Children Under Fire: An American Crisis Audiobook, by John Woodrow Cox Play Audiobook Sample

Children Under Fire: An American Crisis Audiobook

Children Under Fire: An American Crisis Audiobook, by John Woodrow Cox Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Graham Halstead Publisher: HarperAudio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 6.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.13 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: March 2021 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780063065819

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

61:54 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

33 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

30:50 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

One of The New York Times’ 16 New Books to Watch for in March

One of Publishers Weekly’s Most Anticipated Books of the Year

One of Newsweek’s Most Highly Anticipated Books of The Year

One of Buzzfeed’s Most Anticipated Books the Year

Based on the acclaimed series—a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize—an intimate account of the devastating effects of gun violence on our nation’s children, and a call to action for a new way forward

In 2017, seven-year-old Ava in South Carolina wrote a letter to Tyshaun, an eight-year-old boy from Washington, DC. She asked him to be her pen pal; Ava thought they could help each other. The kids had a tragic connection—both were traumatized by gun violence. Ava’s best friend had been killed in a campus shooting at her elementary school, and Tyshaun’s father had been shot to death outside of the boy’s elementary school. Ava’s and Tyshaun’s stories are extraordinary, but not unique. In the past decade, 15,000 children have been killed from gunfire, though that number does not account for the kids who weren’t shot and aren’t considered victims but have nevertheless been irreparably harmed by gun violence.

In Children Under Fire, John Woodrow Cox investigates the effectiveness of gun safety reforms as well as efforts to manage children’s trauma in the wake of neighborhood shootings and campus massacres, from Columbine to Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Through deep reporting, Cox addresses how we can effect change now, and help children like Ava and Tyshaun. He explores their stories and more, including a couple in South Carolina whose eleven-year-old son shot himself, a Republican politician fighting for gun safety laws, and the charlatans infiltrating the school safety business.

In a moment when the country is desperate to better understand and address gun violence, Children Under Fire offers a way to do just that, weaving wrenching personal stories into a critical call for the United States to embrace practical reforms that would save thousands of young lives. 

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“Shines a light on America’s gun violence crisis through deeply personal and profoundly affecting stories of the children who live with its everlasting repercussions.”

— Newsweek 


  • “Fresh insights and suggestions for common-sense solutions…[A] deeply reported, impressive book.”

    — Dan Rather, #1 New York Times bestselling author
  • “Cox adapts his groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize-nominated series in this harrowing and illuminating account.”

    — BuzzFeed
  • “Painful to read but vitally necessary if Americans are to understand the ‘widely ignored’ epidemic that affects millions in ways we still do not fully understand.”

    — New York Journal of Books
  • “A hard-hitting report…Cox makes an impeccable case for how to solve the problem and why it’s essential to do so now.”

    — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “A difficult but important book…[on]  the true human cost of America’s continued failure to protect its children from gun violence.”

    — Booklist
  • “Cox writes with a searing clarity, laying bare the uniquely American tragedy that has traumatized generations of our children.”

    — Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize–winner and author of They Can’t Kill Us All
  • “Brings us into the minds of children like Ava and Tyshaun, helping us to better understand that the scars of gun violence are not just physical.”

    — Gabrielle Giffords, former US Congresswoman


  • A Newsweek Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2021
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick of 2021's Most Anticipated Books
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
  • A New York Times pick of Books to Watch For 
  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

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About John Woodrow Cox

John Woodrow Cox is a staff writer at the Washington Post. He previously worked at the Tampa Bay Times and the Valley News in New Hampshire. He has won Scripps Howard’s Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Storytelling, the Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, and Columbia Journalism School’s Meyer “Mike” Berger Award for human-interest reporting, among other honors. He has taught narrative writing at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications and serves on the journalism department’s advisory council.

About Graham Halstead

Graham Halstead, an Earphones Award and Audie Award–winning narrator, is a professionally trained actor and voice artist. As an actor, he has worked internationally in Edinburgh and London, as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. His youthful, easy-flowing voice can be heard on television and radio voicing spots for Airborne and Allegra.