This is another one of my Red Maple reads for school and I can't wait to hear what students think of this book AND to use it in my class next year. It is an amazing read. So far, of the 4 books I have read for the Red Maple program I can see After and War Brothers being the top runners for the prize.
This is a story told from two view points after a tragic accident claims the lives of two teenage boys. Kate lost her brother Josh and a heavy blanket of grief has settled over her entire family. In hope of leaving their tragedy behind the family has left the city and moved to a small country community. However, Kate and her family are unable to shake their grief and find themselves growing more and more isolated from each other.
The second view point is that of Sam, the brother of the young man who caused tragedy and took the lives of Josh and the other's involved in the shooting. Sam is struggling with the perceptions of the people in the community after the shooting. His family is subjected to speculation that they could have, and should have, prevented the tragedy. Sam feels alone and isolated as he struggles with his own grief and pain.
This is a powerful story that would provoke a great deal of amazing discussion among teenagers. I am interested to see what my students have to say about and to find ways to use it in my classroom next year.
If you are interested in reading the Red Maple books, here is a link to the book choices for this year.