Give a Boy a Gun

In the novel Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser, the
main characters, Brendan and Gary, were bullied.
Since they started school, they’ve been harassed
and teased. Brendan and Gary get so fed up with
how they are treated that they want to get
revenge. Both of them will go to any extent to pay
back the jocks that have teased them all their life.
Now, the students of Middletown High must watch
out for these two boys because they don’t care
who they hurt on their road to revenge.
Todd Strasser was born on May 5, 1950 in New York
City. He’s an American author that has published
more than 130 young adult novels. He studied
literature in college. Todd earned a living working
as a journalist. He published articles and short
stories in The New Yorker, the Esquire, and The New
York Times. He mostly writes about things like
Nazism, bullying, homelessness, and school
shootings. Strasser has written many award winning
novels for young adults and teens.
Gary-main character, a victim of bullying.
 Brendan-main character, a victim of bullying.
 Ryan Clancy-a friend of both Gary and Brendan.
 Allison Findley-Gary’s on and off girlfriend.
 Cynthia Searle-Gary’s mother.
 Dustin Williams-a neighbor of Brendan’s in
 Emily Kirsch-a former friend of Brendan’s.
 Beth Bender-Middletown High School counselor.
 Sam Flach-a jock who bullies Brendan and Gary.
 Allen Curry-principal of Middletown High School.
Brendan and Gary are against the whole school.
Almost every student that goes to Middletown High
has or does bully the two boys. When the teachers
see that the boys are being bullied, they don’t do
anything to help them out. No one thinks the
bullying affects these two boys, but it does a lot.
The boys find it necessary to get revenge because
they are so sick of their lives and how they are
There were many examples of foreshadowing in
this book. The emails that the boys shared between
each other showed that they were planning a way
to get revenge. In one of the emails from Brendan
to Gary, Brendan said “When I take ‘em out, I’m
gonna make sure I nail this guy…” Brendan’s plan
involved “taking out” most of the people that
attended Middletown High. A gun is an example of
symbolism because the boys shot people when
they held everyone hostage at the school dance
to get revenge.
I would recommend this book to my classmates. It
shows that bullying really does get to people and
you never know what extent they would go to just
to get revenge. It also shows that sometimes bullies
may push a person too far and could cause them
to make a decision that could permanently affect
someone or even themselves. This book teaches a
good lesson to young people.

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