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ACTIVIST by Lauren Elizabeth Hogg Kirkus Star


A Story of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Shooting

by Lauren Elizabeth Hogg with Anthony E. Zuiker ; illustrated by Don Hudson

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-947378-21-6
Publisher: Zuiker Press

Hogg relates her experience of surviving the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and her journey to becoming a gun control advocate.

This is a strong—and unfortunately relevant—addition to the publisher’s series of graphic treatments of contemporary social issues. Hogg tells her tale in a compelling voice, and the book begins with a page of arresting graphics, showing slender, then–high school freshman Hogg. She introduces herself and relates that she was on campus when 17 people died of bullet wounds on Valentine’s Day 2018. After revealing that two of her close friends died in the massacre, Hogg notes, “I lost my friends, but I found my calling.” A full page shows her and other students—fists in the air—beneath the slogan #NEVERAGAIN. Anecdotes about Hogg’s relationships with her mother, father, brother, and closest friends cleverly both inform readers about Hogg’s personality and foreshadow later incidents. In the midsection, Hogg relates her memories of the fateful day of the shooting. The images are appropriately gripping but never sensationalized. The final section covers grief, survivor guilt, and increasing empowerment—including students challenging the National Rifle Association. The use of “congressmen” for both male and female members of Congress is a startling regression, especially since Hogg is so politically aware. Hogg is white, and the diversity of her school community is represented in the illustrations.

Inspiring and heartbreakingly timely. (about the author, photographs, note for parents) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)