Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Ciara Biography - Wrote Out Goals to Elizabeth David (1913–1992) Biography » Chris(topher C.) Crutcher (1946-) Biography - Awards, Honors, Sidelights - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Adaptations

Chris(topher C.) Crutcher (1946-) - Sidelights

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Chris Crutcher grew up in a town so small that a local athletic competition would bring business to a standstill. Crutcher played many sports in high school, did well in college swimming, and began participating in triathlons after college. It comes as no surprise then that competitive sports figure heavily in his writing. Throughout his schooling, as he describes in his autobiography, Crutcher was a self-professed academic underachiever, his family life was challenging, and he grew up with a violent temper. Yet he eventually earned a B.A. with a major in psychology and a minor in sociology, and became a high school social studies teacher, a school administrator, and a therapist at a mental health facility. After completing his education, Crutcher taught in tough, inner-city schools and ran an alternative school for inner-city kids in Oakland, California, before becoming a child and family therapist, all of which helped prepare him to write about a wide variety of serious problems with which adolescents are confronted daily in modern day American culture.

In his works for teenagers, Crutcher surveys the struggle of young people to grow up and take charge of their own lives. "People always want us to be adults rather than become adults," he told Thomas Kozikowski in an interview in Authors and Artists for Young Adults. "Everybody wants the finished product, and nobody wants to look at how it's made." Louie Banks, the hero of Running Loose, knows better. "The thing I hate about life, so far, is that nothing's ever clear," he declares. "Every time you get things all figured out, somebody throws in another kink." Inspired by a conversation Crutcher overheard in a locker room fifteen years before in which a racist coach directed his players to eliminate an African-American player, the novel is set in Trout, Idaho—a small town much like Crutcher's hometown of Cascade. As his senior year begins, Louie thinks his life is set. He is at peace with his parents, a good-natured, insightful couple modeled on Crutcher's own mother and father; he is a starter on the school's eight-man football team, where he is surrounded by his buddies; and he has Becky, a wonderful girlfriend. But his perfect life soon begins to unravel. The trouble begins after a game with a rival school with a challenging team anchored by Washington, a talented black quarterback. In a bigoted harangue, Louie's coach orders the Trout team to sideline Washington with crippling tackles, and one of Louie's teammates complies. Louie denounces the play and storms off the field, ending his football career. His football buddies refuse to join the walkout, even if they agree with him. The coach lies his way out of the situation, and the townspeople are left to assume that Louie just lost control. Washington turns out not to be hurt very badly. Even though Louie is sure he did the right thing, he does not have the chance to feel very heroic. Becky dies in a pointless traffic accident, trying to drive around some rowdy kids on the only bridge in town. At the funeral, Louie hears Becky fondly eulogized by an out-of-town minister who never met her, and he rages again. However, a young track coach, who recognizes Louie's potential and respects the stand he took on the football play, recruits him for the team, and he wins the two-mile event. When the principal dedicates a memorial plaque to Becky—emblazoned with his own signature—Louie stays calm and takes care of it: he sneaks onto the school grounds and smashes up the memorial with a sledgehammer.

The solution to pain such as Louie's, Crutcher believes, lies in "letting go"—letting go of the search for a satisfying answer that does not exist; letting yourself admit that you are just a human being in pain. "If I keep asking why and keep not coming up with an answer," Crutcher observed, "I'm either going to get so frustrated I want to scream, or I'm just going to say 'There's no answer—hooray!' You know—'Hooray that there's no answer because I don't have one.'" As for sorrow, he declared, "you're not really hurt—injured—by your sadness or your grief, you're hurt by resisting it." "There's a case to be made for life being a series of losses, from the time that you lose your mother's womb, and all the times that you have to change schools, or your friends go away, or people die. If you live from zero to sixty you're going to have suffered a lot of losses. And what you can do for yourself is learn to hold yourself and grieve and allow that grief to be the focus. Just say, 'I don't need to fight this, I don't need to do anything but just feel bad. Why? Because I do feel bad.'"

Writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, Mary K. Chelton noted of Running Loose, "Best of all, . . . you love [Louie] and grieve with him when Becky dies because she is presented as a really neat person." Chelton also wrote that Running Loose is a "good stepping stone up from Hinton and toward titles like Vision Quest and Stop Time. Good 'bridge books' are rare and first novelists this good even rarer." A Kirkus Reviews critic claimed that Louie tells his story with "strong feeling and no crap, as he might say," and added that as a "dramatic, head-first confrontation with mendacity, fate's punches, and learning to cope, it's a zinger." Zena Sutherland of Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books called Running Loose an "unusually fine first novel," while School Library Journal reviewer Trev Jones said that Louie tells his story with "sensitivity, humor, and outrage" and that the book "raises important issues for adolescents to consider."

