Columbine

by

Author: Dave Cullen

Title: Columbine

Genre: Nonfiction / True Crime

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 432

Geographical Setting: Jefferson County, Colorado

Time Period: 1999

Plot Summary: On April 20, 1999, Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold carried out one of the most infamous mass murders in American history. This book, written by a journalist considered the leading authority on the Columbine killers, peels back the layers of myth and misinformation (fed by media blunders and police cover-ups) that surrounded the Columbine incident, delving into the factual details of what really happened and attempting to answer the elusive question of why the killers did it. Cullen examines the backgrounds of Eric and Dylan extensively, as well as the investigation that followed the shooting and the Columbine community’s long healing process. In addition to profiling the killers, Cullen etches character studies of victims and survivors, creating the definitive nonfiction account of a tragedy whose impact continues to reverberate in American society.

Subject Headings: School shootings; High school; True crime; Columbine murders

Appeal: character-centered, detailed, disturbing, engrossing, eye-opening, fast-paced, heartbreaking, informative, investigative, journalistic, multiple points of view, psychological, thought-provoking, well-researched

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: detailed, investigative, thought-provoking

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote [True crime; about a pair of young male murderers; detailed, journalistic, psychological]

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi & Curt Gentry [True crime; informative account of infamous murders (Manson family); fast-paced, detailed]

The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer [True crime; assumes POV of killer and gets inside his head (Cullen also does this); covers killer’s background, crimes, and aftermath]

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Project X by Jim Shepard [School-shooting story from the POV of the killers; delves into psychology of killers; realistically depicts teenage alienation]

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver [School-shooting story from the POV of the killer’s mother; delves into psychology of killer; detailed, disturbing]

Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland [About a Columbine-esque school shooting; deals with victims, survivors and parents; multiple points of view]

Name: Brian W.

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