Posted in Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

This is Where it Ends Giveaway

Marieke Nijkamp’s brilliant look inside a school shooting, This is Where it Ends, isn’t in stores until January, but you can win an advance copy from Sourcebooks NOW through November 1 – this Saturday!

this is where it ends

Check out their Tumblr and enter the giveaway for a chance to win an advance copy of the book, plus a chalkboard and chalk. Once you’ve read the book, take to the chalkboard and let us know how it made you feel! Snap a photo and share on your Tumblr, Twitter, and other social media networks, and use the tags #thisiswhereitends #sourcebooksfire.

This is a great opportunity to check out a new book AND let people know what you think! Enter the giveaway before it’s too late!

Posted in Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Teen, Uncategorized, Young Adult/New Adult

This is Where it Ends brings us into the heart of a school shooting.

this is where it endsThis is Where it Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp (Jan. 2016, Sourcebooks Fire), $17.99, ISBN: 9781492622468

Recommended for ages 13+

It’s the first day of the school year at Alabama’s Opportunity High. At 10 a.m. the principal finishes her welcome speech. At 10:03, the students, trying to get to class, notice the auditorium doors won’t open. At 10:05, someone starts shooting. Not everyone is in that auditorium, though – some kids are running track, some kids are cutting – and it’s up to them to help their classmates and, in some cases, family members, inside.

This is Where it Ends takes readers inside a school on lockdown. The shooter has things to say, and this captive audience is going to listen. Four narratives from teens inside and outside of the auditorium bring readers there, inside that school, waiting for the next bullet to fire. Every one of these teens has a history with the shooter – some good, some not.

This book is tense. It’s rough. Ms. Nijkamp excels at putting the reader into the middle of the chaos – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the churning inside – readers are thrown onto the same roller coaster that her characters are on. She creates strong backgrounds and uses each character’s narrative to move between past and present-day to provide a full picture not only of the traumatized teens, but a profile of the shooter himself.

There’s also a brilliant use of diversity here. We’ve got a queer female person of color as a main character. There are teens of all backgrounds in this school. This school can be Anywhere, USA, and these kids could be our neighbors, our families, our friends. Author Marieke Nijkamp is an executive member of We Need Diverse Books and the founder of DiversifYA; she practices what she preaches with eloquence and skill. Her author website offers a discussion guide for This is Where it Ends. Educators can also find resources at the National School Safety Center to deepen a discussion on school shootings and school safety.

This is a great book to have in libraries and classrooms, particularly those with a current events focus. Discussion groups will find a lot to delve into here. I’d love to see parent book groups read this, too – it’s not a pleasant topic to think about, but when it concerns our kids, it’s something we should start talking about.