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3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  703 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
A new town, a new school, a new start. That's what fourteen-year-old Gray Wilton believes as he chants, "It's gonna be better, gonna be better here." But it doesn't take long for Gray to realize that nothing's going to change--there are bullies in every school, and he's always their punching bag. Their brutal words, physical abuse, and emotional torture escalate until Gray
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Harcourt Children's Books
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Apr 08, 2012 Luke rated it did not like it
Shelves: hated
Horrible book. Not horrible because it's about a school shooting, but for every other reason. It's the writing that's offensive. And the simplicity of the character's motivations. Oh, yeah, he also plays violent video games, which, of course, makes him shoot classmates. Nancy Garden uses every trite convenience/contrivance to get us to the "climax" that was given away to any person who looked at the front cover of the book.
Jan 12, 2009 Jaemi rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
After bullying incidents lead him to carry a knife to school, Gray Wilton finds himself suspended, and uprooted. Starting High School with a clean slate, and in a new town, he hopes that somehow things will be better in Connecticut. Maybe he can try harder, maybe the kids will be nicer, maybe his father will understand.

But though he makes some friends, and joins the school band, where he can play drums, it doesn’t take long for the bullies to find him. Teachers look the other way. Ignoring them
Oct 24, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I liked this book for the insight that it offered me as a teacher of middle school students and what they expect from us in bullying situations. I don't know what I would've done differently if I was Gray's teacher, but the story gave me a lot to think about.

Gray is probably representative of so many kids these days, but he just took it to the next level when he didn't think anyone could or would help him. He was a likable character and I really liked how Garden made the ending so realistic and
Maureen Brunner
Jun 10, 2008 Maureen Brunner rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic-fiction, ya
Many of my regular readers will give this book four or five stars. Many of them will relate to Gray Wilton, the main character, who is relentlessly tourtured by bullies and who feels like he needs to solve all of his problems alone. The will connect to the feeling that no one in the adult world is really there for them, and that events in their life might just be hopeless. I hurt for him, and as I was reading, I hoped that these things did not happen in my school.

Although my students won't like
Dec 21, 2015 Aiyana rated it it was amazing
This book is intense and impressive and very grim. The author actually made me see things-- up to a point-- from the view of a teenager who is in jail for a school shooting. The writing style itself is a little clunky, but the character development intrigued me.

Gray is trying his best to start over in a new town. But some things never seem to change-- like being unable to please his father, no matter how hard he tries, or the fact that he invariably seems to be a magnet for school bullies.

Jaclyn P
Mar 07, 2008 Jaclyn P rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jac-s-shelf
I read this randomly. I went into my library at my school and randomly chose it. It is my new favorite book. I can relate to the problem Gray has, bullies. I have been a victim of bulling since I was a young child. We are both bullied by jocks and I can relate to him. There are days that are good and then there are the days where I want to kill every single person who ever laughed AT me. This hit home for me and I cried when I read it. I was terrified to laughed at the humor in the book because ...more
May 14, 2009 Terry rated it liked it
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't read it on the heels of Freeze Frame, another book about an emotionally numb teen boy who has killed when the book opens, then recalls the events leading up to the tragic event. Both books suffer from detached protagonists who take a hundred pages to warm up to, and Garden's Gray Wilton was the more remote. By the end, I was caught up in the tragedy of the shooting, but the first 150 pages were slow going.

There are some things to recommend "Endg
Caleb Mitchell
Apr 01, 2014 Caleb Mitchell rated it really liked it
Endgame is fast paced book which puts you in the shoes of a bullied kid. Throughout the book he gets more and more frustrated with his school bullies zorro and johnson until he snaps.

I like how Garden took you through the back stories of Gray as well as the future with his attorney Falco,she introduced characters and made them active in the story there were very few static characters. One thing i didn't like was a lot of unnessessary fill-in parts to connect the story but over all it was good.

