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Nineteen Minutes

Tilie Vaughn, Staff Writer

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In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, or watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake cookies or go to a dentist; you can fold laundry. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off of it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

Nineteen Minutes is a book by Jodi Picoult that tells the story of the aftermath and events that lead to a school shooting. The story is told from different perspectives and in different time lines. Each character’s side of the story takes place at different paces and different views from before and after the shooting took place. The students and the community have to learn how to heal and move on from the tragedy that affected each. The students also learn that the person behind the shooting was tormented not only with his own depression, but also by the other students at school.

Even though this book is fiction, it is about a real life event that has happened before and could happen again. I enjoyed reading this book and found it very intriguing. The story line itself deals with the truth and consequences behind a school shooting. The story takes the readers through many twist and turns as more of the truth is revealed through flashbacks. As the story unfolds, the readers learn that things aren’t always as they may seem.

Outside of the fiction world, school shootings are events that happen all around the world. Although teenage violence rates continue to decrease in the United States, it remains the second leading cause of death for adolescents. Furthermore, school violence remains a sociocultural concern, due to increasing media attention.

What could you do in nineteen minutes? Would you heat up a hot pocket, watch a cartoon, or take a chance to save the lives around you?

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