Gunstories: Life-Changing Experiences with Guns

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9780060526610: Gunstories: Life-Changing Experiences with Guns

Guns are a fact of life for young people growing up in the United States. They are found in homes—for protection, sport, and hunting. Guns are also on the street—for defense and security, and in gang-related uses. Guns can cause accidents, and even deaths, while they can also nurture self-esteem and athletic abilities. The impact of guns on young people's lives is undebatable—and often dramatic.

S. Beth Atkin's evocative photographs and candid interviews share the remarkable stories—told in their own voices—of an array of young people's life-changing experiences with guns.

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About the Author:

Photo Kate Burkart

Writer and photographer S. Beth Atkin, is the author of Gunstories: Life-Changing Experiences with Guns, Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories and Voices from the Streets: Young Former Gang Members Tell Their Stories. Included in the awards she has received are: ALA: Best Books for Young Adults; Hungry Mind Review; Children's Books of Distinction American Booksellers Association: Pick of the List; and Booklist: Editor's Choice. Her books are used nationally in schools, universities and libraries to help youth and adults understand more fully issues concerning violence, discrimination, firearm use and regulations teen pregnancy, language barriers, firearm use and regulations, gangs, child labor, and many family issues. She lectures nationwide about her books and these topics. Ms. Atkin's work has been utilized in radio, T.V., videos, plays and numerous book and magazine publications.

She was previously a visiting fellow at the Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley and co-produced Connecting Students to the World which utilizes distinguished visitors who come to the university and connects them to inner city students through live web chat sessions. Her books are implemented in the program. Ms. Atkin was the bi-cultural curriculum editor at California State University, Monterey Bay, National Science Foundation project, utilizing the Internet to motivate Latino/Hispanic high school students in science courses.

Photo Kate Burkart

Writer and photographer S. Beth Atkin, is the author of Gunstories: Life-Changing Experiences with Guns, Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories and Voices from the Streets: Young Former Gang Members Tell Their Stories. Included in the awards she has received are: ALA: Best Books for Young Adults; Hungry Mind Review; Children's Books of Distinction American Booksellers Association: Pick of the List; and Booklist: Editor's Choice. Her books are used nationally in schools, universities and libraries to help youth and adults understand more fully issues concerning violence, discrimination, firearm use and regulations teen pregnancy, language barriers, firearm use and regulations, gangs, child labor, and many family issues. She lectures nationwide about her books and these topics. Ms. Atkin's work has been utilized in radio, T.V., videos, plays and numerous book and magazine publications.

She was previously a visiting fellow at the Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley and co-produced Connecting Students to the World which utilizes distinguished visitors who come to the university and connects them to inner city students through live web chat sessions. Her books are implemented in the program. Ms. Atkin was the bi-cultural curriculum editor at California State University, Monterey Bay, National Science Foundation project, utilizing the Internet to motivate Latino/Hispanic high school students in science courses.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 Up–Atkin's Voices from the Streets (Little, Brown, 1996), about the life and times of youthful gang members, stimulated her research into guns and how they affect teens' lives. This book is the result, providing transcripts of interviews with young people from across the country. It clearly shows the diversity of the American gun culture, contrasting, for example, Ohio 4-H clubs that train boys and girls to target shoot competitively with South Central L.A., where their urban counterparts too often find themselves in the front lines of gun violence. Some of the interviewees have been shot, others have seen the lives of strangers, friends, and family members devastated by shootings. Hunting accidents, unintentional shootings, and suicide are other aspects of the issue that are addressed. Though there is a bit of repetition, the stories clearly bear the stamp of each teen's individual reality, including those who seem, in turn, naive, overtly influenced by adults around them, and/or jaded. Atkin's often artful photographs personalize the tragedies of those who have suffered and reveal something of the hopes of teens to whom guns are seen as tools for good. Additional material includes Web-site postings, the text of the Second Amendment, etc. This book should be useful for students involved in the debate about guns in our culture as well as for those with a general interest in the subject.–Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA
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