cover image People Kill People

People Kill People

Ellen Hopkins. S&S/McElderry, $19.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4293-0

Writing via an omniscient narrator called Violence, which also slips into the minds of characters, Hopkins (The You I’ve Never Known) tackles issues of immigration policy, racism, gun control, and the idea that “Given the right circumstances,/ any person could kill someone.” The book introduces a network of teens and shows how “each possesses an incentive/ to pick up a gun, pull the trigger.” There’s new father Rand, itching for revenge on his former scoutmaster, who was recently released from prison; Rand’s wife, Cami, also a new parent, who’s secretly dealing drugs to make extra cash; Ashlyn, who wants power on her own terms, and her boyfriend, white nationalist Silas; and Daniel, a homeless teen whose love for a girl is growing desperate. Tempers simmer and suspense builds as the characters make plans to attend or protest a pro-immigration rally. Someone will die on the day of the rally, and the explosive and highly ironic event asks questions about the phrase “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Set in Arizona, a state with an open-carry gun policy, this powerful story will spark controversy and prompt passionate debate. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary. (Sept.)