The book I have chosen to share is Shattered by Eric Walters. Shattered is about a 15 year old boy named Ian. Ian is a kind of boy who likes to cut corners and not take classes or anything seriously. One day a community service assignment was given by a teacher and he had to select a place to serve community hours. Of course he takes the easiest route and picked a place called “The Club”, thinking it sounded cool. It was really a soup kitchen. On the way to The Club he’s mugged by 3 thugs but saved by a “Bum” (as Ian calls homeless people). This man is named Sarge and sometimes he went to the soup kitchen for meals. Ian becomes friends with Sarge, who was a sergeant in the army and served in Rwanda. They develop a deep friendship and Ian learns about the horrific genocide that happened in Rwanda.
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There is more than just one message that Shattered shares with the readers. Firstly, and very strongly, that Genocide is a terrible act caused by man. It’s when civilians are targets because of specific ethnic, religious or racial bias. Another message is that people assume that homeless people are mentally ill and do not help society. In this book, Ian realizes when he works at the soup kitchen that the homeless are people too, they have just gone through difficult times in their life. This story takes place sometime soon after the genocide in Rwanda, in the 1990s. I think the audience can learn from this novel that “A small act of kindness can counter the evil that has been done around the world. A random act of kindness often sends ripples that can have a positive effect.” (page 123)
Eric Walters wrote Shattered to include history in a fictional story. Shattered was written for young adults and the main character was about a boy, aged 15/16, who is a young adult too.
This novel has been one of my favorite books that I have read. I liked the main character, Ian, because he changed from being a spoiled and selfish kid to a hardworking and caring person. I gained knowledge about the genocide in Rwanda and others around the world that I never knew about before. I was shocked to learn about why humans would do this to other humans and why no one was able to stop it.
Book Reviewed by Charlie Anthony
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