This was first published in 1969 in response to the Vietnam War. It teaches through the use of childrens play that war hurts and in the end, there are no winners. I read this at 6 in 1974 and I still remember at the end of the battle one kid asks "Who won?" and the answer comes back "We all lost." That is a powerful message even 40 years later. Those who see only the war the kids fight and ignore their realization that war only hurts and how the two gangs reconcile and become friends are missing [...]
I personally liked this book, however I have very mixed feelings about giving it to a child. The book tells the story of a group of boys who play a game called "Bang, Bang, You're Dead," acting out a battle. The fighting becomes real when they meet a rival group of boys that want to play on the same hill where they stage their battles. In the end, the boys don't like the real fighting, but decide to play fight with their rivals the next day. It's a mixed message, but it is very true to life. The [...]
Bang Bang You’re Dead is a children’s book with detailed black and white drawings, about eight kids who have a war over a hill they want to play on. In the beginning we meet James and his three pals who dress up, take their toy guns to the top of a hill where they play a game called Bang Bang You’re Dead. In this game everyone gets (pretend) shot, everyone (pretend) dies, and no one gets hurt. At the end of each game they “celebrated the end of the war” which, one can tell from the ill [...]
This book was very violent and teaches a completely irrelevant, negative lesson that kids should never adapt. The illustrated cover and pages give the false pretense that it is an approachable graphic novel for readers of any age. In contrast, this book is disturbing on many levels and is an entry that should be avoided.