Nineteen Minutes

Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper and The Tenth Circle, pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy. Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens--until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened before her very own eyes--or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show--destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.


Reviewed: 2016-10-12

            I remember reading Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult in high school. Our class separated ourselves into reading groups and everyone in the group was required to stay on schedule while reading the same book and discuss it in class. I loved the book then and knew I wanted to read it again for this assignment. Nineteen Minutes follows the lives of 2 main high school students Peter and Josie. Peter and Josie were best friends growing up but a falling out between their parents caused them to become distant. Josie joined the popular group and Peter was known as the reject, which pulled them further apart. Peter was neglected by not only his family after his older brother died, but by his peers as well. He was constantly left out and ridiculed at school until one day he couldn’t take it anymore. That was the day of the shooting.

            I enjoyed reading this novel because it always kept me on my toes. Every page is full of detail and pulls the reader in at every line. The author uses flashbacks to tell the story of the characters as well as give the reader hints behind the events of the shooting. Even though I am going into Elementary Education and would not use this book in my classroom, I think this book is good to have in a high school English classroom. A teacher can use this story, like mine did in high school, and give the students options to read it in small groups and discuss. This book teaches high school students a lot of important lessons about bullying and lying that are so vital in their lives at that age. It also touches on a tough subject of school shootings that unfortunately is becoming more apparent in our society today. This book is a great read and I think it touches on a lot of subjects as well as literary techniques that can be discussed in the classroom.

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