After by Hazel Hutchins

Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level:  Q    Grade Level:   5-7  

Genre:  Fantasy/Adventure

  Literature Circle set ( 6 copies) available  at  Classroom Support Centre

Red Maple Nominee 2010 ,  176 Pages

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How do families cope in the aftermath of a tragic shooting?
Follow Kate and Sam to see how families on both side of violence are impacted.” 
http://accessola.com/forest2010/redmaple/rm1/about.php

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Review by Karen

After is the story of told in alternating  perspectives by two young teens that each have lost a sibling at the same store shooting. Kate writes her feelings to her best friend “Amy”  and it is through her entries we become privy to her accumulating feelings of despair, grief, loneliness and an ever-growing  anger.   “ I am so angry. I am so mad.  … all week the silence in our house is has been so loud its like living completely and utterly alone“.

Sam thoughts also reveal his perspective on what the sudden act of violence perpetrated by his older brother is costing him and his family. He is fearful of showing his emotions and that ” if he ever lets the anger out, the kind of madness that explodes, he ‘d be like Everett and never be able to stop.” 

A year later as the anniversary of this tragic event draws near, unbearable silences slowly give way to unexpected friendships. The tension climaxes when the two grieving mothers unexpectedly meet!

 Canadian author, Ms. Hutchins has delivered a very powerful book in After. I highly recommend this for any student from grade 6 to 9!

 Author Website: http://www.hazelhutchins.net/

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