Hmm. I love Sharon Flake. Money Hungry, Begging for Change, Who Am I Without Him, You Don't Even Know Me. L-O-V-E her! So I feel terrible about not liking Bang! The thing is, Bang! is a really good book. I just hated it. It was so upsetting. It made me so angry. It was just so sad. Now sometimes I can give a book a rave review anyway, when I agree that it is wonderfully written but it upset me. This time it just upset me so much that I just can't give it a glowing review.
Mann is a young teen growing up in a neighborhood where death is all around him. His seven year old brother was shot and killed in the crossfire of an argument between two strangers. Guns are everywhere. His parents are still grieving the loss of their son and basically his dad has flipped out totally. Mann's father comes up with a ridiculous plan to make a man out of Mann, to somehow toughen him up so that he won't be killed, like his little brother was. The grief in this book was just too much. I know that this is real. It was just so so harsh and I'm not brave enough to handle it. I'm ashamed of myself and I feel helpless when I know that there are folks out there who have to live like this every day. How long, O Lord, until You come again? Your people are suffering. Hear our prayer.