Shape of Thunder
Genre: Upper MG
Screening: crushes, few cuss words, guns mentioned, school shooting, murder
Trigger warning: mentions of a school shooting and the killing of four people. Not graphic but does describe a school drill and imagines what it would have been like. Might be triggering for some- certainly made me cry
Its a new school year. The prior November, Quinn’s brother Parker shot and murdered 3 people (and took his own life); one of those people were Quinn’s bff Cora’s older sister. Cora struggles with her sister (more a mother figure since her mom left) and she blames Quinn for her brothers actions. Quinn blames herself too and researches a way to travel back in time to reverse the events and save everyone. Quinn convinces Cora, and the girls work to open a wormhole through time.
Through their research to travel in time, you can see both girls coming to terms with what happened, experiencing their grief and loss, and growing and healing.
Honestly, this book brought me to tears. It was so powerful in how it introduced the story of these girls and sensitively mentions the school shooting. While it can be triggering as a topic, I do feel like the author did a wonderful job being sensitive and using appropriate language for the upper MG age group. I feel like it is important in this time and age where unfortunately school shootings have happened, to teach our children how painful gun violence is and how it tears communities and families apart!
The book contains mentions of Cora being Muslim, of Lebanese descent, and though she doesn’t know much about Islam or practice much, she expressed the desire to learn more! She astutely points many observations about islamaphobia and racism, esp to practicing Muslims.
It was also addressed that Parker was white, and that people of color do not get any excuses, their whole identities and backgrounds used to justify violence.
I feel like books like this help readers develop empathy and realize the harm of negative internet influences, hate, and gun violence.
Readers will learn a lot from this book…And as Quinn and Cora do, I hope they choose love❤️
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