Forgive me, Leonard Peacock is a book about a young boy who contemplates what he wants in life, due to the challenges he had faced as a young child, and what he continues to face daily. The opening scene we are introduced to Leonardo Peacock, who is taking breakfast. Beside his bowl of cereal is a gun, which he is planning on using it to kill a schoolmate of his called Usher Beal then use the gun to kill himself. In the wake of school gun violence, the story is familiar to many people, due to the violence that surrounds young people, and schools generally.
Leonardo wants to kill his best friend, because Usher raped him when they were younger, and then ditched him as a friend when he became popular in school. Again, the book is symbolic because not many people talk about male rape. The event affected him so much, that it left him a broken young man. His home life is not good either, as he has a mother who was not concerned about his emotional wellbeing. His mother was busy trying to further her career and could not read to signs that her son was not okay; if she did, she chose to ignore. He goes to school and before he could commit the heinous crime, his teacher, Mr Herr, who takes him to his home, and tell him to hold in there. Highs school might be hard but it will get better with time, and he does not have to end is life over something. When he arrives home, nothing has changed as his mother goes on like she did every day.
This book is about the environment young boys grow up in, and how it affects their happiness and how they view the world. It is painful, because the main character, as well as other children in the book, has undergone painful ordeals in their lives, and it might have affected how they see themselves. The gun that was to be used was an inheritance, from his Nazi grandfather. Leonardo was sexually abused for years by his best friend, who in turn was raped by an adult. At school, there is a lot of bullying going on; the boys in physical education class bullied a Persian kid until he almost fainted. Another boy sexually assaults a girl by kissing her even after she said no. at home, his geriatric neighbor is a heavy smoker and racist, who repeatedly uses derogatory terms against black people. The only person who was different and hopeful was his favorite teacher who saved him. Due to the bad situations this kid is in, he challenges the readers to identify with him any adult that is happy. This insight is powerful especially for a young boy and it shows that the adult world affects young children. The feeling of hopelessness pores over to them and affects how they see themselves.
The book also talks about Christian beliefs, when the reader is introduced to Lauren. She is from a saved family and passes out pamphlets on the streets. Leonardo takes a liking to her and asks her questions that disturb her faith because all she knows she was taught by her father. He asks her to pray for him and when his thoughts about suicide emerge, he thinks that she might have forgotten to pray for him.