The Rifle by Gary Paulsen

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This tough, thought-provoking novel for young adults takes deadly aim at the oft-quoted notion: “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” With subtle mastery and precision, Paulsen’s novel challenges the idea that firearms don’t become instruments of destruction and murder until they are placed in human hands--The Rifle makes it clear that guns do kill people. “For readers willing to think about this issue, for those looking for ways to introduce the debate, there is no better vehicle than this short, engagingly written story of one rifle and its fatal impact on one modern boy.”--School Library Journal

About Gary Paulsen

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GARY PAULSEN has written nearly two hundred books for young people, including the Newbery Honor Books Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room. He divides his time between a home in New Mexico and a boat on the Pacific Ocean.
Published October 31, 1995 by Harcourt Children's Books. 112 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Rifle

Kirkus Reviews

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Four sections limn the elements of the story: the creation of the gun and its path through history, the life of a boy, the moment when the boy and the gun are "joined," and the rifle's fate after that event.

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Publishers Weekly

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Although he sometimes uses his novel as a bully pulpit to fight the argument that ""guns don't kill people, people kill people,"" his magnificent prose is as ""sweet"" as the rifle about which he writes.

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Common Sense Media

As a 14 year old war geek, I did not think this book was very good, it has a bad ending where a 14 year old gets shot in the head, and I don't think it is very appropriate ending.

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Common Sense Media

The rifle, discovered by two children, exchanges hands many times until its fatal act on Christmas Eve, when the spark of a Christmas candle uncannily ignites, setting off the charge that kills.

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