A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

French / Canada (Québec)

Eux
(Them)

Isabelle, Patrick (text)
Montréal (Québec): Leméac, 2014. – 107 p.
(Series: Jeunesse)
ISBN 978-2-7609-4219-6

School – Violence – Bullying – Killing spree

How does a boy become a frenzied shooter in a Canadian high school? This novel by young author and book seller Patrick Isabelle uses the first-person perspective to show how this fifteen-year-old boy goes from being a victim to becoming a perpetrator. The shooting spree has a two and a half year lead-up: violence and loneliness pave the way for the boy’s crime, as well as a sensed inability to speak out, apathy and missing support from his family, school and neighbourhood. There are internal and external factors that lead to the school cafeteria shooting and to the boy’s subsequent suicide. The short intense text clearly reveals key moments at which it may have been possible to break the spiral of violence that the boy and those around him were caught up in. Patrick Isabelle allows the reader to directly experience how chances were missed and how the boy’s perspective on the world was whittled down to a dichotomy between himself and his surroundings, that is, to a deadly “me” or “them” (hence the book’s title). (Age: 13+)