Author of “Columbine” visits Central


Critically acclaimed author Dave Cullen visited Hinsdale Central on Sept. 29 to discuss his book Columbine. Cullen’s appearance was divided into two parts, half lecture about his book, and the other half question and answer.

Central students and faculty asked questions not only about the book itself but also its application to the Central student body. Kathy Krepps, library chairperson asked, “What can we do to prevent what happened in Columbine from happening to Hinsdale Central?”

Cullen said, “Depression is single biggest thing we should have learned from this. It is not psychopaths who take hostages and shoot in schools; it is individuals who are depressed.” Cullen’s statistics were as followed: 6 percent of teenagers are suffering from depression, which means theoretically 150 students at Central are suffering from depression and are in need help. “Your body is an emotional thermostat,” Cullen said. Sometimes the thermostat gets stuck in the wrong place and it needs to get unstuck, but it won’t by itself. If this sounds like you or someone you know, get help.”

Many students are currently reading the novel, which they purchased at a reduced price offered by the library.  While the book is normally $12 plus tax, the library offered it for the discounted price of $5. “We reduced the price by using the money we receive from book fines,” Krepps said,  “This way we give back to the students–we really don’t want your money and that’s why we use it for programming that benefits the students. Of the 100 book shipment that was being sold for $5, all sold within four days,” Krepps said.

The success of the book branches out all over Illinois. Columbine is an Abraham Lincoln Book Award nominee. The Abraham Lincoln Award is an award given yearly to the author of the book voted as most exceptional by participating students in grades 9 through 12 across Illinois. To participate in the vote, a student must read at least four books on the nominee list. While the book is only one of the 22 books on the nominee list, Columbine is different from all of them. “Columbine is a fine example of creative nonfiction writing” Krepps said.