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After the Death of Anna Gonzales
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After the Death of Anna Gonzales

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  414 ratings  ·  139 reviews
A look at the effects of one girl's suicide on her high school

"I can feel
The whispering of the hallway walls
Growing louder as the groups gather.
Each clique adding to its morning input.

"Did you hear?"
"Who told you?"
"Do you think it's really true?"

New at this school,
I stand alone.
Watching . . ."

This collection of voices centers on the suicide of high school freshman Anna Go
Hardcover, 100 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Macmillan
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  414 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Nov 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Summary and Analysis:

After the Death of Anna Gonzales is a novel told in verse that would be appropriate for high school students. After the Death of Anna Gonzales takes place in a high school the day after a student, Anna Gonzales, has committed suicide. This comes as a big shock to everyone and no one really knows why she did it or saw any signs that she was considering suicide. The book focuses on the people who were left behind and their reactions.

The format of After the Death of Anna Gonz
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because I'll probably never read it again. I gave it 4 stars because it is such an important, well-written, well-thought out, meaningful book. The effect it had on me while I was reading it was very powerful. The responses of the students were so well-crafted, I almost wonder if the author studied psychology. I could tell before I read the blurb that she had education experience. Each was written as if it were actually inside the person's ...more
Quick, short read... asks a lot of interesting questions about depression and suicide – would probably be best read in a school/book club setting where the issue can be discussed openly.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-356
I picked up this book because it fulfilled the poetry requirement for my young adult lit class. I also thought it had a really neat concept of poems from various high school student's perspectives. I'm a big fan of poetry so naturally I was really excited to read the book, plus it seemed like a quick and easy read.
Overall I think the writing was good. It was obvious by the writing style that it was written by an adult though. Thinking about my grasp on poetry when I was in high school it doesn't
Eva Leger
Jan 19, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a very, very, very fast book. It's a very "light" book, even with the topic. One could imagine the pages to be more heavy because of what Anna did yet it's not IMO.
I think this would be a great book to hand to someone who likes to read but isn't "hooked" although that person would need to be the kind of person okay with reading about this sort of thing. Even though Anna herself isn't met in the book and even though the suicide isn't front and center it's always there, in the back, hangi
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book was interesting.... it wasn't really a book as much as a collection of stories or after thoughts. Some of the stories were very good with lots of emotion, and wittiness while other were random, and had no revelation to the story. I don't think the school was at all affected by the suicide of Anna. Except for the teachers, and several friends most took advantage of it. There have been several suicides around my area in schools, and I know for a fact that almost 95% of the people were a ...more
Nov 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Anna has committed suicide and that has left the student body grappling with their own lives and what they did or didn't mean to Anna. Each poem is another character, adult, friend, teacher, student who has thoughts of Anna after their principal announces that "she took her own life".

Nothing is uniquely special about the poetry (reminding me of Mel's work) which creates a powerful message when the last "poem" is Anna's suicide note "I am just not. And I am so tired of trying to be."
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Terri Fields has written many, many books including picture books, middle grade books and young adult books. Some of her young adult books include MY FATHER’S SON and HOLDUP, and AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ, which all focus on the teenager experience. Not only does Terri Fields write, but she also teaches and makes sure many of her students write as well. She is a teacher in Arizona and has won Arizona’s Teacher of the Year Award and was selected to the All-USA Teacher Team, which honors 20 ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book I chose to read was called “After The Death of Anna Gonzales” and it was a bunch of poems written in the eyes of a bunch of people from a school that knew Anna Gonzales and were affected in some way by her suicide. It first starts at the beginning of the school day after where the principal tells the school over the announcements and then how the students and teachers react through the day. It shows how all the students are tied together and then at the end has Anna’s suicide note and e ...more
Karmoni Toone
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-356
This book shows the humanity of inhumanity. After Anna Gonzales takes her life, these are the responses of people from the high school she attended. Some of them are from teachers who wished they could've made a difference, from kids who knew she was in their class but didn't know her, from friends who didn't know she was struggling, from the cheerleading captain who says Anna ruined the pep rally. This book does a masterful job of talking about suicide but not romanticizing the idea.

