"In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five.... In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge."
-from Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult
Nineteen Minutes is about a Columbine-like school shooting. Bullied outcast Peter Houghton opens fire in his New Hampshire high school killing ten people, but failing to kill himself before he's apprehended by the police.
The book is told from all different points of view: the shooter, the shooter's parents, a superior court judge, the defense attorney, and the police officer who stops Peter Houghton. The time spans from the time Peter is an infant, up to a year after his trial. The story is also told from the point of view of Josie Cormier, who's mother is the superior court judge. She was Peter's best friend in childhood, until she ditched him for the popular crowd. Josie's friends and her boyfriend were shot by Peter during the rampage.
It's an interesting story, and Piccoult does a good job making you feel empathy for the killer (who's been bullied his entire life) but also very clear that his solution was wrong. It's a very difficult read of course, and as a parent is especially scary. You always wonder about those student shooters, how their parents didn't notice them stock-piling weapons, how they could create a monster without knowing it. Of course it isn't that simple, and you can always do your very best job, and it can still not be enough. But I'd like to think as a parent, if my child were being bullied to that degree, that I would do whatever I had to do, to keep him from having to be miserable every day of his life. Whether that means going bankrupt to pay for private school, or quitting work to home school, so be it.
"What about home schooling? You know, it's not just for scary religious people anymore."
-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Dead Man's Party"