There is so much stress and anxiety built into the first day of school now that I can’t even imagine what it was like to be a student back then. It doesn’t matter that I’m a grown-up. The start of a new school year makes me think about the fact that kids are back in school, which means that there’s a chance of school shootings. It’s a terrible thought, but it’s nothing compared to how the kids must feel. Because school shootings could happen in the next year, it makes sense to share a list of young adult books about school shootings. These books help people who have or haven’t been through the trauma of a school shooting find empathy, sympathy, and understanding for what happens during the event and how it affects people for years to come. This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp has been one of the most popular books in recent years. YA books about school shootings like this one let a wide range of voices and perspectives talk about the wide range of emotions, experiences and stories that go along with such events.
This list isn’t as complete as I’d like it to be, but in some ways, this is also like what we see in the media when it comes to school shootings. There is no doubt that school violence happens on campuses that are very diverse, even if they are mostly made up of people from a single group. However, these stories are less likely to be covered by the media. I hope that as our culture talks more openly about gun control, safety, toxic masculinity, rape culture, and mental health, we don’t need to read more YA books about school shootings. I do, however, think there is room on the shelf for stories about school violence in communities that we don’t see very often. They come from Goodreads. Remember that these books are about school shootings, so be ready for violence. A few of these books have school shootings that aren’t shown right away in the plot. I don’t want to call them spoilers, but I know that some of the descriptions might not make that point clear.
YA Books About School Shootings
Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong
Skye Gilchrist lost her brother Luka in a school shooting three years ago. She is moving back home. Because Luka was not a victim; he was the one who shot him. All too well, Jesse Mandal has learned that the scars from the past don’t go away quickly. He lost his brother, Skye, and his best friend.
Jesse and Skye have been torn apart by tragedy, but they can’t help but look into their past. There are dark secrets hidden in old wounds. Even more so, the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth about that day, the closer they get to a new killer.
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
If Emily Beam doesn’t stop him, Paul Wagoner will kill himself. He walks into school with a stolen gun, threatening his girlfriend and then taking his own life. The next day, Emily, who is angry and ashamed, is sent to a boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts. There, two quirky students and the spirit of Emily Dickinson help her. Emily Beam has to take care of herself. She has to find the good in the bad, hope in the dark, and springtime in the snow.
Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan
More than a thousand people were saved by Steven “Crash” Crashinsky, who stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage with assault weapons and explosives on April 21, 2008. The book deal, the national attention, the college applications, and so on are probably things you already know about Crash after that. There was a story about two teenagers who have been inseparable since grade school. Some say they were meant to meet that day in the teachers’ lounge of Meadows High School. People don’t know what Burn told Crash when the siege was over, which is a secret that Crash has never told anyone else.
Until now, that is.
First love and first hate, two high school seniors and the day that changed their lives forever: that’s what Michael Hassan’s book is about. It’s about two high school seniors and the day that changed their lives forever. A portrait of the modern American teenage boy, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, and ADHD-diagnosed glory, is what this book is about. And it’s a powerful way to think about how normal it is to be screwed up and how normal it is to be normal.
Damage Done by Amanda Panitch
Julia Vann’s before and after are two hours apart.
Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend who was her best friend.
After: She has a new name, a new place to live, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that won’t come to mind. At least, that’s what she tells the cops, though. As Lucy Black, she can start over. When her brother isn’t there, she’s getting used to the empty room. One of the most popular boys at school has been drawn to her because of her new start. He will do anything to protect her. But when someone even more dangerous comes to Lucy’s attention, she has to face the dark secrets she thought she could leave behind.
One thing is for sure: The damage done can’t be fixed. …
Endgame by Nancy Garden
A new town, a new school, and a new beginning. Gray Wilton, who is 14, says, “It’s going to be better, going to be better here.” And it doesn’t take Gray very long to figure out that nothing will ever change. There are bullies in every school, and Gray is always their punching bag. Gray feels like he’s in a world where he doesn’t have any control, no support, and no way out until he walks into Greenford High School with his father’s semiautomatic in his hand one day.
Nancy Garden, the author of the groundbreaking book Annie on My Mind, goes out on a limb again. This time, she wants to show readers how cruel bullying can be and how it can have a big impact on people.