For his second novel, Stotan!, Crutcher returned to the arena of high school sports. "One of the things I like about sports is that the rules are clear," he told Kozikowski. "I use sports in young adult fiction to talk about rules, usually back-to-back with information about the rules of life. Sports provides an arena for an athlete, or a character, to test himself or herself and learn about tenacity or about putting things in perspective." In Stotan!, the focus is on self-discipline. The story begins when four high-school swimmers—Walker, the team captain; Lion; Nortie; and Jeff—volunteer for "Stotan Week," an endurance test given by their coach, a Korean American named Max Il Song. When the boys sign up, they learn that a "Stotan" is a cross between a Stoic and a Spartan, and Max makes them live up to the billing with harsh exercises, exhausting laps in the pool, and a "Torture Lane" for swimmers who try to slack off. "I took Stotan Week out of real life," Crutcher confessed. "Actually I calmed it down to put in the book. My college coach was a madman, an absolute madman." Feats of physical courage, like falling off the diving board backward, were mandatory on Crutcher's team. "If you didn't do it you were doing push-ups until you couldn't walk. And then you'd have to run outside over the snowbank, wet, and bear-walk [hands and feet only]—we did all that. The Torture Lane was there, it was all there. It was bizarre."

Amazingly, Walker and his teammates start to like Stotan Week. Sharing the challenge brings them closer together. They discover that they can endure a lot more than they thought. They realize that the less they struggle against the pain, and the more they accept and push beyond it, the easier things get. They feel energetic and confident. When the week is over, Max tosses aside his authoritarian props—bullhorn, firehose, Airborne cap—and shares some human insights, inspired by his study of Asian philosophy. "There are lessons in this week that can serve you for the rest of your lives," he says. "Remember the times when you gave up the fight [against Max and his discipline] and just went with Stotan Week—saw which way the river was flowing and went that way too. Most times the depth of your well isn't measured in how hard you fight—how tough you are—but in your ability to see what is and go with that." The team expects their toughest challenge to be the statewide swimming meet, but they must face a far greater challenge when Jeff develops a withering case of leukemia; their Stotan wisdom helps the friends through their crisis. At Jeff's urging the team goes on to the state meet without him, where they excel—for his sake—and swim an illegal three-man relay at the finals. At the end of the book, as Walker looks back over his experiences, it is clear that he has not soured on life; instead, he has come to an understanding of how precious it is. "I think my job in this life is to be an observer," he writes in his diary, and concludes, "I'll be a Stotan observer: look for the ways to get from one to the other of those glorious moments when all the emotional stops are pulled, when you're just so . . . glad to be breathing air." Voice of Youth Advocates reviewer Mary K. Chelton noted that Stotan! depicts "beautifully the joy, pain, and emotional strength of a male adolescent friendship" and called it a "lovely story and a model of the realistic adolescent novel." Writing in School Library Journal, Jerry Flack called Stotan! "a fine coming-of-age novel," while Anita Silvey of Horn Book compared it to the books of John R. Tunis and Bruce Brooks's The Moves Make the Man, works "that use a sports setting and competition to discuss the greater issues of being young and alive."

The Crazy Horse Electric Game takes a much different look at sports: it concerns a high school student who knows the thrill of having athletic talent, then loses it all and has to rebuild his life. As the novel begins, Willie Weaver is a sixteen-year-old amateur baseball player in small-town Coho, Montana, pitching for a team sponsored by the Samson Floral Shop. In the greatest moment of his career, Willie throws a winning game against a championship team sponsored by Crazy Horse Electric. By the standards of Coho, he is a living legend. Then a water-skiing accident leaves Willie brain-damaged; he is crippled and must struggle even to talk. His father, who was a winning college athlete, can scarcely stand the sight of him; friends feel awkward around him; and Willie hates his own life. Finally, he runs away from home and from human contact. Willie never expected life to be so flawed—he expected it to be as perfect as the Crazy Horse Electric game. "There's a lot to hate yourself for if you listen to those expectations," Crutcher told Kozikowski. "because no one ever meets them."

