Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

This book really opened my eyes as a parent and how *easy* it is to miss important signals about our own children. My son is only three, but I'm glad I read this book now and have recommended it to parents and teachers since it deals with a high school shooting and how the shooter evolved.

Jodi Picoult jumps from year to year - past to present - to tell the story of Peter during different stages of his life, the victim who ends up retaliating and fighting back against the numerous bullies who pick on him, beat him up, make fun of him and literally make his life miserable on a daily basis.

As a mom, I wanted to embrace this young boy and protect him but then you see that his mom does just that and how the consequences of her behavior plays out. You see his childhood friend slowly forget and ignore him when he needs allies more than anything.

If you've ever made fun of someone or been made fun of you can certainly find something in this story that you can relate to. If you're a parent or educator working with children of any age, you can't help but be affected by this touching and heartbreaking story of a young boy who was too afraid to ask for help and a witness who didn't know how to speak up or speak out against the attackers (aka bullies) until it was much too late.

Jodi Picoult, 41, is the bestselling author of fourteen previous novels: Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices (1992), Harvesting the Heart: A Novel (1994), Picture Perfect (1995); Mercy (1996), The Pact: A Love Story (P.S.) (1998); Keeping Faith: A Novel (P.S.) (1999), Plain Truth (2000), Salem Falls (2001), Perfect Match: A Novel (2002), Second Glance: A Novel (2003), My Sister's Keeper: A Novel (2004), Vanishing Acts: A Novel (2005), and The Tenth Circle: A Novel (2006).

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