In the wake of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, I wonder how differently we now view books about school shootings? Is my reading of this new book by C G Watson, QUAD, colored by what I saw play out endlessly on the news? I suspect that is so to some extent just as we all viewed books about school shootings through a different lens after Columbine.
QUAD alternates between what is going on in the quad of the school and flashbacks to the lives of various characters all of whom would have good reason to be the shooter loose in the quad. Could teh shooter be Stone, the juiced up athlete who was caught on tape trying to rape a girl? Perhaps it is Rufus whose longboard was trashed by Stone? Maybe it is one fo the myriad of other victims of bullying. Readers are kept uncertain about the identity of the shooter as the two time frames of the story hurtle toward one another.
It is obvious that Watson has worked with teens on a daily basis (she is a teacher). She knows the triggers that bullies can pull. She knows that these stories do not end happily. However, maybe someone will learn some important lessons? Maybe, maybe not.