In the second half of The Crazy Horse Electric Game, Willie makes the long journey back from self-hatred to self-respect. After traveling as far as he can by bus, he finds himself in Oakland, California, at the One More Last Chance High School, a fictionalized version of an actual school where Crutcher used to teach. The OMLC instructors encourage him to use physical therapy, and even basketball, to reclaim control of his body; with his pride restored, Willie becomes a valuable part of the school's community and earns his diploma. He then has the strength to return to Coho and face his family and friends, even though the reunion is a difficult one. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly said that The Crazy Horse Electric Game "resound[s] with compassion for people tripped up by their own weaknesses" and praised its "poetic sensibility and gritty realism." Writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, Pam Spencer noted that, as in his previous novels, Crutcher writes about a young man being forced "to dig deep for the stabilization offered in reaching one's inner strength"; the critic concluded, "Crutcher writes powerfully and movingly of Willie's attempts to 'become whole' again. . . . It's authors like Chris Crutcher who make our job of 'selling books' that much easier." Horn Book reviewer Anita Silvey claimed that The Crazy Horse Electric Game "magnificently portrays the thoughts and feelings of a crippled athlete and is a testimony to the . . . human spirit."

Perhaps the grittiest of Crutcher's YA novels is his fourth, Chinese Handcuffs, which describes the friendship between two emotionally traumatized young people. Dillon Hemmingway grew up watching his older brother Preston destroy himself, first through drugs and then through suicide. (Preston actually made a point of killing himself in Dillon's presence.) Dillon is close friends with Jennifer Lawless, who has been sexually abused for most of her life, first by her father when she was a small child, and then by her stepfather in the years since. Dillon thinks he is in love with Jennifer, but she has been too deeply wounded to reciprocate fully. Her emotional lifeline is sports, because the basketball court is the only place where she feels she can control her own fate. The title of the book refers to the efforts of Dillon and Jennifer to confront their pain. "Chinese handcuffs" are a classic basket-weaver's toy: they only loosen their grip when you stop pulling against them.

Dillon is so preoccupied with his brother's death that he writes long letters to him, letters that make up much of the narrative. Jennifer has similarly strong memories of her abuse. In particular, readers see a vivid portrait of her stepfather, T. B. Himself brutalized as a child, T. B. survived through cold cunning, and now he uses it to intimidate both Jennifer and her mother. Finally Jennifer tries to kill herself, but Dillon stops her. Moved to desperate action, he gathers videotaped evidence against T. B. and uses it to drive him out of Jennifer's life. Having confronted the painful truths of his world, Dillon finds that he is no longer haunted by his brother. "I've got better things to do with my life than spend it with a pen in my hand, writing to a man who never reads his mail," he says in his last letter. "My struggle with you is finished. I'm going to let you go, push my finger in and release us from these crazy Chinese handcuffs. I wish you'd stayed, though. God, how I wish you'd stayed."

Chinese Handcuffs received a favorable response from some critics, while others found it too extreme for teens. Writing in Horn Book, Margaret A. Bush claimed that Crutcher "constructs his painful web with intelligent insight, creating a painful, powerful story. . . . In the end the story is a compelling, well-paced, and even humorous one of human failing, survival, and hope." Writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, Randy Brough called Chinese Handcuffs a "rewarding novel, tough, topical, compelling, and well written." The strong subject matter, however, was also a cause for controversy. A notable example was the reaction of the American Library Association. Its own Booklist magazine refused to review the book and offered a column questioning its merit. Conceding that Crutcher was "a strong writer" capable of making a "powerful moral point," Booklist's Stephanie Zvirin went on to suggest that parts of the work, including Preston's suicide, were unduly graphic. She concluded that Chinese Handcuffs is "an unsuccessful book—and a disappointment—because the overloaded plot strains the novel's structure and diminishes the vital message Crutcher is trying to convey." In addition, a Kirkus Reviews critic commented that his teenage characters "have been knocked around in Crutcher's other stories, but not to this extent. . . . Crutcher probes so many tender areas here that readers may end by feeling exhausted and emotionally bruised." However, Crutcher thinks that the amount of fan mail the book generated may have worked in the book's favor; although Chinese Handcuffs was almost not named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, it did eventually receive that honor.

