One of my favorite young adult authors, Chris Crutcher writes realistic stories about realistic people with realistic problems He always writes intelligently and with a sense of humor while simultaneously depicting his characters sympathetically This collection of short stories is great for people who enjoy realistic fiction, but don t want to read a longer book Short stories are also great for when you don t have time for a whole novel you can read a story in one sitting, and if you don t happen to get back to the book for some time, you haven t forgotten all the details that will help you pick it up again.Readers who have already read some of Crutcher s work will probably recognize characters and settings, as he tends to set his stories in the same geographical area. Susan Hart Crutcher, C 1989 Athletic Shorts New York Greenwillow Books Short stories Print Selected from catalog School Library Journal Review below Athletic Shorts is a dynamic collection of 6 sports related short stories by Chris Crutcher All with male main characters that experience a sport as an important part of their lives, these stories are complete portrayals that show growth or change Angus Bethune is chagrinned at having the name of a cow, particularly since he is the size of one Not only that, but he must often defend both of his parents who are gay while also being a star football player in a school community that feels somewhat hostile to him.Two other stories describe the intense physical training and the discipline of cutting weight in order to make a certain weight class for the wrestling team One tale is about an abusive father who is finally beaten by his son in a wrestling match Another is about a high school junior cleverly addressing the humiliation of having to wrestle a champion who is a girl.Several stories are interesting examinations of racism and bigotry In one a high school graduate football player is faced with his fears of a homosexual coworker at his summer job Another features an extremely racist boy who questions what he s learned about others from his father as he navigates a new mixed race high school The final story tells how swimming saved Lionel Serbousek s life and provided a way of dealing with the rage he has about the death of his family While none of these stories are directly about sports, athleticism is an important defining characteristic for these realistic portrayals Chris Crutcher briefly immerses the reader into intense experiences that will satisfy teens and make them want Recommended Gr 8 12 A winning collection of stories, one of which has appeared in print before Some of the characters from Crutcher novels pop up in these stories, often speaking in a colloquial and realistic first person voice As the title suggests, athletics are part of the selections and Crutcher, as usual, is best at accurately portraying the world of high school teammates and coaches readers can practically smell the sweat In the first story a monologue by a fat guy who manages to keep his dignity the author seamlessly blends humor with serious elements Crutcher s fans expect almost operatic flights of emotion, and he than delivers here The short story format keeps the action focused and definitely packs a punch The final entry, a gritty, no holds barred account of the fear surrounding AIDS, is especially effective These Athletic Shorts will speak to YAs, touch them deeply, and introduce them to characters they ll want to know better.Morning, T., Jones, T E., Toth, L., Fleishhacker, J 1991 Athletic Shorts Six Short Stories Book School Library Journal, 37 9 , 278. I would give this book a 3.5 3.75 star review This book tells six short stories from the perspective of different teenagers and their struggles in life anywhere from weight, bullying, LGBT parents, women men stereotypes, child abuse, parent child struggles, etc These short stories cover a lot of ground in terms of difficult content, which is why this book has been challenged for homosexuality, word usage slurs, swears , abuse, etc I liked how raw and edgy the stories were For example, the second story seemed very real in a way that most teenagers can relate, and even parents to a degree At the end, the father admitted that he was ashamed of how he raised his son because he wanted their relationship to be different from his relationship with his own father I think a lot of parents feel this way I think that children often fight to get their parents approvals too, but hopefully not with the same extreme outcomes as in the story, though those are prevalent to real life experiences as well I think that a good unit to work on for this book could be character analysis or a basis to getting into writing personal narratives in the form of a short story This book would probably be suitable for any high school age level, since that is the relative age of then main characters in each story However, if I were to be using this in my curriculum, I would most likely use it for the older students like 12th graders. A good book but it doesn t really talk about sports and I couldn t finish Marcia ViningCrutcher, C., 1991 Athletic shorts six short stories New York GreenwillowGenre Short StoriesSelection process Morning, T., Jones, T E., Toth, L., Fleishhacker, J 1991 Athletic shorts six short stories Book School Library Journal, 37 9 , 278 As the title implies this collection of short stories uses athletics as its unifying theme Using realistic situations Crutcher tells about common difficulties in the lives of his characters that teens will find familiar He uses humor to help make sense of the problems as well as giving voice to characters that struggle with their environment, their families and mostly themselves Crutcher s collection of short stories hits the mark on a number of levels Although this book is older it still applies today Teens still struggle with many of the same issues dealt with in the stories This book shows a way forward a path to hope and a reassurance that teens can survive this time of their lives This is a message that young people today still need to hear and that Crutcher is able to offer without being preachy or unrealistic Highly recommended for libraries to keep on the shelf. Chris Crutcher achieved what he wanted within this book It is composed of short stories, and some of them are continuations using the characters from other books Of course I want to read all of the other books now to totally understand these characters Another aspect of the book that I appreciated was the prelude to each story Crutcher provided why he chose to write that particular story, or who encouraged him in the writing process for that story It was interesting to be in an author s prewriting thoughts picking plots and character names.There are six different stories within this book Although the characters deal with athletics, it s really a secondary conflict