TG adult and young adult Stolen Lives: An American Crisis
This novel is a celebration of life, as it reflects on the most devastating act in society, today – the school shooting. There is no depiction of violence.
The story presents five, precious, teen lives – strangers – four in love with life, on their ways to happy, productive futures, while one, understandably, hates the life he is forced to live as an outsider, separate from his peers. The reader grows to love and understand an artist, an athlete, a shy volunteer, an accomplished pianist, and a sad, angry loner. Each of eight chapters presents 5 vignettes, illustrating aspects of the lives they each lead at school and within their families. Gradually, those stories coalesce, painting pictures of five, fascinating teens, each one displaying his or her ups and downs, hopes and dreams, big questions about life, and the responsibilities and activities that come to give purpose to their young lives. And then, the shooting. The novel offers a unique and immediately applicable perspective on the ‘Why’ of school shootings and the ‘How’ of stopping them. The author, a long time adolescent psychologist and educator, proposes a simple solution – the only solution to his way of thinking – the illustration of which is developed as the essence of the story. Perhaps it points fingers but mostly it models the one simple change we must make as peers, schools, families, and a nation for the sake of our children and, perhaps, for the survival of the human species.
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