Spider the Doof Warrior
Jun 08, 2010 Spider the Doof Warrior rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: high school teachers, teenagers
Wow. All I can say is there needs to be a cure for bullying. Seriously. Bullying these days isn't just some big dopey person pushing a kid around who can be stopped with a punch in the nose anymore than hazing is just forcing people to swallow a fish.
These days it's serious, it's intense cruelty that can follow a kid home to places like Facebook and the like.
Something has to be done.
That aside, this book was powerful, disturbing and sad. It shows that bullying can lead to things like suicide and
May 03, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
14 yr Gray & his family have moved to a new town, new school, but Gray cannot overcome a flaw that allows others to pick on him. He was already suspended from his last school for bringing a knife. But taunting words & deeds take their toll on Gray-he doesn't share w/those in charge- and Gray once again resorts to violence to end the teasing. Excellent scary read-neat set-up with interview from jail with lawyer.
Carolyn Roys
Sep 08, 2011 Carolyn Roys rated it did not like it
Much as I hate to do it, this subject has been done so much better by so many others - kid bullied then shoots up school - but still, it's Nancy Garden of Annie on My Mind. Just kills me. I just didn't give a crap about the kid being bullied, the kid himself not the bullying part, so when the verdict comes,....spoiler alert......

I don't care and I'm happy he gets what he deserves.
Dec 27, 2009 Sally rated it liked it
I read this story right after completing Jodi Picoult's "19 Minutes" - both deal with school shootings instigated by alienated boys who were victimized by crass bullies. While there are many similarities between these two books, they are both worth reading.
Apr 16, 2009 Brittany rated it liked it
Shelves: april-2009
SUCH a happy ending. this book was filled with so much sunshine and love that i could just burst into tears!

(major sarcasm)

i recommend it if you wanna get depressed.
Nov 15, 2012 Travis rated it it was amazing
I thought the book was very good and had a very good plot to it. it was sad toward the end but it had a very good storyline.
Jesus Flores
Jun 05, 2017 Jesus Flores rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun-books
This was a good book because it had a lot of wow moments. The book was about a kid named Gray that recently moved to a new state to start a new life but he ends up getting bullied. Gray gets bullied for his whole year and ends up doing something pretty bad to his bullies. I liked this book because it had a lot of suspense and I like books with suspense
C. Gold
Dec 13, 2015 C. Gold rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
When looking for books about school shootings, i stumbled upon this one and decided to give it a chance because it was written by the author of ‘Annie on my mind’ which was groundbreaking and i supposed her other books would be about the same. I mean, groundbreaking.

The book is about one hell-a difficult topic, one that takes place more than we’ll ever hope for. School shooting is a very harsh issue to talk about, mostly because there isn’t much a regular person would understand about why would
Jesse Arends
Sep 23, 2013 Jesse Arends rated it it was amazing
"It's gonna be better, gonna be better here"(Garden 48). This is what Grey Wilton, the main character of my book says as he's walking into his new school, Greenford High. Although, nothing gets better, it just gets worse in my book "Endgame" by Nancy Garden. Being at a new school with trouble in the past at his old school Grey hopes that everything is going to be better here, but when he bumps into Zorro, the captain of the varsity football team, his life gets worse everyday. Not only is his lif ...more
Carlyn Greenwald
Nov 04, 2013 Carlyn Greenwald rated it it was amazing
Endgame is truly one of the best books I’ve ever read, and has produced perhaps the best school shooting novel where the empathy for the protagonist is built up and torn down in a way where I was left disturbed that I still hadn’t hated Gray by the end of the novel.

Gray is a super relatable and sympathetic protagonist: he has his passions, people he cares about, hopes, dreams, and ultimately, fully fleshed demons. The author does an incredible job at tearing down Gray by his essence, leaving the
John Treichel
Oct 19, 2015 John Treichel rated it it was ok
Endgame by Nancy Garden is about this kid named Gray who is a 14 year old and he’s going into highschool and moving from one state to another and moving to a whole entirely new and different school where he can begin a new life. In his journey he has to make new friends but that might be a problem for him because there are two bullies at his school looking for a kid to bully and since he's new they go directly for him. Gray is faced with some major changes in his life and is bullied everyday at ...more
Lila Hudson
Mar 24, 2015 Lila Hudson rated it really liked it
Endgame by Nancy Garden follows the struggles of Gray Wilton, a teenage boy who seems to always be a target for bullying. Even after his family moves to a different town with a different school, Gray is still harassed. Gray doesn’t plan on letting the bullying continue, and it seems he has no where else to turn except to violence. The situation worsens to a final boiling point, where Gray makes a lethal decision.
Endgame is a very thought-provoking book. I really appreciate how Garden handled
Jan 05, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it
This was a quick read- started and finished on a flight from Albany to Chicago to Minneapolis. I knew the author from Annie on my Mind, and I think I bought this book at a teacher conference. Found it in a pile of books a few years later. I gave it four instead of five stars because I disagreed with the main character calling Daisy a bitch- she didn't do anything wrong.

