Every kid in this group wants to fly. Every kid in this group has too much ballast.
Mr. Nak's Angry Management group is a place for misfits. A place for stories. And, man, does this crew have stories.
There's Angus Bethune and Sarah Byrnes, who can hide from everyone but each other. Together, they will embark on a road trip full of haunting endings and glimmering beginnings.
And Montana West, who doesn't step down from a challenge. Not even when the challenge comes from her adoptive dad, who's leading the school board to censor the article she wrote for the school paper.
And straightlaced Matt Miller, who had never been friends with outspoken genius Marcus James. Until one tragic week—a week they'd do anything to change—brings them closer than Matt could have ever imagined.
Chris Crutcher fills these three stories with raw emotion. They are about insecurity, anger, and prejudice. But they are also about love, freedom, and power. About surviving.
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Chris Crutcher has written nine critically acclaimed novels, an autobiography, and two collections of short stories. Drawing on his experience as a family therapist and child protection specialist, Crutcher writes honestly about real issues facing teenagers today: making it through school, competing in sports, handling rejection and failure, and dealing with parents. He has won three lifetime achievement awards for the body of his work: the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and the NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award. Chris Crutcher lives in Spokane, Washington.From School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up—Crutcher's fans will relish the reunion with some familiar characters in this collection of three stories set in the Pacific Northwest and thematically united around anger. "Kyle Manard and the Craggy Face of the Moon" takes Angus Bethune (Athletic Shorts, 1991) and Sarah Byrnes (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, 1993) on a road trip to Reno to confront the mother who abandoned her years before. In "Montana Wild," student journalist Montana West (The Sledding Hill, 2005) defends her article on medicinal marijuana in a very public shouting match with the right-wing school-board president, who also happens to be her father. "Meet Me at the Gates, Marcus James" unexpectedly binds gay Marcus James, sole black student at his high school, with complexly devout Christian Matt Miller (Deadline, 2007) and sympathetic teacher John Simet (Whale Talk, 2001), when racist football players hang a pink noose on Marcus's locker. Subthemes packed into the mix include foster care, sexual awakening, body image, and hope, played out through lively plot and dialogue. Too many stereotypical characters weaken the stories' impact, including blindly bureaucratic school administrators and knee-jerk conservative Christians. The unnecessary conceit that all the characters attend an anger management course led by Mr. Nak (Ironman, 1995, all HarperCollins) remains undeveloped, and the stories end too abruptly. Despite these flaws, readers will encounter colorful characters and thought-provoking subject matter in a quick read.—Joyce Adams Burner, National Archives at Kansas City, MO END
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