Library Journal Review
We all know about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, the movement it sparked, and the teens who continue to speak truth to power. But do we really know the young people behind the tweets and interviews? Journalist Cullen (Columbine) tries to answer that question, documenting the impact of the tragedy and pain that swept through the community, as well as the movement that served as a lifeline for all involved. This work gives voice to the faces behind March for Our Lives, exploring their world behind the scenes to introduce a group of extraordinary people thrust into the public eye by one of the worst events in U.S. history. Exposing the physical and emotional effects of activism in light of tragedy while examining the solace of action and community, Cullen presents a well-balanced review of the Parkland shooting without too much emphasis on the perpetrator or the horrors of the day. VERDICT An -emotionally gripping, very human portrayal of the people behind March for Our Lives. A solid choice for readers interested in current affairs, gun legislation, and young people in America.-Gricel Dominguez, Florida International Univ. Lib., Miami © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
School shootings are horrors, but, as journalist Cullen (Columbine) depicts in this page-turner, something hopeful has risen phoenixlike from the Valentine's Day 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.: an eloquent, organized group of survivors who have become nonpartisan activists for reasonable gun control. "There are strains of sadness woven into this story," he writes, "but this is not an account of grief." Cullen, who got to know the students over 11 months, recounts how the movement began the day of the shooting, with David Hogg's first plea for calls to congresspeople on national television; grew as the Parkland activists forged connections with less-heralded teens advocating against gun violence in Chicago; and led to the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. Along the way, he draws nuanced portraits of several students, among them Jackie Corin, a preternaturally organized junior who handles logistics and event planning, and Cameron Kasky, a theater kid who was the first to tweet #NeverAgain. Cullen makes sure they come across as "kids, because that's who they are"; despite their unusual maturity, they get tired, act out, break down. Both realistic and optimistic, this insightful and compassionate chronicle is a fitting testament to a new chapter in American responses to mass shootings. Agent: Betsy Lerner, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Cullen, the author of the groundbreaking Columbine (2009), brings his eloquence, expertise, combination of deep research and concision, and unbiased perspective to yet another mass school shooting, revealing its deepest layers and resonance. The story he tells about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, in Parkland, Florida, is a very different story from that of the 1999 tragedy in Columbine because Cullen focuses on how the March for Our Lives (MFOL) movement emerged like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the devastated community. Cullen never names and rarely discusses the Parkland shooter because his focus is on how this school-shooting generation found direction and meaning as survivors by working actively, passionately, and purposefully to champion a reasonable approach to stemming gun violence. Cullen, who worked with the MFOL movement and similar anti-violence groups, discusses their creation, evolution, methods, and suggestions for preventing gun violence by shaping policies for safeguards and avoiding political partisanship. This moving, defining, and important account of an essential and vital youth movement dedicated to change and saving lives belongs in every public and school library. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Cullen's standing as a school-shooting chronicler and the ongoing concerns over gun control make this a strong draw for social-issue readers.--Jennifer Johnson Copyright 2019 Booklist