In response, Crutcher points to the reality of his experience—and the experiences of kids. "I think there's a case to be made for being careful with language, but I want a kid to read it and believe it," he said. "I don't want some kid to say, 'God, kids don't talk like this,' because that negates everything else there. It would be nice to be able to blame things on language, because that would sure be simple—we could change the language and things would be better. Language ain't the problem. I had just come out of seven years in Oakland, for cryin' out loud, when I wrote Running Loose." He has a similar reaction to critics of Chinese Handcuffs: "My line is, 'Look, I got that stuff from kids. I toned that down.'" Crutcher knows that many of his readers are people in pain, and he suggests that he may have helped some of them through some difficult times. "Hard times are magnetic to hard times," he observed. "If I'm a kid who has had awful things happen to me, I'm going to look for other kids that have had that same experience because I want to be validated in the world. You get three or four of us together and we've got some pretty hard stories to tell. I'm not going to be running around with the quarterback on the football team or the head cheerleader." Not long after the controversy over Chinese Handcuffs, Crutcher was in Houston speaking to a group of students. "A girl came up after everyone was gone and said, 'I read that book and I thought you knew me.'" At such a moment, the complaints of a few critics didn't seem to matter. "I thought, To hell with that—this is what it's really about."

In 1991, Crutcher published his first collection of short stories, Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories. The volume features some of the characters from the author's novels as well as some new characters. The first story, which outlines how a fat, clumsy boy raised by two sets of homosexual parents finds dignity when he is chosen as a joke to be the king of the senior ball, and the final entry, in which Louie Banks, the title character of Running Loose, accepts a boy dying from AIDS as a friend even though his decision threatens his relationship with a fellow athlete, have been singled out as especially effective. Writing in School Library Journal, Todd Morning said, "These Athletic Shorts will appeal to YAs, touch them deeply, and introduce them to characters they'll want to know better." Horn Book reviewer Nancy Vasilakis noted, "One need not to have read Crutcher's novels to appreciate the young men within these pages. They stand proudly on their own," while Voice of Youth Advocates contributor Sue Krumbein concluded that all six stories "live up to the high expectations we've come to expect of Crutcher."

In 1992, the author published his first book for adults, the suspense novel The Deep End. Called an "outstanding, yet wrenching, look into child abuse" by School Library Journal contributor Mike Printz, the novel was directed to adults but is considered appropriate for teenage readers. The story outlines how child therapist Wilson Corder investigates the disappearance—and eventual murder—of a young girl as well as the possible abuse of a three-year-old boy by his father, an expert in domestic violence. Printz concludes that "Crutcher's superb, sensitive style coupled with the prudent use of his unique humor makes this a first-rate, 'can't-put-it-down' novel," while a Kirkus Reviews contributor observed that the author's "needle-sharp focus on hurting kids makes this memorably harrowing from the starting gun."

In his next novel for young adults, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Crutcher features Eric Calhoune, a senior nicknamed "Moby" for his swimming ability and size. His best friend, Sarah Byrnes, suffered terrible facial burns as a small girl and has recently retreated into silence. After Sarah escapes from the psychiatric unit of a local hospital, her psychotic father Virgil—whom readers discover was the cause of his daughter's disfigurement and who refused to let her have reconstructive surgery—stabs Eric and hijacks his car when he refuses to reveal Sarah's hiding place. Eric brings in his sympathetic coach as his ally, and with his help manages to set things aright. At the end of the novel, Eric gets a new stepfather, Sarah a new set of parents, and Virgil a beating and a jail sentence. "This is a book that punches you in the stomach and never gives you a moment to breathe," wrote Susan R. Farber in Voice of Youth Advocates, who concluded that the novel is Crutcher's "darkest and most riveting work to date." Writing in Horn Book, Nancy Vasilakis called Sarah Byrnes "one of [Crutcher's] strongest female characters to date." A Kirkus Reviews critic praised the novel as "pulsepounding, on both visceral and emotional levels—a wild, brutal ride," and Janice M. Del Negro of Booklist considered it "strong on relationships, long on plot" and with "enough humor and suspense to make it an easy booktalk with appeal across gender lines."

