>Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser

>Brendan and Gary have never fit in; at least that’s the way they feel. The jocks and cool kids have tormented them daily. Sometimes it’s a bump in the hall. Other times it’s something much larger. Both boys are eventually pushed to the limit. They hatch a plan to carry out a revenge massacre at their school. They are going to let their bullies know what it’s like to feel powerless.

Generally, knowing the end of a story before you read is a stopper. Knowing the end before you begin reading Give a Boy a Gun is essential. The ending, in a sense, doesn’t matter. What leads to the end is the focus of Strasser’s riveting book. Through many different perspectives, Todd Strasser retraces Brendan and Gary’s path to an unsettling, violent ending with the hope that readers will take a hard look at their school community, identify bullying that leads to something bigger, and stop it in its tracks.

Kids can’t seem to put this book down. We should use it as a series of talking points to better understand how the divide between social groups, particularly in schools, has reached a fearful width.


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Filed under Give a Boy a Gun, school violence, Todd Strasser, young adult fiction

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