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19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult

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Jessica Isler

on 14 December 2013

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Transcript of 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Key Fact
In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990's, the shooters had a history of being bullied.
Synopsis
In Sterling, New Hampshire, Peter Houghton has been bullied since day one throughout his existence. Josie Cormier, who used to be Peters best friend, now hangs out with the popular kids that instigates the harassment, including her boyfriend, Matt Royston. After taking the bullying day after day, Peter is sick of it, committing an act of violence that the students and staff of Sterling High will never be able to run away from.

Alex Cormier, a superior court judge and Josie's mother, must decide whether to take the case into her own hands or stepping down from it. Her now, mentally unstable daughter, Josie, claims that she cannot remember anything from "that day" of the school shooting. Or is she forcing herself to not remember?

Matt Royston was one of the casualties from that day, but when police officer, Patrick Ducharme investigates the crime scene, there is no possible way that Peter Houghton was the suspect of Matt's murder. Who was Matt Roystons killer?


Peter Houghton
Peter is a 17 year old boy who has always been bullied. He's had a rough life, his older brother, Joey, was killed by a drunk driver, his mother, Lacy, was never really there for Peter. The only thing that made him feel good and be able to escape the world, was his computer. He created his own game and the objective is to kill all the jocks and popular crowd. No one knew of this game, nor did they know it would become more than just a game.
Josie Cormier
Josie was once Peter's best friend, but now hangs out with the popular crowd and her boyfriend Matt Royston, the instigator of the bullying. She wants to stand up for Peter when he is bullied, but she fears that her "friends" will not accept her after that. Josie is is in a fragile place after the shooting. Little does anyone know, she was the person that shot Matt Royston, not Peter. She loved Matt, but he was verbally abusive to her, he controlled her. The school shooting was the perfect place for her to do this, as her and Matt were in the locker room, cornered by Peter.
Characters
Peter Houghton
Josie Cormier
Alex Cormier
Patrick Ducharme
Lacy Houghton
Matt Royston
Jordan McAfee
"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."
- Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes
Alex Cormier
Alex is Josie's mother and a superior court judge in Grafton County, New Hampshire. She was going to take the court case until Josie became a witness for the defense. Alex does not have a good relationship with her daughter, but after the shooting, she is there to comfort Josie and go through the trial with her.
Patrick Ducharme
Patrick is the detective for the Sterling Police Force, and was the first responder on the morning of the shooting. He found Josie unconscious in the locker room and carried her out of the building. Patrick also mapped out Peter's route that took into killing those 10 people. Towards the end of the novel, Patrick get's into a relationship with Alex Cormier.
Lacy Houghton
Matt Royston
Jordan McAfee
Lacy is the mother of Peter Houghton. Lacy's relationship with Peter is not good at all. She never went into his bedroom, she never would ask him about his day. Due to the fact she did not want to go through Peter's room or personal belongings, she had no idea the kind of person he was, or what he had planned on doing at Sterling High School. After the shooting, Lacy wonders what she couldv'e done different rather than raising "a monster".
Matt was a popular kid in Sterling and was the boyfriend of Josie Cormier. He was the main instigator in bullying Peter, and when he would start it, his friends would continue it. Matt was one of the main targets for Peter to kill, but Josie did that for him. Matt and Josie were a popular couple in school, but Matt would verbally abuse her. She thought she loved him and that it was the right thing to do to stay with him. Matt was the very last victim of the day of the shooting.
Jordan McAfee was Peter Houghton's defense attorney for the trial. Although he knew he would take some heat from the public, from defending a murderer, he took the job anyways. His thought on Peter was that, he was still someones son, he was still a child, because he thought of it this way, he took the case into his own hands. He knew that he couldn't win, but he wanted to do as much as he could for Peter.
Victims
Maddie Shaw- popular student.
Courtney Ignatio- popular student.
Whit Obermeyer- Alex's old boss.
Topher Mcphee- pot dealer.
Grace Murtaugh- daughter of towns minister.
Kaitlyn Harvey- special needs student.
Edward McCabe- gay teacher.
Noah James- senior jock.
Matt Royston- popular jock.
Personal Opinion
Although it seems like defending a murder makes me seem like a bad person, i feel terribly sorry for Peter Houghton. I'm not saying killing people, or bringing a gun to school is the answer for bullying but Peter Houghton had a good reason.
I can't imagine waking up everyday, knowing that you're someones target to bully that day. Knowing that they don't even blink when they say something to you, that internally and mentally crushes you. Day after day, Peter was bullied until he couldn't do it anymore. I understand that when something has been built up for so long that eventually that person is going to explode. That's exactly what happened to Peter Houghton.
There is no reason to bully people. I think the only reason people do it is because it makes them feel better about themselves, especially when someone laughs along with them.
Bullying Statistics
About 42% of kids have been bullied while online.
About 58% of kids and teens have reported that something mean has been said about them or online.
About 77% of students say they've been bullied one way or another.
1 of every 4 kids will be bullied throughout their childhood.
Around 160,000 students skip school a day because of bullying.
1 out of 10 students drop out of school because of bullying.
Effects of Bullying
Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness.
Health complaints.
Decreased academic achievement-GPA and standardized test scores.
More likely to skip, miss or drop out of school.
Bullying Leading to Suicide
Most youth who are bullied do not have thoughts of suicide or engage suicidal behaviors.

Kids who are bullied, are at risk of suicide thoughts but bullying alone is not the case. Many issues of suicide are depression, problems at home, and trauma history.
Bullying can make an unsupportive situation worse.
The End
Jessica Isler
Favorite Quotes from the Novel!
"Can you hate someone for what they have done, but still love them for who they had been?"
"You don't need water to feel like you're drowning, do you?"
"When you begin a journey of revenge, start by digging 2 graves: one for your enemy, and one for yourself."
"If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were?"
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