In Ironman Crutcher chronicles the senior year of Bo Brewster, who has been assigned to an anger management group after quitting the football team and calling the coach a rude name. The group's instructor, Mr. Nak, a Japanese American from Texas, gives Bo the tools to come to realizations about himself and his relationship with his vicious father. At the same time, Bo trains rigorously for an upcoming triathlon event. Bo's determination to train as hard as he can is intensified by the fact that his father is trying to fix the event by bribing his son's main competitor. At the end of the novel, Bo competes in the triathlon with the support of the anger management group and discovers his personal strength and self-respect. Crutcher presents the story as both a third-person narrative and in the form of letters from Bo to talk-show host Larry King, the only adult the boy feels will listen to him. Writing in School Library Journal, Tom S. Hurlburt said, "Crutcher has consistently penned exceptional reads for YAs, and Ironman is one of his strongest works yet." Roger Sutton, writing in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, claimed, "If you like Crutcher, this is vintage stuff . . . [If] you haven't succumbed before, you aren't likely to now, but fans will welcome the winning formula." Writing in the New York Times Book Review, James Gorman noted, "The heart of the story is small and painful, and rings thoroughly true," while Horn Book reviewer Peter D. Sieruta concluded that Ironman is a novel that "doesn't strive for easy answers, but does ask many intriguing questions of both its characters and its readers."

In 1995, Crutcher became a full-time writer, although he continued to work on the Child Protection Team in Spokane, Washington. He told Heather Vogel Frederick of Publishers Weekly, "When it came down to it, I could not give up writing. . . . What's known can't be unknown. As a writer and a human being . . . I have to keep myself in a position where I can scream and yell and be just obnoxious about getting something done." In an interview with Christine McDonnell in Horn Book, Crutcher remarked, "I want to be remembered as a storyteller, and I want to tell stories that seem real so that people will recognize something in their own lives and see the connections. We are all connected. That's what I like to explore and put into stories." Quoted in Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, Crutcher concluded, "My mission is to write truths as I see them, reflect the world as it appears to me, rather than as others would have it. I would like to tell stories so 'right on' that they punch a hole in the wall between young adult and adult literature." In his collection Athletic Shorts, Crutcher wrote, "There are a significant amount of people who . . . think kids should not be exposed in print to what they are exposed to in their lives. But I believe what I believe, and so I write my stories."

Crutcher has found that some of the most gratifying comments he gets about his works come in the mail. "I get a lot of responses from kids who don't read very much," he told Kozikowski, "and that's great because I didn't read—it's like me writing to me." He described a recent batch of letters: "One said, 'My mom's dying of cancer and this book helped me come out of my shell. I've just been saying that what's happening isn't true, but it is true. And the things that Louie Banks went through tell me a way that I can let it be true, and then go on. Things will go on.' There were letters from kids who had just lost people, whether it was a death or not, and they learned that there is another way to look at a loss. I was astonished at these letters—that's the feedback I like."

Returning to the subject of racism, Crutcher's 2001 novel Whale Talk focuses on close-minded individuals and features the familiar Crutcher underdogs who must deal directly with social issues, including hatred toward multiracial children. A gifted but uninterested athlete, senior high school student T. J. Jones, of black, white, and Japanese heritage, is finally persuaded by a favorite teacher to organize a swim team at the school. The reluctant teen agrees, but instead of turning to popular athletes to join the squad, T. J. looks for those students on the fringes of school society. As the season progresses, the students become a unusually competitive bunch, all the while working out individual problems with the newfound support of teammates. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called Whale Talk "a gripping tale of small-town prejudice [that] delivers a frank, powerful message about social issues and ills," noting that the book "will force readers to re-examine their own values and cause them to alter their perception of individuals pegged as 'losers.'" In Horn Book, a reviewer noted, "Crutcher knows his stuff, and he pumps adrenaline throughout the sport scenes while honestly acknowledging the personal struggles of his adolescent readers."

In 2003, Crutcher broke form by writing King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography. A Horn Book reviewer praised the new venture: "Crutcher, best known for his novels and short stories, has discovered his most effective voice in this collection of episodic, autobiographical essays." Crutcher, whose work has at times been censored by librarians, parents, and teachers for his real-to-life dealing with the complexities—humorous and tragic—of teenage life, addresses these issues and shares stories from his growing-up years, which Joel Shoemaker, writing in School Library Journal, described as "tough and tender reminiscences [which] focus primarily on family, social, and school conflicts, but lessons derived from his career as a teacher, therapist, and writer are also described." It is his humility, wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "that allows readers to laugh with young Chris, rather than at him" when he constantly makes trouble under his older brother's tutelage, gets hit in the mouth with a softball bat showing off for the girls' team, and trembles as "a terrified 123-pound freshman ('with all the muscle definition of a chalk outline')."

Crutcher once shared the following thoughts on writing: "It is a joy to write a tale that is believable, that is real. Writing is also a way to express humor and to present different human perspectives. I like to explore the different ways in which people make sense of what goes on around them—ways in which they respond to the wide range of random things that happen, and to the situations they create.

