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Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns
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Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns

2.97  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Bold. Thought provoking. Poignant. Heartbreaking. Sixteen celebrated authors bring us raw, insightful stories that explore the impact of guns on teens. These evocative voices each have a different perspective to give.

This collection of fiction tackles the tough questions of gun culture, the psychology of gun owners, the motivation of shooters, and gun violenceboth the
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 2.97  · 
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Jasmine (Jasmine Pearl Reads)
Book: Taking Aim
Author: 16 different authors. (Edited by: Michael Cart)
Finished Reading: September 16, 2015 (Wednesday)

*I would like to thank Harper Collins International for sending me an ARC of this book. This doesnt affect nor influence my review.*

Taking Aim is not the typical book Im always holding. Aside from the words written on the book, there are also illustrations that briefly explained some things about guns. This book stated the word gun a couple of times most probably every time. It
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-copies

I was very underwhelmed by the stories in this. Some I really liked (the kid who accidentally shot his friend, but no one believes it was an accident due to prior events in the story) and there were some that were just really weird (Deer hiring a hunter to be their bodyguard?)

I really only picked this up because I love Jenny Hubbard's writing style, but I was even underwhelmed by her story and was slightly disappointed.

I'm not saying this book and it's stories are bad by any means, I was
Christina Culbertson
So i just finished "Taking Aim" and although, this book states alot of facts, I did not enjoy all of the different stories stringing together. I like how up to date the writing is..but half the book i was confused in what was going on. I understand the book is about guns, and gun violence involving teens, but i just feel like this book didnt even touch the REAL epidemic, and thats mental disorders. Alot of teenagers have trigger factors, then you add a little bit of this, a little bit of that, ...more
savannah chandler
Taking Aim is a collection of stories, Fiction or Nonfiction, that the author has made up or has actually happened to the author. Most of the stories are fiction, but the nonfiction ones are more of an opinion than a story.
The book is based around teens with guns in their lives. Whether their family is big on hunting or it goes all the way to a zombie apocalypse. Their's a story on the animal's perspective on being hunted and a school shooting. Many of the stories
Read InAGarden
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Hoping for a book that took on the issues of urban life, guns and teens, I picked up Taking Aim. A couple of the short stories fit that bill but many of the other short stories were not at all in line with that theme.
Eden Grey
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Poor storytelling, too much message-sending, bland characters, unbelievable and predictable settings and situations, unreadable short stories that no teen will find appealing. Sorry, I did not enjoy this at all and I don't think teens will either.
Sokka (pronounced with an OCCA)
"I continue. "Not everyone who likes to shoot or even hunt is a crazy who wants to own Uzis or doesn't believe in background checks. Not everyone thinks the framers of the Constitution were talking about machine guns. There are plenty of responsible gun owners like my dad - like me - who shoot targets as a sport, because it releases tension, tension caused by dealing with idiots.""

I was very much underwhelmed by Taking Aim. I read it because I had met one of the authors, Elizabeth Wein (Code
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthologies
Solid YA anthology that tackles the subject of guns in a variety of ways. As other reviewers have mentioned, more stories in urban settings would have strengthened this collection. Nevertheless, there are a few truly standout entries and only one that I truly did not enjoy (due to its depiction of animal cruelty). Recommended for high school libraries.

Roach by Walter Dean Myers 3 stars

Embraced by Raven Arms by Tim Wynne-Jones 4 stars

Shoot by Gregory Galloway 3.5 stars

The Bodyguard: A Fable
Why won't my teens even try reading this collection of short stories about young people and guns. I can't GIVE it away. I think they smell preaching before they even open the book. I personally like the idea of assigning writers a topic to see where they go with it. I think Taking Aim would work in a classroom setting, with groups reading various stories. The stories aren't bad....My faves were "Certified Deactivated" by Chris Lynch and of course Joyce Carol Oates' "Heartbreak."
Sonya Moyle
I picked this book up at an author engagement event, as she was a contributing author to this book.

Though fiction, this book has a lot of "heavy" material about guns and gun violence. There are many eye opening moments and they really make you think. Many of these stories have been played out in real life (or close to it), or are a "what if?"

