For Elementary School
- The Gorp’s Gift By Sherri Clessen, grades K-2 … Gorp and his friends have fun while teaching children that guns hurt (for teachers’ version, visit thegorp.com.)
- Just One Flick of a Finger By Marybeth Lorbeicki, Illustrated by David Diaz, grades 2-6 … this rhythmic story is about a boy and an urban schoolyard hazarded by guns.
- The Butter Battle Book By Dr. Seuss, all ages … the Yooks and the Zooks create increasingly sophisticated and dangerous weapons in an example of tit-for-tat violence that results in a lesson about intolerance.
- Gloria and The Super Soaper By Pat Ross, grades 2-4 … Gloria learns that toy guns can really mix you up about what’s real and what’s not.
- The Berenstain Bears and No Guns Allowed By Stan and Jan Berenstain, grades 1-3 … Brother and Sister Bear learn the importance of gun safety.
For Middle School
- The Good Greenwood By Eric Rhodin, grades 5-8 … Mike grieves for his friend, Louie, who was accidentally shot and killed with Mike’s gun.
- One-Eyed Cat By Paula Fox, grades 5-8 … Ned Wallis receives a gun for his birthday and gets into trouble when he shoots it off without his parent’s guidance or permission.
- Gun Control By Renardo Barden, grades 5 & up … presents both sides of the gun control vs. gun rights argument.
- Park’s Quest By Katherine Paterson, grades 6-9 … Park accidentally shoots a bird and while he is nurturing it back to health, he determines that guns are dangerous and killing was too easy. It shouldn’t be easy. [He] did it without meaning to and there was no way to take it back.
- Scorpions By Walter Dean Myers, grades 6-9 & up … Jamal becomes a gang leader, despite his friend Tito’s warnings. When Tito uses a gun to save Jamal’s life, he becomes traumatized by the experience.
- The Rifle By Gary Paulson, grades 6-9 … a book recommended by Student Pledge Against Gun Violence, this book follows the history of a rifle.
For High School
- Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories About Guns Edited by Harry Mazer, grades 9-12 … though the book is an older one, it has a fantastic set of stories, exposing the realities of guns.
- Give a Boy a Gun By Todd Strasser, grades 7-12 … this highly controversial book tells the story about guns in schools, told from several different points of view.
- In The Line of Fire By Joseph F. Sheley, grades 9 & up … this is written in a textbook style, talking about youths, guns, and violence in America.
- A Good Fight By Sarah Brady, grades 9 & up … a memoir written by Sarah Brady, leader of the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. Her husband, James Brady, press secretary to Reagan, was shot and paralyzed in 1981 during the assassination attempt on the President. The book tells of the Brady family’s ongoing fight against gun violence.
- Fist Stick Knife Gun By Geoffrey Canada, mature high school students & up … subtitled “A Personal History of Violence in America.”
- Gone Boy By Greg Gibson, mature high school students & up … this is a true story of Gibson’s son, Galen, who was killed by a gun as a sophomore in college. He explores individual and collective responsibility for gun violence.
- Inside the NRA: An Expose By Jack Anderson, adult … Anderson takes a deep look into the gun rights stronghold, the National Rifle Association, and comes up with some disturbing discoveries about NRA leaders, policies, and just how far the NRA will go to protect its interpretation of the Second Amendment.
- A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America By Saul Cornell, adult … Americans are deeply divided over the Second Amendment. Cornell, a leading constitutional historian, shows that the Founders understood the right to bear arms as neither an individual nor a collective right, but as a civic right — an obligation citizens owed to the state to arm themselves so that they could participate in a well regulated militia. A Well Regulated Militia not only restores the lost meaning of the original Second Amendment, but it provides a clear historical road map that charts how we have arrived at our current impasse over guns.