Give A Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser
In Middletown High School, the jocks are in charge. Brendan and Gary have been bullied and teased for as long as they can remember by them. But not any more, though. They steal a small arsenal of guns from a neighbor and take their classmates hostage at a school dance. This is how they did it: Soon, it is clear that Bendan and Gary only want revenge.
Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement by the March for Our Lives Founders
Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, and more are some of the people who started the March for Our Lives movement. In first-person essays, they tell how the tragedy of February 14th and the March for Our Lives came to be, and how they started the movement. The book also has oral histories of both the first day back at school after the shooting and the March for Our Lives, one of the biggest marches in American history. This is what people say.
At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history took place on February 14, 2018. 17 students and teachers were killed, and 17 more were hurt. Instead of focusing on the pain and tragedy that happened on that fateful day, a group of students from MSD used their feelings of hurt, anger, and sorrow to do something. They went on to become one of the largest youth-led movements in history.
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
This happened a few months ago. Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, started shooting at the cafeteria at their school five months ago. Valerie was shot when she tried to stop him. She inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but she was blamed for the shootings because of the list she helped make. List of people and things she and Nick didn’t like. The list that he used to choose his targets was on it.
After a summer of being alone, Val is now forced to face her guilt as she returns to school to finish her senior year. A lot of Val’s relationships aren’t going well. She’s haunted by the memory of her boyfriend, and she has to figure out how to make amends and move on with her life.
#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws The Line by David Hogg and Lauren Hogg
They went to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, just like any other Wednesday. David Hogg was 17 and his sister Lauren was 14. That day, of course, everything changed. By the next morning, 17 of their classmates and teachers had been killed. They had become the leaders of a movement to save their own lives and the lives of all young people in the United States. It’s a job they didn’t want, but they had no choice. David Hogg told CNN the next day: “We’re kids. We’re not adults. We’re not adults.” You’re the adults. Do something and play a part. Work with each other. Go ahead and do something.
In this book, the movement started that day has already changed the country. Voices from a new generation are speaking the truth to power, and they want to succeed where their elders have failed. With moral strength and clarity, a new generation has made it clear that problems that were thought to be impossible because of powerful lobbyists and political cowardice will be theirs to deal with. This generation was born just after Columbine and grew up in a time of war and active shooter drills, but now they say enough. In this book, they write about their goals and the stories of their lives. It is the only thing you need to know about the #NeverAgain movement.
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (Adult, but with YA crossover appeal)
When you have 19 minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, and watch a third of a hockey game. This is how it works: Getting your tooth filled by the dentist and baking some scones can be done in 19 minutes. In that time, you can fold laundry for a family of five. If you want to stop the world, you can do that in 19 minutes. If you want to jump off the world, you can. In 19 minutes, you can get back at them.
After a shocking act of violence shakes the town of Sterling, New Hampshire, it’s hard to be happy about anything. Following a tragedy, the town’s residents must not only get justice but also come to terms with their own role in the accident. It has been impossible for them to tell the difference between truth and fiction, right from wrong, insider from outsider, and so on. Teenage daughter of the judge on the case, Josie Cormier, could be one of the best witnesses for the state, but she can’t remember what happened in front of her own eyes. As the trial goes on, the differences between the high school and the adult community start to show. This can break even the closest of friendships and families, making it hard for people to get along.
Once And For All by Sarah Dessen
A wedding planner who is her mother’s daughter is Louna. She has seen weddings on the beach, in historic mansion, in fancy hotel rooms, as well as weddings at fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she doesn’t believe in happy endings, especially since her first love ended in a bad way. when she meets Ambrose, she keeps him at arm’s length. He is very attractive and happy-go-lucky. But now that he’s met the one girl he really wants, Ambrose isn’t going to give up.
If you’re one of Sarah Dessen’s many fans, you’ll love her new book, which is full of humor, romance, and a happy and imperfect ending like life itself.
Shooter by Walter Dean Myers
The best-selling author of Monster has written a novel about a school shooting that has been widely praised. Multiple stories, a personal journal, newspaper and police reports, and other things give the story a different point of view and draw the reader in.
This book is about guilt and innocence, which drives the story and stays with the reader. Hazel Rochman wrote a starredBooklistreview about it. “It’s very easy to read.” This is what Teenreads.com says about the book: “A haunting story that reveals the pain of a group of high school students.” “It looks at the tragedies of school violence and how bullying can make things even worse.” It’s easy for Myers to show how his characters sound.