Good quick read.
May 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Didn't actually finish it but was close (which really bothers me. I like to finish everything I start). The first couple stories were okay but thought other short stories lost the point of what this collection of short stories was suppose to be about.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was surprisingly boring to me
Kait Jensen
I enjoy this book so far. Sometimes it is confusing because the characters are constantly changing. But once I adjust, it is interesting to read. I hope the stories get more intense as I go.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like this but especially because it felt consistent with what is happening in the world right now. It was awakening and powerful I really enjoyed it.
Kassidy Conner
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gave interesting insights on both sides of gun control.
May 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star, dnf, read-in-2019
I had high expectations. This collection of short stories is genuinely awful. I am very disappointed. Don't waste your time.
Andrea Mullarkey
This is an exceptional collection of stories about guns written by an equally impressive line-up of YA authors. With authors like Walter Dean Myers and Joyce Carol Oates, you can expect some intense contemporary fiction stories, and they do deliver. But what I liked most about this collection was the wide range of genres covered. There is a hilarious story about a pair of deer who decide to get a human body guard at the beginning of hunting season. And a lovely historical fiction piece, some ...more
BAYA Librarian
This is an exceptional collection of stories about guns written by an equally impressive line-up of YA authors. With authors like Walter Dean Myers and Joyce Carol Oates, you can expect some intense contemporary fiction stories, and they do deliver. But this collection also delivered stories in a very wide range of other genres. There is a hilarious story about a pair of deer who decide to get a human body guard at the beginning of hunting season. And there is also a lovely historical fiction ...more
Kim Baccellia
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ROACH by Walter Dean Myers is very powerful glimpse into a teen in the inner city and an encounter that has deadly consequences.

THE DRAGON by Francesca Lia Block resonated with me as I'm a former first grade teacher that lost a younger sister to gun violence. In this short tale, a kindergarten teacher comes face to face with a gunman who threatens to kill her and her whole class. How she deals with the gunman is very haunting and powerful.

THE BABYSITTERS by Jenny Hubbard is very haunting short
This is a collection of stories that discusses the role of guns in society. There is a diverse group of authors, with a diverse focus on guns. Stories address the historical role, gender roles, school violence, hunting, and inner city impacts. Overall, this collection really creates a great environment for discussion of gun roles, as they relate to both teens and adults.

I found some of the stories boring and not to my liking, but several were okay. I like what this book attempted to do, but I
Oct 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
What a mess.

Especially after a book about teens and gun violence that fit together so well, this was a preachy, pointless, silly and often off-topic mishmash of stories kind of about guns with what seemed to be a well-intentioned mission, but no real plan for carrying it out. Editing would have maybe been something to do, here, or maybe this project was rushed to publication because of the other one, I don't know. Read the preface and the final story and put this back on the shelf, says I.
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the short stories here are beautiful and challenging and will stay with me for a long time. Others were mediocre. I honestly struggled with a rating to give this book because of it but I do think a majority of the book is worthwhile. Also, definitely give the podcast in the introduction a listen. I learned a lot from it!
Feb 16, 2016 added it
annotation for one story:
Block, Francesca Lia. The Dragon. An elementary school teacher recalls a day her classroom was invaded by a potential shooter, concerned her opposition of gun-carry laws for educators may have more endangered her students.
A timely collection of short stories and essays by some big name teen writers takes on the topic of guns and gun culture. Read my full review here.
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was ok

I think this concept should be talked about more often, I just found that these short stories were underdeveloped. I found that I liked the prologue better than most of the short stories.
Irish Bain
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Skip the Prologue. Do not, for any reason, skip the story "Roach".
Maya White-Lurie
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Extremely uneven. The first and last stories were good, but the rest were tolerable at best.
rated it it was ok
Jan 23, 2017
Nancy Hawkins
rated it it was ok
Sep 06, 2017
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Former Director of the Beverly Hills (CA) Public Library and a Past President of the Young Adult Library Services Association, Michael Cart is a nationally recognized expert in children's and young adult literature. Now a columnist and reviewer for ALA's Booklist magazine, he is the author or editor of eight books, including From Romance to Realism, a critical history of YA literature; MY FATHER'S ...more

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