Sunday, March 4, 2012

Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A true story of what happened at Middleton school. NOT fiction.

Two boys 3 years of high-school together they are haunted, laughed at, tormented and bullied to the point where they both SNAP. In this book it's not because they are gay, they aren't. Because they are to those bullies: lower life forms on the food chain.

The book contains the following contents:

- Final letters of both boys prior to their vengeful mission to make them all pay. The bullies on the football team and the school teachers who stood by and allowed it. Turning a blind eye to when went on with their students.

- Bits of messenger convoy between Brandon and Gary along with a couple other of their friends in discussion prior to what leads up to the final day.

- The story alters from person to various persons who or knew these boys, interacted with them in some way and acquainted with one or both and they tell you from their POV from the time both Brendon and Gary met mid 8th grade to that Friday night while in 10th grade where a school dance was their perfect chance to plot said revenge and to their plans to the extreme level that they'd been plotting for weeks, months, maybe longer. All chaos and hell breaks loose as their 'mission' is executed, yet not all goes as planned.

So much more I wish to tell you about this short book that I own, but why spoil and spill it for those of you who haven't read this one yet.

Brendan is the one of the two who is outspoken and not a pushover. Gary is quiet, reserved and a complete introvert. My heart bled for both Brendan and Gary. These boys were a ticking time bomb which eventually combusted and ignites when their lives collide.

Do not confuse this with being a gay novel because I read it. It is not so.

I read
I see
I understand it, but...
The signs were there. It could have been prevented with stricter no tolerance school rules on bullying.

Final note:

It's sad, rather pathetic that the teachers although they claim in the book that they are there to teach the children and not raise them, are still a part of these teenagers every day lives. They are the figures of our piers that most look up to and hope for guidance to be respectable citizens when school ends and they have a whole life ahead of them in that grown up world which awaits them. Not at this school. The kids are let down unless... you're a jock.

After having read this my view is I hold the bullies responsible and the adults, the teachers, the piers that are there to guide and nurture the students who FAILED accountable.

I hope in the stand they took at the risk of their own lives that Brendan and Gary made a difference.

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