Thursday, August 13, 2015

Blog Tour ~ Come Sit By Me by Thomas Hoobler

Welcome to my tour stop for Come Sit By Me by Thomas Hoobler! This is a gritty, Young Adult novel that tackles the alarming, real world epidemic of school shootings. This tour runs from August 3rd - 14th with reviews, guest posts, interviews and excerpts. I've already reviewed this book on my blog which can be found here but when I contacted Kellie at Booktrope and asked if I could still participate in the tour in some way she graciously provided me a fantastic excerpt for you lovely readers to enjoy!

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Thomas Hoobler
Formats Available: eBook & Paperback
Publisher: Booktrope
Publication Date: 07-23-15                Pages: 218
The boy who shot seven people in the school library is dead. But did his secrets die with him? 

Something terrible happened at Hamilton High last year, and those who survived don't want to relive the past. But Paul has just arrived, and gets the same locker that the shooter used. He wants to know what really happened...and you know what curiosity did to the cat. 

We sat down on the ground. Leaves on the trees had already started to change color, and some had fallen, exposing the branches. “This is a good time to shoot birds,” North said. “They’re active, and they aren’t able to hide in the trees so easily.”

Apparently waiting was a big part of hunting. North had brought a couple of calls that were supposed to sound like turkeys. Sitting there doing nothing but blowing on one of them started to get boring. I felt like taking out my Blackberry and checking my email, but I didn’t think North would approve.

Suddenly, he squeezed my arm and then pointed toward one of the trees. Then I heard what sounded like scratching. North had noticed it before me. He raised his shotgun and aimed it in that direction. I still couldn’t see anything. Neither could he, evidently, because he didn’t fire.

Then a flash of red appeared from behind a tree. I saw it moving. North, who was aiming just over my left shoulder, fired. The noise practically deafened me, and I ducked instinctively.

“Got ‘im!” I heard him say. It sounded as if he was talking through cotton. My left ear was still ringing. North stood up and went over to the tree. The turkey was lying there. Picking it up by the neck, North brought it back to show me. It was bleeding from several wounds, but didn’t look as bad as I thought it might.

“How come it isn’t all torn up?” I asked.

“With a shotgun, the shot inside the shell gets dispersed the farther it goes,” he told me. “With a target as close as this bird, I couldn’t hardly miss. But only two or three of the shot actually hit him. Which is good, because if you want to use the meat, you have to dig out the shot. This is a tom, so it won’t be as good for eating anyway. You’ll see. Next one is yours.”

North picked up the dead turkey and put it in a cloth bag. He said that the noise we made would keep other birds in hiding for some time, so we walked farther into the woods till we found a new spot to sit. This time I paid more attention, because I was nervous. I told myself that I really didn’t give a shit if I killed a turkey or not. The damn turkeys never did anything to me. But I had this feeling gnawing away at my insides that I wanted to impress North.

Sitting there waiting, all sorts of thoughts went through my head. Was this what meditation was like? I had always heard that meditation was supposed to help empty your mind, calm you. But waiting to kill something--that was the opposite. You were focused. And actually holding a gun in my arms made me wonder just exactly what went through Cale’s mind when he killed those people.

Or was anything? Of course he had to be crazy, so what kinds of thoughts does a crazy person have? Did he just decide to do it, and it didn’t really matter who he killed as long as he killed somebody? Was he just going on auto-pilot by then? Or did he really have reasons?

What sort of reason could you have for killing seven people? I knew that Cale’s USB drive must have some kind of answer to that question, but--

North nudged me. “Down there,” he whispered, pointing.

I saw it. It was smaller and less colorful than the one North had shot. More gray than anything. Creeping along the ground about twenty yards away. I raised my shotgun, and it saw me. Looked right into my eyes. And then spread its wings and took flight. Without thinking about it, I raised the gun and fired. It had a lot harder kick than the rifle I’d used earlier. Maybe the kick made me shoot higher than where I’d originally been aiming. But the turkey’s wings stopped flapping and it fell to the ground.

“You got ‘im,” North said. “Beginner’s luck.”

I practically ran over to where it had fallen, and there it was, lying on the ground. I stooped over to get a better look. I had taken off both of its legs, and you could see its bloody insides. But the eyes were still open, shiny and black.

The next thing I knew North was slapping me on the back. “Not bad. I thought you’d flinch when you pulled the trigger,” he said.

I didn’t tell him I actually had flinched. I was looking at those black eyes. A feeling of power started to rise up in me from someplace. It surprised me.

A second ago, the turkey had been alive. Now it was dead. I did that.

I felt blood rushing through my head, behind my eyes. This was what it was like to kill. Cale had felt this way.

Only…a turkey wasn’t a person. If I had killed a real person, everything I was feeling now would be way more intense. You would feel so powerful that you would be like the king of the world. No matter how much people made fun of you.

About the Author:

Thomas Hoobler has written many books for young people and adults, mostly in collaboration with his wife Dorothy. They won the Edgar Award for Best YA novel for their book, IN DARKNESS, DEATH. The Washington Post selected that book as one of the five Best Young Readers' Books of 2005.


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