Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Give A Boy A Gun - Strasser

Todd Strasser's Give A Boy A Gun was written in response to the horrific events at Columbine High School Tuesday, April 20, 1999.  It is a heartfelt call to arms against guns and violence.

A fictional story about an occurrence of school violence, the story is written in snippets of comments from people involved...the perpetrators' suicide notes, the victims, the families, teachers, school administrators, etc. 

The event is written to have a very close similarity to Columbine (the perpetrators personalities, for example), though the actual event is much less violent and horrific than the actual event was.

When I started reading the book, I really didn't like the set up with snippets.  After coming back to the book a day later, I was finally able to get my brain around the system and get into the story. 

Maybe I am just a really bad young adult novel reviewer...

Or maybe I just expect too much because I read a lot memoirs where the real facts are expressed as they supposedly occurred...

But, the ending of this book was just anti-climactic.  It just wasn't realistic or fulfilling.  It was almost like the author didn't want to actually delve into the nasty dirty horrible facts of gun violence...

I guess I should understand that, given it is a young adult novel. But, isn't it young adults who are not only imagining, but actually doing, these horrible things? Why avoid showing them the reality of what such a horrible event could/would be like?  To avoid giving them ideas, perhaps?

Overall, the whole book seemed a bit too moral focused to me. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but...the jocks treat the geeks bad, the geeks respond, and the geeks are paid back for their horrifically bad decision.

The book ends with basically no one else really learning anything from the event.  But, then maybe that is exactly the point. Nothing is gained or learned from such horrible acts of violence. Real life is not a movie.  The jerks don't suddenly "get it" and beg forgiveness  and all is better.

I just kind of wonder if there wasn't a more interesting way of expressing that. 

2/5- Just okay.  Choose with extreme prejudice.

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