in all of their lives The characters each face something much serious including gay parents, a gay friend, a sick friend, the death of a best friendetc It goes to show stories within stories Even within a short story, Crutcher writes in a way that shows such character growth within teens In the story about a friend with AIDS, the main character, Louie, grows tremendously from a friend afraid to be near the AIDS victim to learning a lesson about living a full life I m going to see how far I can go in the time I get Main characters include all high school teenagers.Angus a fat kid always bullied and ready to take his stance.Petey Shroshrire and his father who wrestle each other in front of the student body and parents in an effort to show than just the best wrestler.Petey and Chris Byers who are scheduled to wrestle each other this school year Chris Byers is a female wrestler and Petey is afraid to forfeit but also afraid of losing Lionel Serbousek and Neal were best friends Neal is the cause of the death of Lionel s parents and brother during a boating accident Louie and Darren Louie lost his girlfriend in a prior Crutcher book, and in this story he deals with his new friend and coworker, Darren, an AIDS victim.This book is a fast read, but the material is not light Crutcher takes serious issues head on and doesn t ignore the fact that teenagers deal with death, love, loss, disease, and even worse. These Six Stories From Acclaimed Author Chris Crutcher Are About Athletes, But Are Not Simply Sports StoriesHere He Presents Characters From Some Of His Best Loved Novels, As Well As Creating Some Unforgettable New Personalities, In Tales Of Love, Death, Bigotry, Heroism, And Coming Of AgeAges This was yet another book chosen for me solely on the strength of the narration by the late, great Frank Muller I spend at least two hours every day on my bike so I ve been grinding through a lot of audio books I d never heard of this writer before but he makes me wish that I could go back and try being 15 all over again and this time do a better job of it Think of these stories as The Catcher in the Rye except the protagonist isn t some over privileged, rich wise ass and instead a hard working and shy kid who is out to make the best of things There is an underlying sweetness to all of these tales that makes you wish that life could be this simple and good and that stuff like wrestling, swimming, and running actually count for something. I really enjoyed this book I would recommend it to high school students who are interested in sports Athletic Shorts is a book of short stories that all have a theme about life built into them The book shows the troubles that some athletes face, whether it was pressure from their parents to perform or if they were dealing with loss of a close friend These short stories also cover the endings of some of Chris Crutcher s other books Overall, it was a very good book I look forward to reading books by this author. THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARSNow that I m older, I look back on school years gone by and growing up coming of age As with all adults, or most, we think If only I knew then what I know now As youngsters we worried about who liked us and who didn t like us I m not referring to the romantic like The simplest things in life made us think it will either ruin us for life or make us heroes.TIME WILL TELL OR HEALI wish I could redo a lot of things, one of them being school Mostly high school I wasn t a good student for I hated school However, it was the best year of my life and the worst Its funny to think that my only job back then was to go to school and yet I complained, as most kids do My job today is going to work, paying bills, getting the car fixed, keeping the house up and on and on and on.YOUNG ADULT BOOKSThis is what draws me to young adult books, especially those by Judy Blume It allows me to escape from the real world and relive those days of junior high and high school This is also why I enjoyed reading Robert Cormier books Of all the Judy Blume books my favorite is Are You There God, It s Me, Margaret 1970 I read the book around 2010 or 2011 Yes, I was well into my adult years by then But it took me back to Margaret s school age years.And this why I enjoyed Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher High school is the them in these collective short stories and what we deemed important during that time You don t have to be a jock to be able to relate to the stories or the people You just have to have gone to high school.FROM ANGUS TO JOHNNY TO PETEY TO LIONEL AND OTHERSAngus is the fat kid in school who has to unconventional families for that time 1984 and has been voted Home Coming King He knows it was done as a joke, but soon the joke is on everyone else However, the journey Angus and us take to get that point hits home.Johnny has a father who is very controlling and extremely hard on Johnny Johnny is waiting for the day he can seek revenge on his father and that day arrives, but will revenge be as sweet as he thinks Petey is either you or someone you knew in school He wants to do what s right, but has a tug of war with himself on what that is If he pleases this person, then this might happen If he please someone else, then that might happen Petey learns you can t please everyone and that s OK He s willing to take one for the teamTeam Petey.Lionel lost his parents in a boating accident at age 14 He s been on his own since then as well Lionel is struggling with the anger he s held inside for the one person who caused his parents death Anger with a mixture of high school and the future ahead of you is bad cocktail Or is it These are some of the stories in the book that will take you back to your younger days and school.Before each story, Crutcher gives a background on where the stories came from which gives even life to them.BUT TELEPHONE MAN..I was going to complain about the use of the N word in the story titled Telephone Man but realized I would be a big hypocrite if I did so Why Well because I ve written a historical fiction novel still in the works about the concentration camps and my book is filled with degrading words the Nazis and some Germans would call Jews Just be forewarned, the story is filled with the N word and not so nice things regarding Asians and anyone else Telephone Man has been taught to hate.
Chris Crutcher s writing is controversial, and has been frequently challenged and even banned by individuals who want to censor his books by removing them from libraries and classrooms Running Loose and Athletic Shorts were on the ALA s top 100 list of most frequently challenged books for 1990 2000 His books generally feature teens coping with serious problems, including abusive parents, racial
- 208 pages
- Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories
- Chris Crutcher
- 24 May 2019 Chris Crutcher