Violent books pulled from middle school library after student checks them out

DENVER — Sandy Morton says she was “shocked they would have something like that in public school,” when her 14-year-old son checked out two books from Hill Middle School’s Library in Denver.

“I was very upset,” said Morton, whose son brought home “The Gun,” by Paul Langan, and “One Fine Day, You’re Going to Die,” by Gail Bowen.

Both books designed for reluctant teen readers, typically described as troubled students who don’t like to read.

The books are short, with simple, but very realistic plots.

In “The Gun,” the lead character gets humiliated by a fellow student, so he buys a gun and begins plotting to murder his classmate.

Similarly, in “One Fine Day, You’re Gonna Die,” a radio DJ must convince a suicidal listener to give up his plans of murdering a young child before committing suicide.

“It was unsettling to know that he could bring something like that home from school,” said Morton, who urged her son to return the books to the library.

After we shared the books with the school’s principal, he reached out to Sandy Morton to apologize for the incident, and removed the books from the school’s library.

We also spoke with an official at Denver Public Schools, who acknowledged that the books were designed for high school students and not middle school students.


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