My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Summary: A new town, a new school, a new start. That's what fourteen-year-old Gray Wilton believes as he chants, "It's gonna be better, gonna be better here." But it doesn't take long for Gray to realize that nothing's going to change--there are bullies in every school, and he's always their punching bag. Their brutal words, physical abuse, and emotional torture escalate until Gray feels trapped in a world where he has no control, no support systems, and no way out--until the day he enters the halls of Greenford High School with his father's semiautomatic in hand.
Award-winning novelist Nancy Garden, author of the groundbreaking novel Annie on My Mind, once again goes out on a limb, this time to show readers the cruelty of bullying and the devastating effects it can have.
Have you ever had your heart beat so hard in your chest that you could swear it was going to burst out of its cavity or you felt it down to yours toes with every thump, thump? That's what I endured reading this book. My heart goes out to Gray. My opinion. My words. My review.
I just wished books of this nature could make a big difference in the world, but can a leopard change it spots or a zebra change its stripes? Thought not.
MY in-depth thoughts on this book are as follows:
Yes, there were innocent victims in this book I don’t dispute this one bit, but i agree to disagree with those who want to point the finger at the accused without taking into clear consideration all the facts and the events before and during the time of the ‘incident’. My sincere sympathy lay with Gray the one boy of 14yrs old that one day just took matters into his own hands and SNAPPED!
Do I believe that the events that took place could have been prevented from happening? You bet I do!
It comes to the full on facts that everyone in Gray’s life failed him.
His father? FAIL
The student body? FAIL
Teachers and piers? FAIL
What Gray was subjected to in his life and not just at school was handled very poorly. Did he have anyone really to turn to? Well, let’s see...
There was the school counsellor, but she just cared more that every student ‘like’ school and be ‘happy’ while being there.
There were the teachers who thoughts the antics of bullying were ‘amusing’.
His father or his mother? He left a bad acidic taste in my mouth regarding his ‘fatherly’ methods as a parent. Well, the father ruled the roost, the mother only accomplished so much say.
Friends? He did have ONE who turned on him in the end. Mind you, said friend did try to report the bullying incidents and the results were basically ‘suck it up’. Not worth reporting really and this was the school principal.
Gray pours his heart out to this lawyer that his own father had hired and i have to wonder... Did this lawyer, even after Gray gave every single detail of what led up to that fateful moment do him justice in the court room? Hmm I do wonder, but now let’s take it to the courtroom: The judge...
1. I honestly believe the sentence handed out was to appease the victim’s families.
2. Was it even considered by this judge that Gray was a ‘victim’ himself due to the insistent and consistent cruel and brutal taunting and bullying he’d endured?
3. Was this judge really give a rat’s ass about the alleged accused shooter? What about future treatment do deal with Gray’s trauma? Nope. It didn’t happen.
4. Even at trial the justice system failed Gray.
NOTE to judge: You shouldn’t be one. You don’t deserve to be sitting on that bench. YOU sir ARE in my very clear words: A FAILURE! I bet the Almighty justice ‘system’ only brought down the sentence using Gray as a means to setting an example to all teens who choose to pick up a gun. Really? What about those who continue to harass and bully those lesser than themselves?
Lemme take a stab at what a bully might think, but you tell me is it logical to say: The bullying will continue because you see, if I bully you, you’ll just snap one day and do something drastic. I might lose my life or maybe not, but I the bully will get the last laugh because you’ll be caught, arrested unless you’ve off’d yourself first and serve life in prison without parole. You get me? HOW PATHETIC IS THIS??!! But think about it folks: It’s the truth and the cold hard facts. Bullying