The Rifle

The Rifle

by Gary Paulsen

Paperback(First Edition)

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A treasured rifle passed down through generations is the cause of a tragic accident in this timely tale. With subtle mastery and precision, this tough, thought-provoking novel challenges the idea that firearms don't become instruments of destruction and murder until they are placed in human hands.

Each book includes a reader's guide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780152058395
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 11/01/2006
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 300,246
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

GARY PAULSEN has written nearly two hundred books for young people, including the Newbery Honor Books Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room. He divides his time between a home in New Mexico and a boat on the Pacific Ocean.

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Rifle 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book gives an extremely narrow minded look into the world of firearms, where apparently everyone who owns a gun is a beer guzzling, government hating, overweight, conservative christian. WHO ARE YOU KIDDING GARY PAULSEN??? This book is an insult to anyone who has more than two brain cells to rub together. The views given are so slanderous and bigoted that I would equate them with racism and sexism; all gun owners are placed into a despicable stereotype and kicked around throughout the entire book. The ending is about as probable as getting struck by lightning while reading this review. PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK, IT IS AN INSULTING WASTE OF TIME!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for school. This book was one of the most boring things I ever read! This book was horrible. My hate towards this book burns with the fury of a thousand suns!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story pulls you in with a wonderful description of the making of the rifle, how it helped win American independence, only to let you down with a far-fetched, bleeding heart ending. Moral of the story: guns are bad. They kill innocent people who could have saved the world. They had their day, but it's passed. At least it's a short book, so I didn't waste too much time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The American Longrifle is recognised as the first completely 'American' art form. Nothing like it had ever existed before. It grew out of the unique needs of the new world. It is doubtful that America would exist today if the longrifle had not been developed. This book is nothing more than a shameful attempt to brainwash young readers. Read 'Thoughts On The Kentucky Longrifle In Its Golden Age' by Joe Kindig or 'Rifles Of Colonial America' 2 volumes by George Shumway.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was sssssssssssoooooooooo bored reading things! Wake me up when your done. I mean yeah sure Gary Paulsen's books are good but this one had no point
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: It is necessary to know this rifle.This short little book traces the history of one flintlock rifle from its creation during the American Revolution to the 1990s.The rifle's creation is a months-long labor of love by a journeyman gunsmith named Cornish McManus. When completed, it is most definitely a "sweet rifle" (meaning one of stunning beauty and accuracy). In desperate need of money, Cornish reluctantly sells the gun to John Byam, a sharpshooter in the Revolutionary War who dies of dysentery.The rifle, intended as a gift to a son killed in battle, is tucked away and forgotten as the centuries pass. In the 1990s it is found, and changes hands a few times until it rests above the mantel of a home in Missouri. Tragedy will ensue because-- during all this time and through all the hands it's passed-- no one has ever checked to see if the rifle is loaded.The first part of this book is wonderful. The craftsmanship that goes into the making of this rifle is phenomenal, and Paulsen brings the entire process to life. The rifle's "life" while in the hands of sharpshooter John Byam is also vivid and well done.But the book falls apart in the end. It's obvious that the author wants to teach children how deadly serious guns are, that no matter how beautiful they are or how innocently they are kept, guns are made to kill-- and they will kill. But it strains credulity to the breaking point to believe that a gun loaded in the 1770s will still fire first-time true in 1993.Paulsen does not believe that "guns don't kill people, people kill people," but the tragedy that occurs at the end of the book is due entirely to humans who don't care about simple gun safety. The ending of the book, in particular, bothered me: "And in the meantime the rifle sits in the gun cabinet. Waiting." Guns are not inhabited by evil spirits who lurk patiently until the unwary come within range. (Although all too often they are owned by people who have no business having them in their possession.)Middle school children may well take Paulsen's message to heart, and I hope they do, but for most of the adults who read along with their children, the aim of his story is going to fall short.
dahabdabbler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book turned out much differently than I originally thought it would. I was interested in the story frame ¿ the following on an object throughout time and places. This is a story frame that I would like to write about as well. The beginning detailed description of Cornish¿s work on the rifle is a brilliant example of striving for perfection and the difference between an art and a trade. I did not understand much of the terminology involved, but that did not take away from my appreciation of the details and feelings described. The bits of history were secondary, in my mind, to the author¿s point of guns killing people. I think this book, in the hands of the right teacher, would be an excellent resource for teaching about our right to bear arms, the current debate about this right, and the violence and killing that seem to result from guns. This is such a pertinent issue nowadays, and especially relevant, I think, in Texas!
mspioneer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a rifle that has been passed through George's family from generation to generation. This book is great and shows the main character's hard work to keep the rifle and pass it on one day to his family.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book follows the history of one rifle over a period of more than 200 years. The idea of having an inanimate object as the main "character" is an interesting one, and Paulsen writes it beautifully. The message and relevant meaning behind this short book makes it a powerful, completely believable story. A very sad yet, unfortunately, not all that shocking ending. A very good, powerful little book.
Nana3387 More than 1 year ago
