Dear Marcus: A letter to the Man who Shot Me

Author and teacher, Jerry McGill, presents an intimate memoir which discusses the events that led to his becoming a quadriplegic.

His life, like several others, Christopher Reeve and Joni Eareckson Tada, took a different road when circumstances changed the course of their lives forever.

On New Years Eve of 1981, thirteen year old McGill was walking home with a friend, when he was struck by the bullet of an unknown assailant, leaving him a quadriplegic for life. This memoir is a personal letter to his unknown assailant, who McGill calls Marcus.

The data surrounding violence and youth is alarming.

According to the Center of Disease and Control, in 2012, homicide was the 2nd leading cause of death among youth ages 15 - 24, and has been the leading cause of death for young black males.

According to the Office of Justice Programs, homicide victimization had increased for teens within a 13 year span of time.

McGill, talks about his life before the shooting, and how promising life seemed. McGill was just getting into performing arts, and becoming quite the athlete, but after 1982 all of his ambitions and dreams changed.

This memoir by McGill is very honest and inspiring. He chose not to let the physical and mental challenges keep him from becoming a beacon of hope to young men and women, who are also facing difficult situations in their lives.

Jerry McGill doesn't make any excuses, he demonstrates how an optimistic outlook on life and determination can help a person overcome some of life's most difficult barriers.

Last year School Library Journal conducted an interview with Jerry McGill.

Jerry McGill interview by the School Library Journal By Amy Cheney on September 28, 2012.

Written by J.Allen on February 20, 2013


J.Allen on February 7, 2013



Laurie. on February 22, 2013


Wow, this sounds like a powerful read. I just put myself on hold for a copy. Two other stories I like about forgiveness are The Tricky Part by Martin Moran and Left to Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza.


Let me know, your thoughts, Laurie after you've read it, I have heard of "Left to tell" but I haven't read that one, I"ll have to put that one on the to-read list.

Anonymous on March 4, 2013


This does sound like a powerful read. Thank you Allen for this amazing review.

J.Allen on March 12, 2013


Thank you, for responding...

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