Give a Boy a Gun

By: Todd Strasser

Story Elements

Give a Boy a Gun takes place in Springfield during the present. The main conflict in the story is Brendan and Gary have been bullied in school and plan to get revenge. The book begins with Gary and Brendan's friends talking about them and how school was for the. Also that they didn't think their problems would get as bad as it did.

Character Analysis

The main character is Brendan. Three words to describe the main character are hurt, revengeful, and devious. The character is motivated by the bullies hurting him which makes him want revenge. Gary motivates him to get revenge since they're both struggling. When others get hurt he wants to help them by getting revenge not just for him but for everyone. I dislike the main character because in my opinion i feel like he should of handled his problems in a different way. The relationship between Brendan and Gary is like they're partners in crime since they both want revenge.


The theme of the novel is think before you react. One example that supports the theme is all Brendan and Gary wanted was revenge so they thought hurting them was the answer. Another example is Brendan and Gary held the students hostage and wanted to kill them but what's the point? They should of gotten help instead. A third example from the book is their "friends" should have taken their signs of revenge seriously, like when they made the test bomb, and react by getting help. A final example that supports the theme is before thinking about getting revenge on the students they should of reacted by looking for ways to stop the bullies.


Teens can relate to this novel because school shooting have happened in the past. Not just shooting but hostages too. It happens all over the world and this is just another story to go along with the rest. Also students are being bullied everyday in school and most people don't react and do something or tell someone. Students have to speak up and they could possibly save a life.