While most
Patti Sabik
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, verse-novel, ya
4.5 Very powerful and not a book I will let go of any time soon. The author’s notes, questions, and references for help are particularly noteworthy. I found this book to be quite well done and I am very critical when it comes to books discussing suicide. Students who have given me their feedback on this book say they find that the verse format and author’s intentional vagueness stimulates lots of good discussion. As a middle school librarian this is the issue I have the most difficulty with beca ...more
Courtney Priestley
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: eng-429
This book is a collection of narratives from a high school where a student took her own life. I normally don't like sad books, but I thought that this was a great read. This collection of narratives comes for a variety of perspectives from classmates, teachers, and the principle. The narratives are simply the author's reactions to what is going on in the community now that this girl is gone. The personal experiences of these community members remind us that one life does make an impact on others ...more
Ashley Brady
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-420
I really enjoyed this book. It's written in verse, which really adds to the effect of the story. Each page is a different poem written by a different person in the high school where Anna Gonzales went to school before she committed suicide. Each poem shows how different people react to her death; some were devastated and others barely noticed she was gone. It's incredible to see how her choices affected so many people though. I would recommend this book for students over 13.
Savannah Dodd
I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book. I hadn't heard anything about it, except that one of the students in my English class was reading it. So, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad that I did. The book is written entirely in prose, which was super interesting and unique. Although the story doesn't follow a certain character in particular, I thought that the depictions and reactions of the different students was chilling and probably pretty accurate. I really enjoyed this e ...more
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Closer to a 3.5, but I'm okay with rounding up.

As an elementary school counselor, losing a student to suicide is one of my biggest fears. I appreciate the author's attempt to share a bit of everyone's story - even those unrelated to Anna. It serves as a reminder that every perspective is important and part of the whole story.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this is something that helps get a better understanding on what suicide does to those that are close to the victim. It also opened my eyes to people who weren't even affected by the death of a classmate. That really broke my heart. But I really enjoyed this book.
Karyn Buchanan
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A small collection of poems that tell the story of classmates, teachers, and staff dealing with Anna’s death and trying to come to terms with it. I think this piece has a lot of insight and heart. Anna’s letter is very sad.
Joanna Hahn
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very short. Read it in about 20 minutes. Written in verse. But really well done. Every page is a different students thoughts following the announcement that a fellow student killed herself the night before.
Jen Brooks
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Not sure if this made me feel even more depressed about an already terrible topic. Little hope in this book.
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
47 voices all touched by suicide, some profoundly others with indifference. Short and moving.
emelia peterson
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
pretty good and short. i liked it though!
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Wow this book was Nothing like I expected. It was a quick and easy read. But still intense and powerful.
Marissa Comeau
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Heartwrenching thoughts put together about the suicide of Anna Gonzalez. A good book for sure that gave different points of view.
Some people are just dicks.
This book about suicide just left me with more questions than answers. Not one I think I will recommend to students.

#spooktober: poetry or short story collection
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
The first half of this book is really interesting and thought-provoking. It makes you really think about how the life of one person affects so many people, and how the sudden absence of that person creates ripples in the lives of those they knew, as well as those they were around. I also liked how the author showed a wide range of reactions to this teenager's suicide. There were teenagers who were shocked and devastated, those who were irritated about it, those who wanted to take advantage of th ...more
Sarah Denson
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Terri Fields, the author of After the Death of Anna Gonzales, purpose of writing this book was to show the feelings that people endure towards when somebody takes their life away. Fields experiences despair over teenage suicides and wanted to show readers that if somebody were to kill themselves, it impacts the people around them, whether they realize it or not.

The theme of After the Death of Anna Gonzales is powerful and something that stuck with me long after I finished the book. I saw the the
Savannah Renken
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Terri Fields, the author of After the Death of Anna Gonzales purpose of writing this book was to show the feelings that people have when somebody takes their own life. Fields shows that a suicide impacts everybody around: students, teachers, friends, strangers, etc.

The theme of After the Death of Anna Gonzales is that even though you may feel invisible, that no one would care if you killed yourself, is that people do care. People will be affected immensely. No matter how hard your life might b
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I choose this book based on the recommendation of a professor, having never heard of it before. I hope I can tell more people about it.

The work is composed of a series of short poems told in the perspective of various students and faculty as they learn and react to the suicide of Anna Gonzales. It's a very real treatment, respectful and beautiful and painful and real. It shows the far-reaching effects of a suicide, the ripples and pain it creates. It's a quick read, but a heavy one. Every new pe
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read "The death of Anna Gonzales" I really liked this book because I liked how the author incorporated many other peoples feelings not just about one person and how they dealt with this death. This book was set up in a different way than many other books which made me enjoy it even more. It went through many different characters telling how they felt about this death and some were sad because the main character felt like all these people didn't see her. But, I also did not like this book becau ...more
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Tess' Book Review In Verse 1 9 May 01, 2013 01:01PM  

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“Since September,
I sat one seat behind Anna in algebra.
Passed papers to her every day.
Studied for tons of tests together.

Though it often seemed impossible,
We always found the unknown for X.

But not this time.
This equation
Bounces against my brain.
And sneers at all attempted answers.

I know I'll re-examine the variables,
And reanalyze the unknowns, maybe forever.
It won't matter.

Because, Anna-
I know I'll never figure out Y.

Y you didn't want to live-
And Y I never noticed.”
“And the only answer I know is
That no child should give up on life.
Math deals in absolutes.
But life is the most absolute of all.”
More quotes…