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Bang!
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Bang!
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Bang! Guns really sound like that, you know. Bang! And people bleed from everywhere, and blood is redder than you think. And little kids look funny in caskets. That's 'cause they ain't meant to be in...
Bang! Guns really sound like that, you know. Bang! And people bleed from everywhere, and blood is redder than you think. And little kids look funny in caskets. That's 'cause they ain't meant to be in...
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Description-

  • Bang! Guns really sound like that, you know.
    Bang! And people bleed from everywhere, and blood is redder than you think.
    And little kids look funny in caskets. That's 'cause they ain't meant to be in one, I guess.
    Mann is only thirteen, yet he has already had to deal with more than most go through in a lifetime. His family is still reeling from the tragic shooting death of his little brother, Jason, each person coping with grief in his or her own way. Mann's mother has stopped eating and is obsessed with preserving Jason's memory, while his father is certain that presenting a hard edge is the only way to keep his remaining son from becoming a statistic. Mann used to paint and ride horseback, but now he's doing everything he can to escape his emotions: getting involved in fights at school, joyriding at midnight, and much worse. His father, at his wit's end, does the only thing he thinks will teach his son how to be a man: he abandons him and his friend Kee-Lee in the woods, leaving them to navigate their way home, alone.
    Now Mann, struggling to find his way back to civilization, must also reconcile himself to the realities of a world that has stolen his little brother, and that isn't even sure it still wants Mann in it. One wrong turn and it could all be over for him, too. Bang.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Sharon G. Flake has an international reputation as a top author for children and young adults. Her breakout novel, The Skin I'm In, established her as a must-read author among middle and high school students, parents, and educators. She has spoken to more than two hundred thousand young people, and hugged nearly as many. Flake has penned nine novels, numerous short stories, plays, and a picture book entitled You Are Not a Cat.
    Her work has received numerous awards, such as the Coretta Scott King Honor award and the YWCA Racial Justice Award, and her books have been named to many prestigious lists, including Kirkus Review's Top Ten Books of the Year, Best Books for Young Adults by the American Library Association, Top Ten Books for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library, Top Twenty Recommended Books to Read by the Texas Library Association, 100 Books Every Teenage Girl Should Read, and Booklist Editor's Choice, among others. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information, go to sharonflake.com, or follow her on Twitter @sharonflake.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 24, 2005
    In a contemporary, hard-hitting survival tale set in a neighborhood where people get shot "for no real reason," Flake (The Skin I'm In
    ) follows an African-American boy's harrowing initiation into manhood. Two years after Mann's seven-year-old brother is killed in a drive-by shooting, the boys' father decides to teach 13-year-old Mann, who narrates, the same lesson received by boys in African tribes. He drives Mann and his best friend, Kee-lee, into the woods and leaves them there to fend for themselves. Wild animals prove to be less of a threat than the people the boys encounter, and once they do return to the city, Mann's father turns them out again to find out what direction they want to take in life ("You wanna be a pimp—well, there's a road that'll lead you there. Wanna be a thief, sell crack and live high and die hard—well, that road's waiting for you too," says Mann's father). The method used to induct Mann into a violent world will spark as much controversy among readers as it does among characters in the book, but in the end, Mann (who fares better than his friend Kee-lee) does learn some important lessons that go beyond survival. There is a gradual yet notable change in his morality as he searches his soul to find what kind of man he wants to be. Ages 12-up.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2005
    Gr 8 Up -Even though random shootings have become increasingly common in his neighborhood, Mann is horrified when his little brother is gunned down while playing on his own front porch. Two years later, the 13-year-old and his parents are still struggling with their grief. His father believes that if he had been less loving and protective, Jason might have been tougher and capable of avoiding the shot. Mann and his friend Kee-lee keep track of the shooting deaths around them, certain that their own time may come and make them nothing more than numbers on their list. Influenced by ancient African coming-of-age rituals in which young boys are sent into the wilderness to attempt to survive, Mann's father takes him and Kee-lee camping and abandons them far from home. For two urban teens with little food or money, this is a dangerous, frightening experience that leads to crime and violence. After the boys make their treacherous way back home, Mann's father turns him out to live on the streets, determined he will not lose another son because he is too -soft. - This disturbing, thought-provoking novel will leave readers with plenty of food for thought and should fuel lively discussions." -Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA"

    Copyright 2005 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    July 1, 2005
    Gr. 9-12. Following the death of his six-year-old son in a ghetto shooting, Mann's father made every effort to toughen up his surviving son: "If he's gonna be a man, he's gonna have to learn to chew nails and hold a gun in his hand." Approximating an African coming-of-age ritual, he abandons Mann and his friend Kee-Lee at a distant campsite. The experiment ends in tragedy when Kee-Lee falls victim to more senseless violence. Will Mann respond by spiralling into a street thug's nihilistic existence, or will he become someone who "takes trouble and makes something good out of it"? Flake's plot is relentlessly and purposefully grim as well as somewhat jumbled, with disparate story strands that include Mann's developing talents as an artist and his efforts to heal sick, abandoned horses at a city stable. But the vivid, raw voices that earned Flake a Coretta Scott King Award for " The Skin I'm In" (1998) and two Coretta Scott King Honors are in abundant evidence--and the complicated relationship between Mann and his father represents a welcome investigation of African American manhood, a theme that cries out for broader YA treatment.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2005, American Library Association.)

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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