A chunk of old memory, adrift in a pool of blood.
Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun.
Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend--Aneesa--to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past.
It took a gun to get him into this.
Now he needs a gun to get out.
Unflinching and honest, Bang is as true and as relevant as tomorrow's headlines, the story of one boy and one moment in time that cannot be reclaimed.
I'm truly at a loss for words after finishing Bang. To put things simply, this book is incredible! I knew from the moment I read the description with the list of Little, Brown Faculty Lounge preview books that this book was going to be one of my top picks for this year. Though we're only 1/3 of the way through the year, I can safely say it will remain among the top.
* * * Takes a break for a few days because I really have no words...* * *
Okay, I'm back, and I've just listened to the Professional Book Nerds podcast where Barry Lyga talks about Bang, his family, writing, and pizza - some of the recipes are his. Do you share recipes, Mr. Lyga? The pizza descriptions were unexpected and deliciously distracting!
On the topic of giving teen readers access to books dealing with difficult topics, Mr. Lyga says, "Nobody has ever been able to explain to me how taking away a book about violence is going to shield somebody from actual violence in the real world." As a librarian, I couldn't agree more. Yes, some books can be an escape from the real world; however, others show readers they're not alone. These books are especially important for teens going through a difficult time or experience. They may not feel ready or comfortable talking about it yet, and books provide a safe place to think and consider.
Bang approaches so many "headline" issues - gun violence, broken families, lack of communication, depression, suicide, Islamophobia, and more - with a gentle yet compelling voice. Readers will root for Sebastian to find some peace in life, and he will stay with them long after the last page. This book is a must read!
Thank you to Little, Brown for including Bang in the LB Faculty Lounge and to Barry Lyga for writing it! BSHS students, don't worry, I pre-ordered the book, so we should have it in circulation next week.