Though certainly the most novelesque of this group, Jamie’s Got a Gun is far too important a story to be excluded. Seventeen-year-old Jamie lives in poverty on the wrong side of town with a precocious younger sister and an overworked mother he can’t always protect from his abusive, unemployed stepfather. He’s viciously bullied at school, has no friends, struggles with dyslexia, and worries about his elementary-school crush, who’s now a heroin-addicted prostitute. And then he finds a gun in a dumpster. Written in the first person as though it were Jamie’s own journal, this page-turner, complete with untrustworthy narrator, follows the ups and downs of Jamie’s life as he decides whether or not this gun is the answer to his problems. Set in Canada with a few passing references to school shootings in America, readers should be aware this book deals frankly with physical and psychological abuse, gun violence, drug use, and prostitution. This powerful, poignant, and ultimately hopeful book should not be missed.
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