactly you can do in the amount of time when a school shooter is potentially killing people. This is the type of story that really makes you think and think really hard about how you want to live your life.

Here is what Nineteen Minutes is about.

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, and watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five…In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens — until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town’s residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wrong, and insider and outsider have been obscured forever. Josie Cormier, the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on the case, could be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened in front of her own eyes. And as the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show, destroying the closest of friendships and families.

If you’re interested in nineteen minutes then you can find it through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

Silent Alarm

Silent Alarm is another book that I kind of want to try and read soon. It would be a scary idea to be doing your own thing only to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Here is what Silent Alarm is about.

Alys’s whole world was comprised of the history project that was due, her upcoming violin audition, being held tightly in the arms of her boyfriend, Ben, and laughing with her best friend, Delilah. At least it was—until she found herself on the wrong end of a shotgun in the school library. Her suburban high school had become one of those places you hear about on the news—a place where some disaffected youth decided to end it all and take as many of his teachers and classmates with him as he could. Except, in this story, that youth was Alys’s own brother, Luke. He killed fifteen others and himself but spared her—though she’ll never know why.

Alys’s downward spiral begins instantly, and there seems to be no bottom. A heartbreaking and beautifully told story.

If you’re interested in Silent Alarm then you can find it through the link below.

Amazon

That’s Not What Happened

That’s Not What Happened is a book that I started but ended up not finishing. I’m not really sure why I didn’t finish it at the time. It’s not a bad book at all and I did find the story interesting.

I more than likely got distracted and just stopped reading it. So, hopefully, I can get back to it soon.

Here is what That’s Not What Happened is about.

It’s been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah’s story–that she died proclaiming her faith.

But it’s not true.

I know because I was with her when she died. I didn’t say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah’s parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I’m not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did–and didn’t–happen that day.

Except Sarah’s martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don’t take kindly to what I’m trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what’s right. I don’t know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up . . .

If you’re interested in this book then you can find it in the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

This is not a Drill

So, I don’t know about This is Not a Drill. I don’t know if it’s maybe because I have a husband who was in the military and we now have a son together that makes me not really want to read the book or what. For me, books about PTSD are a turn off kind of like how reading books about school shootings will be a turn-off for others.

But I’m also kind of judging the book before even reading it. There are certain things that are making me question if I would really want to read this book or not.

Here is what the book is about. Let me know in the comments if there’s something about this book that’s making you question if you want to read it or not as well.

Two teens try to save a class of first-graders from a gun-wielding soldier suffering from PTSD.

When high school seniors Emery and Jake are taken hostage in the classroom where they tutor, they must work together to calm both the terrified children and the gunman threatening them–a task made even more difficult by their recent break-up. Brian Stutts, a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, uses deadly force when he’s denied access to his son because of a custody battle. The children’s fate is in the hands of the two teens, each recovering from great loss, who now must reestablish trust in a relationship damaged by betrayal. Told through Emery and Jake’s alternating viewpoints, this gripping novel features characters teens will identify with and explores the often-hidden damages of war.

If you’re interested in this book then you can find it through the link below.

Amazon

This is Where it Ends

This is Where it Ends is another book that I read right around the time that I started blogging. You get multiple points of view, where they are, and what exactly they are going through the ordeal.

At the time I didn’t really care much for the book but I do need to try reading it again.

Here is what This is Where it Ends is all about.

Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun…

10:00 a.m.: The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.: The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.


10:03:
 
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05:
 
Someone starts shooting.

In 54 minutes, four students must confront their greatest hopes, and darkest fears, as they come face-to-face with the boy with the gun.

If you’re interested in this book then you can find it through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

Underwater

I can’t really believe that I’m just now hearing about Underwater. This is one that I want to try reading because the concept sounds pretty good.

It would be so hard to realize that you inadvertently caused something bad to happen.

Here is what Underwater is about!

“Forgiving you will allow me to forgive myself.”

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then herself.

But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

If you’re interested in this book you can find it through the link below.

Amazon

Violent Ends

Books about school shootings

To me, Violent Ends is the perfect book for those who want to get the perspective of those who do these sorts of things. Why would they go to these lengths to shoot people?

Like I said before I’m not saying I’m giving these kids kudos for doing this sort of thing. It shouldn’t happen at all. But I don’t think many realize their perspective of things. So many things in this world are failing the kids. The kids are getting meaner and when other kids are getting bullied not many people want to listen.

This is partly why I think reading books like this is so important. It gives an insight of why some would do these sorts of things other than mental illness.

Here is what Violent Ends is about.

It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto the school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

But this isn’t a story about the shooting itself. This isn’t about recounting that one unforgettable day.

This is about one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, playing saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—who became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing bullets at his classmates.

Each chapter is told from a different victim’s viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he’d become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties. This is a book told from multiple perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—by some of YA’s most recognizable names. 

If you’re interested in this book then you can find it through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Books about school shootings

This book was actually recommended to me through bookstagram and I can’t wait to read it.

The synopsis of this story actually kind of reminds me a bit of the first season of American Horror Story. I’m not even sure why because the only thing they really have in common is a school shooting.

Here is what We Need to Talk About Kevin is about.

The gripping international bestseller about motherhood has gone awry.

Eva never really wanted to be a mother – and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

If you’re interested in this book then you can find it through the links below.

Amazon | Bookshop

How do you guys feel about books about school shootings? Hopefully, some of you guys understand where I’m coming from when creating this list. It may be beneficial when it comes to understanding the situation even if some of these books are fiction. What books about school shootings did I miss?

If you enjoyed this list then you might also enjoy my list on YA Thrillers.

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