We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists – A Review | Teen Ink

We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists – A Review

December 11, 2018
By nataliedc12 PLATINUM, Crafton, Pennsylvania
nataliedc12 PLATINUM, Crafton, Pennsylvania
43 articles 7 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If nobody is listening, am I making any sound at all?" ~ Alice Oseman

We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists is an empowering and inspirational compilation of essays and articles written by the Parkland student journalists who were impacted by the devastating tragedy of February 14th, 2018.

This novel - which was edited by MSD teachers Melissa Falkowski and Eric Garner – tells the tale of a disaster of a Valentine’s Day at a certain Parkland, Florida high school from several perspectives: these perspectives varying from the perplexed school staff to the frightened teenagers. Some articles are written from the points of view of students who were, thankfully, not in the same building as the shooter but were terrified nonetheless during the drill, while some also tell of the heroic staff or students who were in the midst of the shooting and were able to save lives – except, sadly, their own - during this tragic encounter. The different stories from each and every teenager behind the words of each article and essay enhances the experience of the reader and makes them feel as if they were there on that catastrophic day, as petrified and confused as their fellow classmates.

The way each student is able to let their individual personalities shine through their essays while still keeping to the unbiased, journalistic approach as they tell their stories – both before and after the event - is mesmerizing and it makes for an informational yet unique read, to say the least. Some readers – myself included - may even be able to relate to the quirky, hardworking and bright-minded teenagers that tell their stories through journalism, making the experience of reading about how these innocent, young minds were tainted by the disastrous event of February 14th even more emotional and impactful.

The fact that certain details – such as how these young journalists were able to carefully craft a school newspaper that had suddenly become the eye of the entire nation or how they managed to set up interviews with important figures, such as celebrities and politicians, and create an entire movement dedicated to their cause – were included in this novel creates a whole new level of depth to this never-ending story of loss and hope. The way this novel is formatted allows the reader to learn about the lives of ordinary teenagers before and after they became the icons of an entire political movement, causing the reader to be shocked, as much as the students behind the essays were, at the aftermath of this horrible tragedy.

Finally, some extra-special touches in the novel that really helps bring the stories of these students to life are the gorgeous and well-composed photography sprinkled throughout the book – which really helps the reader gain a certain perspective as to how this huge movement looked from the eyes of the students behind it all - as well as the dedications at the beginning and end of the novel to the people who were lost on that heartbreaking Valentine’s Day.

All in all, this book is a great read for anyone – young or old, liberal or conservative – because it allows these students voices to be heard in a way that is anything but offensive to the reader, no matter what their opinion on this topic is. The young writers do a magnificent job of sharing their opinions in a quirky, but respectful manner and the way they are able to present facts about gun violence and gun control in a professional way allows the reader to not only gain perspective on this important issue in US history but also be educated by some of the people who were hurt the most by this problem in modern America. To put it briefly, this novel inspires change, asks thought-provoking questions for the public to demand the answers to, and encourages anyone who might’ve been impacted by acts of gun violence – or violence in general – to rise up, speak out and let their stories be told.

The author's comments:

Educate yourself about this important issue in modern America and pick up a copy of We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists at your local bookstore or library.

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