"Working in the mental health field provides me with some unique perspectives on the human drama—how people get stuck and how they grow. Every client—man, woman, or child, no matter how damaged—has shown me at least a small glimpse of how we're all connected."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Children's Literature Review, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 28, 1992, pp. 98-108.

Crutcher, Chris, Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1991.

Crutcher, Chris, Chinese Handcuffs, Dell (New York, NY), 1991.

Crutcher, Chris, Running Loose, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1983.

Crutcher, Chris, Stotan!, Dell (New York, NY), 1988.

Crutcher, Chris, telephone interview with Thomas Kozikowski for Authors and Artists for Young Adults, Volume 9, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1992.

Davis, Terry, Presenting Chris Crutcher, Twayne/Prentice-Hall (New York, NY), 1997.

Gallo, Donald R., editor, Speaking for Ourselves: Autobiographical Sketches by Notable Authors of Books for Young Adults, National Council of Teachers of English (Urbana, IL), 1990, p. 59.

Silvey, Anita, editor, Children's Books and Their Creators, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995, pp. 181-182.

Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1994.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 1989, Stephanie Zvirin, "The YA Connection: Chinese Handcuffs," p. 1966; March 15, 1993, Janice M. Del Negro, review of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, p. 1313.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 1983, Zena Sutherland, review of Running Loose, p. 165; April, 1995, Roger Sutton, review of Ironman, p. 269.

Emergency Librarian, January-February, 1991, Dave Jenkinson, "Portraits: Chris Crutcher," pp. 67-71.

Horn Book, September-October, 1986, Anita Silvey, review of Stotan!, p. 596; November-December, 1987, Anita Silvey, review of The Crazy Horse Electric Game, p. 741; May, 1988, Christine McDonnell, "New Voices, New Visions: Chris Crutcher," p. 332; July-August, 1989, Margaret A. Bush, review of Chinese Handcuffs, p. 487; September-October, 1991, Nancy Vasilakis, review of Athletic Shorts, pp. 602-603; May-June, 1993, Nancy Vasilakis, review of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, p. 337; October, 1995, Peter D. Sieruta, review of Ironman, p. 606; May, 2001, review of Whale Talk, p. 320; May-June, 2003, Betty Carter, review of King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography, p. 368.

Idaho Statesman (Boise, ID), July 28, 1983, Lori Montgomery, "Idaho Novelist: First Book Wins Raves."

Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, summer, 2000, Chris Crutcher, "The 2000 Margaret A. Edwards Award Acceptance Speech," pp. 17-19.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 1983, review of Running Loose, p. 461; February 15, 1989, review of Chinese Handcuffs, p. 290; November 15, 1991, review of The Deep End, p. 1436; March 15, 1993, review of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, p. 369.

New York Times Book Review, July 2, 1995, James Gorman, review of Ironman, p. 13.

Publishers Weekly, May 29, 1987, review of The Crazy Horse Electric Game, p. 79; February 20, 1995, Heather Vogel Frederick, "Chris Crutcher: 'What's Known Can't Be Unknown', " pp. 183-184; March 12, 2001, review of Whale Talk, p. 91; March 3, 2003, review of King of the Mild Frontier, p. 77.

School Library Journal, May, 1983, Trev Jones, review of Running Loose, p. 80; May, 1986, Jerry Flack, review of Stotan!, p. 100; September, 1991, Todd Morning, review of Athletic Shorts, p. 278; September, 1992, Mike Printz, review of The Deep End, p. 189; March, 1995, Tom S. Hurlburt, review of Ironman, p. 222; June, 2000, Betty Carter, "Eyes Wide Open," pp. 42-45; April, 2003, Joel Shoemaker, review of King of the Mild Frontier, p. 176.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1983, Mary K. Chelton, review of Running Loose, p. 36; April, 1986, Mary K. Chelton, review of Stotan!, p. 29; June, 1987, Pam Spencer, review of The Crazy Horse Electric Game, p. 76; June, 1989, Randy Brough, review of Chinese Handcuffs, p. 98; April, 1992, Sue Krumbein, review of Athletic Shorts, p. 26; August, 1993, Susan R. Farber, review of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, p. 150.

ONLINE

Chris Crutcher's Authorized Web Site, http://www.aboutcrutcher.com/ (November 27, 2003).

Teenreads.com, http://www.teenreads.com/ (April 2, 2001), interview with Crutcher.*

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