I thought “The Rifle” was a good book. Throughout the book, there were some very good details on how the rifle looked and felt and what happened with it. It talked about the making of the rifle and gave very clear steps. The ending was pretty exciting, but it was very predictable. This was the only part of the book that needed very few details. If Gary would have given fewer details on how the gun was loaded, it might have been more exciting because you wouldn’t know what was coming next. My favorite part of the book is when Bainbridge was killed. It was very thrilling. Right after Bainbridge was killed, the book said: “He threw one look at the farmstead where Bainbridge’s wife stood now a widow.” After I read this, I felt sorry for his wife but that made the story very interesting. I didn’t want to stop reading after the British officer was shot because it was so detailed and the details made it so electrifying! One neat thing about “The Rifle” is that the whole book is a time-line of a rifle. It starts off talking about the making, then trading it, and then it gets put up in an attic, so no one finds it for years. Another cool thing about this book is it deals with real-life events and happenings. Many times Gary Paulson mentions wars like the Civil War and the Revolutionary War. He also mentions the Constitution and the amendments. Overall, I think he did a pretty good job writing this book. I liked the amazing detail given. I would recommend “The Rifle” to pre-teens and teenagers in middle school and to people that like history and guns.
SpartanReading More than 1 year ago
My rate for this book would be a two of of five stars.It is about a man that made a rifle and this rifle is the best made at the time. So, the blacksmith sells it to a men Byamm that is going into the revolutionary war. Then he goes to in the war and goes and kind of adventure. But, all of the sudden it makes a HUGE twist. Then it just gets boring. If i had to recommend this book to anyone it would defiantly be who like action. At the beginning of the story there is a kill. Then after that their is a chase so it gives you a good jump start to the book. But still don't waste your money on this book.
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texasdawn More than 1 year ago
This book starts as a sucker play describing the creation, beauty and accuracy of this superb rifle before the Revolution. Then it gets lost in an attic for 217 years. Then somehow these rudely caricaturized gun enthusiasts are idiots and must have never seen an episode of Anitques Roadshow and because they ignore its value while owning black velvet Elvis paintings. The gun goes off in a freak accident and kills a boy who, oh by the way, was going to grow up and cure heart disease. Because people don't kill people, guns kill people. Then we are left in suspense while this beautiful antique waits to kill someone else. Total crap!
p.s. Not that I am a drinker, but it also incorrectly links stomach cancer to beer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is supposed to be read with detail. The details are what make it. To understan the book you have to understand the very 'intricate' details about the rifle. Can most people in that era build the perfect rifle. I don't think so. It's all about imagination and how well you use it. That's considering you are not self absorbed or egotistic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is one of the best books that i have read by gary paulsen. i like how it tells the reader what goes on in the making of a gun. i think it is an award winning book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The protagonist of this story is a rifle, made with great care during the American Revolution. Gary Paulsen follows the history of this rifle through the years at a fast pace that keeps you thinking. Is the rifle a reflection of man's actions or is it a symbol for his agression? One man has put so much of himself into this rifle, for what purpose? Ultimatly, who is responsible for the tragic ending to this book, man or the rifle? I'm not sure where Mr. Paulsen stands on the issue of gun control, but this book certainly gave me a lot to think about. A must read for all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was so boring for the first 40 pages all it talked about was how the gun was made, then how it went down between people and then a boy get shot. Worst book I've even read. The only good thing was that it was 112 pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The rifle was a very goog book.In a book I like realistc fictionbut most improtant I like short books.In a book I like lots of action and Suspense with tons of twist and turns one more shocking then the next and this book has it all.The rifle in this book. kills many people but who it kills in the end will shock and Horrify you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Assigned this novel to read during a class project, the name of a popular author, Gary Paulsen, assured me that it would be interesting. But with that, I was mistaken. First off, Paulsen babbles on for twenty pages or so, describing how a rifle is made. Every single intricate detail. I wasn't aware that this was a 'How-to:' book, and it immediately lost my interest. The rest of the novel discusses how this 'sweet rifle' is passed down and passed down and ends abruptly and quite stupidly in a freak accident that kills a young boy. This novel has no purpose except to bore the reader to tears.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this book its awesome . great from beging to end. i love reading about wars but this had twist which was excelent!i wish i could say more but im tierd and i have to go to bed .. READ IT YOU'L LOVE IT
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a girl who dies and makes a promise to her little sister. Her parents and her sister leave the house. She tries to go with them but is forced back. She can never leave the house. Then people move in and she eventualy talks to this girl. This girl tries to help her. She and a friend go to this grave yard and put a note at the ghosts parents grave. Then she gets a call and it is the ghosts sister. She comes to the house and talks to the ghost. They finish the unfinished business. I would give this book 5 stars. It is a really good book because it has good detail and you can really imagine the stuff happening.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a guy who makes rifles for a living. He makes this one rifle that he likes alot. He thinks it is perfect so he hangs it up. He then knows that if it doesn't shoot perfect than it is not perfect. So he shots it into a target 3 times and misses completly. He then looks up to the target. He notices something. This gun is then used by a soldier, he uses it to fight in the army. He shoots another soldier and they chase him. He gets away from them though. Then it goes onto a family where a girl puts it in the attic and forgets about it. Then it is found and hung up. His wife dosen't want it in the house. It is to late, the kids get a hold of it and dont know it is loaded. I would give this book 3 stars because it jumps around alot while telling the story. I liked that you never could tell what was going to happen next.