Author: Crutcher, Chris

Title: Athletic Shorts

Plot Summary: Athletic Shorts is a collection of six short stories. In each of the stories, the main character struggles to overcome some form of hardship, challenge, or prejudice. The first story, "A Brief Moment In the Life of Angus Bethune," tells of a boy with two gay parents who is elected Prom King as a joke. In the second story, "Goin' Fishin'," a boy named Lionel has a family that was killed by a drunk boy who took his dad's motorboat for a joyride. Lionel stuggles to forgive him. The third story is called,"Telephone Man," and tells about a boy who realizes at school that the prejudices that his father has brainwashed him with aren't correct. Next is "The Pin." It is about a high school wrestler's struggles with his father in and out of a wrestling ring. The fifth story, "The Other Pin," is about a male wrestler who has to fight a female wrestler, yet falls in love with her when he meets her at the mall. And the last story tells about a boy who becomes friends with a homosexual male with AIDS.

Review: In this book, Chris Crutcher does an outstanding job of making his characters "come alive." Their characters all have a nice balance of both good and bad qualities. For example, the good qualities of Loinel in "Goin' Fishin'" are his stregnth and independence. But he also is very stubborn and cannot forgive the boy who killed his family. This is true with all characters in the book. They are all basically good people, they just sometimes make some bad decisions, or have bad habits. In each story you are left with a real insight into the main character's life. You get insights into the lives of a boy who has lost his family in "Goin' Fishin'." You get an insight into the life of a social outcast in "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune." You also get an insight into the life of a boy who has been brought up racist in "Telephone Man." My only criticism is that most of the stories have dark themes and are depressing. A couple of more humorous stories would lighten up the book more and make it more appealing to a wider audience.

Interest Level: Grade 7-11

Genre: Problem Novel

Quality: 5Q Popularity: 3P

(On a scale of one to five with five being the best.)

Reviewed by: Alex

Grade: Freshman

Date Reviewed: September 22, 2002

School: Littleton High School

City, State, Country: Littleton, Massachusetts US of A

Go to Student Review Home Page

Go to Author Page

Go to Title List Page

Go to Genre Page