Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 9, 2008


Filed under: ENDGAME — erinlbowman @ 8:14 am

This book was extremely depressing. It really makes you see how someone can be brought to do such a terrible thing. The ways in which he was bullied and received absolutely no support from those who should have been supporting him most, is so sad. I wanted to personally hurt these bullies, and the teachers who knew what was going on but did nothing about it.

Grey’s father was my least favorite character. He made me so mad in the ways that he ignored his son and made things so much worse. He was the least supportive father possible and he really helped the bullies in driving Grey to do what he did. His father yelled at him for everything whether he did it or didn’t do it, or whether he should be disciplining him or praising him. It didn’t matter. His mother didn’t help either. She was a poor excuse for a woman, being so weak and submissive. I think she was too afraid of Harry for her own good.

Perfect Peter and Lindsay were the only characters I really liked, they however didn’t help as much as they could have. Peter made things worse without even trying, just because he was exactly what Harry wanted Grey to be, the complete opposite of him. Peter enabled Harry to have something to compare Grey to, and to wish Grey was more like. This frustrated me more than anything. The least charismatic father in the world, Harry created the perfect atmosphere for Grey to become a murderer.

I really liked this book even though it was quite depressing. It brought me to tears a few times, and also made me feel sick. That shows the true power of Nancy Garden’s work. I think that this would be great for students, especially bullies, showing them the extremes of what they can drive people to do.




  1. Erin: the end of your post made me think of something. If we read this book with adolescents and show them the power of their actions towards others, I think it would start a great discussion about blame and responsiblity. I think readers would agree that Gray certainly isn’t the only person to blame for how the situation in this book escalated. Teachers are responsible for their failure to act, Gray’s family contributed to his angst, and bullies are also partially to blame. So while it is always easy to view the shooter as the bad guy, often these situations need to be examined much more deeply. The description of Gray was altered to fit the bad guy profile in his local newspaper, and now I wonder about a lot of other similar situations that have recently occured, and if the assailant was intentionally portayed in a specific way, and if the responsibility of others was somehow alleviated.


    Comment by mandygrl101 — April 9, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

  2. As I read ENDGAME I was moved to tears and got angry, but also thought ‘I’d never let younger kids read this!’ My reason for thinking so was that the book, being told from Gray’s P.O.V., almost justifies the shooting becuase of the way he was treated. Yes, bullying and physical violence is awful, and does not belong in schools, but I couldn’t get past that. Until I read Erin’s suggestion that this book would open discussion for bullying and the power of hurtful words. And now I agree with her.
    One thing I liked about ENDGAME is that it showed different ways bullying can occur (verbal and physical), that bullying isn’t just between kids (Gray’s father is verbally abusive and limits his activities like computer and drums) and all the people (teachers) that could have put an end to it but didn’t.
    I was also really bothered by Gray’s lack of remorse, even at his trial. And although I did like the book overall, I thought Garden was trying to over sensitize school shootings by writing it from the shooter’s viewpoint. Everytime there is a school shooting on the news, and a few days later we find out that the (often deceased) shooter was bullied, I think, was it really that bad? Can bullying be so bad that a kid feels that’s his only way: to get revenge or get out?

    Comment by ebrazee — April 9, 2008 @ 5:21 pm

  3. What does everyone thing about the aspects of violence via video games and hunting in this novel. Is there an effective point? was it the video games and hunting that enabled Gray to become a killer?
    I don’t think this will cause a kid to become violent. I think it is more the other parts of his life- as erica says, his fathers verbal abuse, and the verbal and physical abuse that happens at school.
    I couldn’t believe when his father challenged him to get off the video games and kill something in real life. Was this realistic?


    Comment by allison — April 10, 2008 @ 5:26 am

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