An Amazon Best Book of October 2016: Reading about the deaths of children is emotionally crushing, which is exactly why Younge is making us do it. Picking one day in 2013 when ten children were killed by guns in the United States (the average day’s toll is seven children), Younge wrenches our focus off cold statistics and turns it to the friends, families and neighborhoods shattered by these deaths. Through interviews with most (though not all) of the victims’ families, Younge pieces together a picture of each child as well as the events that led to their deaths. Some killings are accidents; some might have been deliberate but those left behind aren’t sure; and some are straight-up murder. The children come from different racial backgrounds, family structures, regions, and ages, making the method of their death the single thing they all have in common. A UK-born Guardian columnist who lives in the U.S., Younge brings an outsider’s perspective and turns it into one of the book’s core strengths as he questions commonly held beliefs about gun violence. I wish Younge explored more solutions in his narrative so that I had something hopeful to hold on to at the end. Instead, he holds true to his purpose of making these dead children far more than statistics, delivering a heart-buckling read that is all the more painful because it’s real.
On an average day in America, seven children and teens will be shot dead. In Another Day in the Death of America, award-winning journalist Gary Younge tells the stories of the lives lost during one such day. It could have been any day, but he chose November 23, 2013. Black, white, and Latino, aged nine to nineteen, they fell at sleepovers, on street corners, in stairwells, and on their own doorsteps. From the rural Midwest to the barrios of Texas, the narrative crisscrosses the country over a period of twenty-four hours to reveal the full human stories behind the gun-violence statistics and the brief mentions in local papers of lives lost.
This powerful and moving work puts a human face—a child’s face—on the “collateral damage” of gun deaths across the country. This is not a book about gun control, but about what happens in a country where it does not exist. What emerges in these pages is a searing and urgent portrait of youth, family, and firearms in America today.