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20th Anniversary Edition

Give a Boy a Gun addresses the growing problem of school violence. Although it is a work of fiction, it could tragically be the lead nightly news story in any community. After a high school shooting in her home town, a college journalism student interviews students, teachers, parents, and friends of the suspects. Intermingled with her interviews are journal entries written by the two troubled boys responsible for the shooting. Their journals chronicle years of systematic abuse at the hands of their classmates, and follow the boys' frustration and pain as they turn to rage.

Give a Boy a Gun explores every angle and raises tough questions about peer bullying, gun control and accountability. A full cast of narrators' voices add a dramatic reality to this provocative work.


American Library Association: Popular Paperbacks For Young Adults. 

Top ten Selection for Middle School/Junior High (Kansas State Reading Circle). 

Minnesota: Maud Hart Lovelace Award (Master List). 

New York: Washington Irving Children's Choice Book Award. 

New York: Charlotte Award 

Pennsylvania: Young Reader's Choice Award (Master List).

 Rhode Island: Teen Book Award (winner).

 Voice Of Youth Advocates: Top Shelf Fiction for Middle Schoolers.

YA: Work


January 20, 2023

In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent there, but Garrett knows he doesn’t. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won’t be allowed to leave until he’s admitted his “mistakes” and conformed to Harmony Lake’s standards of behavior.


American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. 

Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award. 

Book for the Teen Age. New York Public Library. 

Iowa High School Book Award (nominee). 

2011Peach Book Award for Teen Readers. 

Virginia 2010Young Readers Award (nominee).

Boot Camp
YA: Latest Work


Jake Liddell is a wounded war hero. The military is considering awarding him a Silver Star, a huge honor for any soldier -- especially for the son of a military family. 

But Jake has begun to question everything his family brought him up to believe.

Now at home, recovering from his physical wounds, the memories of what he experienced "over there" haunt him. 

Jake was raised to believe that fighting for one's country was a moral obligation. But now that he's seen firsthand the human cost of war, he is no longer sure. 


Kentucky Bluegrass

Lincoln Award

Illinois Teen Reader's Choice

YA: About
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For DeShawn, joining a gang seems like a terrible decision — why would he want to work for a pittance running drugs when the inevitable consequences are jail or an early death? A bright boy, he does well in school and tries his best to obey the grandmother who has raised him since his mother’s accidental death in gang crossfire. But as DeShawn enters adolescence, the lure of the streets becomes a stronger force, pulling him away from his seemingly meaningless academics and toward the glamour of life in the Douglass Disciples

Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People.
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the CBC.
Gateway Readers Award.
North Carolina School Library Media Association YA Book Award.Kentucky
Bluegrass Master List (nominee).
Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Awards (nominee).

Her street name is Maybe. Thrown out by her abusive mom, she lives with a tribe of homeless teens — runaways and throwaways, kids who have no place to go other than the cold city streets, and no family except for one another. Abused, abandoned, and forgotten, they struggle against the cold, hunger, and constant danger.

American Library Association: Best Book for Teens.American Library Association: Quick Pick For Reluctant Readers.
American Library Association: Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.
Inter­na­tional Read­ing Association: Young Adult Choice Award.

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"This compelling social commentary challenges stereotypes about homeless people and offers a look at homelessness from the perspective of a middle-class teen. Diverse characters, easy dialogue, realistic school and community settings, believable tension, and references to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath fuel Strasser’s well-paced, engaging narrative. Readers will be drawn into this contemporary story. - School Library Journal

"Stalwart scribe Strasser returns with this strong contemporary effort about a topic alarmingly underrepresented in modern YA: poverty. Timely and important material.-- Booklist 

Clearly meant to inspire discussion about morality in the face of today’s social and economic problems, the book also delivers an authentic look at contemporary high-school society. -  Publisher's Weekly

National Council for Social Studies
Notable BookChildren's Book Council Choice
Young Hoosier Book Award

YA: Work
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A Deadly Mystery Romance

Undertaker and overachiever, Philomena Stiffs has always kept her burning desires buried deep ... until she meets the beautiful Theodosia Boudreaux. Philomena considers herself too level-headed to believe in love at first sight, but a single glimpse of Theodosia instantly threatens that belief. However, no one in this story is what they appear to be, and little does Philomena know that her growing fascination with Theodosia will put her and her family in "grave" danger.

YA: About
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