The hardest parts to read were the dog scene and the locker room scene (toward the end of the book). Even knowing what might ha
Feb 18, 2010 Zumana rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2010 Hliao rated it really liked it
Title of the book: Endgame
Author’s name: Nancy Garden
Publisher, Year, Number of pages, Price: Harcourt, 2006, 289 pages, $17.00
Topic (e.g., relationships, sports, baseball, social issues, fantasy, civil war, violence, drugs, etc.): Social issues, bullying, relationships, violence
ISBN Number: 0152054162

This is the troublesome story of Grayson Wilton, a victim of bullying at his new high school, Greeenford High, Massachusetts. The story is told in flashback of about ten months ago, when Gray first
May 11, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-quiltbag
An intense story about how the effects of bullying can lead to school violence. If you've ever watched the unfolding story of school shooting and wondered how in the world someone could do something like that, this book is your answer. Garden is able to get inside the head of Gary, her fictional character who is responsible for death and hospitalization of fellow classmates. To say that Gary is bullied is an understatement. Had the same events taken place among adults, it could easily have been ...more
Bri Crowe
Nov 30, 2010 Bri Crowe rated it liked it
I think this book was well-written. I must say it got confusing at certain parts where the book would go from first person to third person point of view. It made it a little hard for me to understand. But overall, the book was pretty interesting and I loved the fact that it's relatable. This happens everywhere and it shows how much a person may deal with before they eventually snap. This could have been prevented, but no one cared enough to step up. Some people did try to interfere only to be pu ...more
Aug 22, 2012 Suzie rated it really liked it
Gray has been bullied to the edge; he brought a knife to his last school and had to move to a new town to make a new start. But things aren't always different just because you start fresh.

He gets bullied humiliated and depressed. I could feel the weight of the sadness as I read. He ends up walking inside the school with his father's new semiautomatic after realizing things can never he better unless he solves it now.

This book really touched me, being a victim I bullying myself and still being on
Alma  Ramos-McDermott
Dec 29, 2011 Alma Ramos-McDermott rated it really liked it
Fourteen year old Gray Wilton just wants to play his drums, create songs, play with his dog, and be left alone. Unfortunately, Gray doesn't ever get what he wants. His dad hates him, his mother is too scared of his father to offer support, and his big brother Peter is too perfect and too busy to notice. Zorro, the school's football hero and his pack of friends make Gray's life miserable by bullying him mercilessly. As seems to be too typically true, no one listens or cares as his life spirals an ...more
May 04, 2008 Ardis rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teens 15+
Shelves: teen
This was not an easy book to read, but maybe it's because I could relate. Gray Wilton has recently moved to a new high school because of problems he had in his last one. He is determined to think positively, to think that this school is different, but he's wrong.
When the teasing begins, it's eerily similar to what he went through at his last school: other teens harass, teachers look away, parents disbelieve. But this time it gets worse, and Gray can't stand it any more.
Nancy Garden gets it perfe
Jordan Shirton
Sep 07, 2014 Jordan Shirton rated it liked it
Endgame by Nancy Farmer

So, this book follows Gray, a freshmen in high school who seems to be a burden to his parents, his brother being the kid in the spotlight. When the family moves to another town, the family's past catches up with them. Some of the very same demons have come along.

This book was decent, a story dedicated to the loneliness and suffering of a bullied, underappreciated kid. What Gray does is unthinkable, he tries to make people understand and pay for what they have done to him.
Int'l librarian
A near-perfect blueprint for a painfully bad after-school TV special.

Gray, a whimpering whiny 15-year-old, is bullied into crazed revenge. The story unfolds as a post-blowup conversation between Gray and his lawyer. The lawyer’s false notes of sympathy, and “tell me more” cues, remind me of commercial breaks and lame video teasers.

Just about every character, including the dog, might as well be a cardboard cutout. There are a few worst-of lowlights: Dad is unbelievably crass in expressing how f
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A versatile writer, Nancy Garden has published books for children as well as for teens, nonfiction as well as fiction. But her novel Annie on My Mind, the story of two high school girls who fall in love with each other, has brought her more attention than she wanted when it was burned in front of the Kansas City School Board building in 1993 and banned from school library shelves in Olathe, Kansas ...more
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