Friday, March 29, 2013

This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell

For their French class, Emery and Jake got a chance to tutor a class of first graders with french words during their French period. Emery really enjoys it and she connects well with the kids. Jake just wanted to get out of French class, though being paired up with Emery could be a great chance to correct a wrong Jake did last year.

One day when they were doing flash cards of animals, one of the students's father walks in demanding that they let Patrick out of class with him.

As it was against protocol, the teacher led the father, Brian Stutts, toward the office to clear it with the administration.

But he was back in just a few moments with a gun in his hand and demanded his son. Stutts was leaving with his son, even if some causalities had to be made.

However, there were witnesses in the hallway and then the authorities came, so Stutts was stuck inside of the classroom with Emery, Jake, the teacher and 18 first graders.

And when the teacher collapsed, it was up to Emery and Jake to take care of all of the 5 year olds and make sure they didn't upset Stutts, who looked very unstable and was also under the influence of alcohol.

It also mean that Emery and Jake's past was bound to come up since they were working together and were stuck taking care of the kids. Even though it was the wrong time to be hashing out their past, they had to deal with both the past and present problems going on.

Can Emery and Jake fix their problems? Can they save all of the kids with no one getting hurt, and get Mr. Stutts the help he needs? Or will things get even more out of control than they already are? Read This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This is a very hard book to read considering what has happened the last few years with school shootings. From the minute I read the synopsis, I got goosebumps. I think other readers will feel the same since today's society has had to deal with this topic more than we want to.

Overall, it was an okay novel. I really didn't care for the blast of the past between Jake and Emery. Yeah, there was history there between them, but I think that if the author just summed it up into one chapter of what had happened and then went into the main part of the novel it would have been better.

I'm glad the reader got to read through both Emery and Jake's point of view. Knowing what each character was thinking was nice to read about because both characters are so opposite of the other.

I think the teacher got the reaction of the kids right, even though I would assume that they would cry more than they really did.

Now, Mr. Stutts. I'm not sure how I felt about him. He has PTSD from being in Iraq for the war, so that was one of the reasons for his reaction and actions in this novel.

I dunno. This book is still a really impacting topic in today's society and it's a good way to get one reasoning over why someone might do this, but I just can't say that I loved the book. Maybe because of the subject, maybe just because of the characters reactions and reasonings... I can't say.

I'm not sure who I would recommend this book to. I can see a lot of parents getting upset if their child brings this book home to read, but I also think it could be a good thing to read for what's happened lately in our time period.

And if you haven't gathered, this book has really stumped me. I'm glad I read it and it's a very short book, but at the same time I think it could have been better.

I applaud McDowell for writing about a horrible subject, even if it didn't impact me the way it should have.

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