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Dillon is living with the painful memory of his brother's suicide -- and the role he played in it. To keep his mind and body occupied, he trains intensely for the Ironman triathlon. But outside of practice, his life seems to be falling apart.
Then Dillon finds a confidante in Jennifer, a star high school basketball player who's hiding her own set of destructive secrets. Together, they must find the courage to confront their demons -- before it's too late.
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Chris Crutcher grew up in Cascade, Idaho, and now lives in Spokane, Washington. He is the critically acclaimed author of six novels and a collection of short stories for teenagers, all chosen as ALA Best Books. In 2000, he was awarded the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award, honoring his lifetime contribution in writing for teens. Drawing on his experience as an athlete, teacher, family therapist, and child protection specialist, he unflinchingly writes about real and often-ignored issues that face teenagers today.From School Library Journal:
Grade 9-12-- There are enough plots here to fuel a soap opera for a year. Dillon Hemingway is a brilliant student and athlete whose older brother, Preston, gets involved with a motorcycle gang, loses his legs in a bike accident, and later blows his head away in full view of his younger brother. Dillon writes long letters to his dead brother to tell him about Stacy, who was Preston's girl and the mother of their child but who may secretly love Dillon, and Jennifer, star basketball player, whose father sexually abused her and whose stepfather, a madman, also abuses her. Dillon's mother walked out on his family some years before. So much for the beginning. Beyond the first chapters there are scenes in which Dillon sprinkles his brother's ashes into the gas tanks of the cyclists who corrupted Preston and in which Stacy uses the school public address system to announce that she is indeed the mother of Preston's child. Dogs are crushed by cars, the Vietnam War is rehashed. Characters keep asking "can we talk" and then prattle on with enormous presence and wisdom about the evils of society, their parents, all adults, their own sorry lot in life, and love ("There are so many crazy things, dangerous things sometimes, that we're taught to call love"). Jesus Christ is at one point called "a heroic dude." Dillon is too much in control of himself and the other characters to be believable. The ending, in which Dillon single-handedly drives Jennifer's crazed step-father out of town, is contrived. There's a place in fiction for teenage problems, but surely not all in one novel. --Robert E. Unsworth, Scarsdale Junior High School, N.Y.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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