BANG

Barry Lyga

Readers of This is Where it Ends, Hate List, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock will appreciate this heartbreaking novel about living with your worst mistake, from New York Times bestselling author Barry Lyga.

A chunk of old memory, adrift in a pool of blood.

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one—not even Sebastian himself—can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father’s gun.

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life.

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Readers of This is Where it Ends, Hate List, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock will appreciate this heartbreaking novel about living with your worst mistake, from New York Times bestselling author Barry Lyga.

A chunk of old memory, adrift in a pool of blood.

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one—not even Sebastian himself—can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father’s gun.

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend—Aneesa—to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past. It took a gun to get him into this.

Now he needs a gun to get out.

Unflinching and honest, Bang is the story of one boy and one moment in time that cannot be reclaimed, as true and as relevant as tomorrow’s headlines.

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  • Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover
  • April 2017
  • 304 Pages
  • 9781478915393

Buy the Book

$17.99

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About Barry Lyga

Barry Lyga is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including Bang, the New York Times bestselling novel I Hunt Killers, and his debut, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. Barry lives and writes in New York City.

Author Website

Praise

“Affecting, and unfortunately timely, Bang is a read that’s worth your inevitable heartbreak.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Lyga captures the heartbreak of Sebastian’s situation with sensitivity and compassion, exploring how a life can be unfairly defined by just one action, how it’s tragically easy to ignore humanity in favor of a headline, and just what communication, love and sharing the truth can do, especially when it comes to forgiving oneself.”—The New York Times

Discussion Questions

1. What were your first impressions when you started reading? Why is the first-person narrator so powerful for this story?

2. Why is the book divided into “History,” “Present,” and “Tomorrow”? What effect does this narrative structure have on the story while reading? What other unique narrative features did you notice?

3. What is the importance of Sebastian’s friendship with Aneesa? How is it different from his friendship with Evan? Why is the timing of his new friendship with Aneesa significant?

4. Sebastian describes his room as “a museum to the old, to things I love.” How does his room contrast with the rest of his house? How does he treat memories differently than his family? Why does Sebastian say his sister is in the memory hole, and does it affect how he treats his own things?

5. Why does Sebastian wait so long to tell Aneesa about his sister? Do you think it was a good idea?

6. This book is described as “ripped from the headlines.” Why is this story so important for people to read? What impact did it have on you emotionally?

7. Sebastian admits that he never believed the adage, “Time heals all wounds,” but has found a different kind of solution. Why is that phrase so commonly used as advice? Do you agree with Sebastian?

8. Why do we see the newspaper article at the end? Does it complete the story for the reader? Why or why not?