Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Give a Boy a Gun: Disturbing Yet Awesome
Mrs. Cabaj's freshman English class is reading Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser, and since I was working with them on a research project about school violence, I thought that I would read it, too. Like Stuck in Neutral (see previous post), Give a Boy a Gun is about high school students struggling with some pretty intense issues. Gary and Brendan are considered outsiders by the popular kids at school. They deal with constant bullying, especially from one of the most obnoxious football players, and often talk about how awesome it would be to slowly and painfully kill the worst offenders. Although it is highly disturbing, I really liked this book because it is told completely in flashbacks and from memories of students, teachers, administrators, friends, and family members of the two boys AFTER they took the school hostage and the town had dealt with the aftermath of their violent attack. Also, facts and statistics about gun violence and quotes from newspaper articles about real life school shootings are at the bottom of most pages. All in all, this was a fast read that spoke to an extremely serious and highly important issue facing our country today, so I'm giving it 4 out of 4 Bananas. For another author's perspective on school shootings, try Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.