Great Illustrated Books

Fitz - A Father. a Son. and a Gun.

By Mick Cochrane

Alfred A. Knopf,, 2012
Pages : 192
Suggested Ages: 12 and Up
ISBN: 9780375856839

A sixteen year-old boy lives with his single mom. He is so desperate to meet his biological dad that he devises a plan to kidnap his dad at gunpoint.
Fitz really wants to meet his father. Just how badly does he want to meet this man -- a total stranger? So badly that he stalks his father to learn his habits. He buys a handgun illegally. He makes a plan.
Then one morning, he skips school and hides in the garage of his father’s apartment building. As his father unlocks his car, Fitz kidnaps him at gunpoint. This very desperate sixteen-year-old kid accomplishes his mission. He now has met his father, and he has his father’s absolute attention.
What next?
The two guys visit the zoo, enjoy lunch at a diner, and stop in at his father’s law office. Their spontaneous itinerary is simply background for their profound conversations. Getting to know each other at gun point may not be ideal, but it works for them.
While Fitz holds his father hostage, he can make him listen to all the ways he’s failed as a dad. He wants his father to know that sending child support money is hardly adequate. Fitz is bursting with the rage and frustration that have built up over the years of missing out on the stuff that dads do with their sons. He expresses fury with his dad for never making contact -- especially when his dad lives in the same city.
What can such a miserable excuse for a dad possibly say to excuse himself? Quite a lot. As his Dad’s side of the story unfolds, Fitz begins to understand and appreciate the reasons his dad behaved as he did. From the time Fitz was born, his mother refused to let his father be a part of their lives. His father had moved to the same city because he wanted to establish a relationship a Fitz.
By the end of the day, when Fitz’s dad drives him home, Fitz is galvanized. In no uncertain terms, he tells his mother that he wants a relationship with his father. He loves his mother and is grateful for all she’s done for him, but she will have to deal with this new reality.

Reviewed by : FH

Themes : The gun is gone from Fitz��s life. His father stays in Fitz��s life.

If you love this book, then try:

Cochrane, Mick. The Girl Who Threw Butterflies. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2009.

Katcher, Brian. Almost Perfect. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2010.

Walton, K. M. Empty. Simon Pulse, 2013.

Critics have said

Cochrane��s style is unique due to the frequent presence of his expository, omniscient narrator, but with such a focused, direct and forward-moving narrative, the novel is engaging and worthy of a read by any teenager with questions about themselves.
Teen Reads