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
Date Reviewed: September 22, 2002
School: Littleton High School
City, State, Country: Littleton, Massachusetts US of A
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