Thursday, January 13, 2011

Angry Management: three novellas by Chris Crutcher

Chris Crutcher has written nine novels, two collections of short stories and an autobiography. He has won three lifetime achievement awards for the body of his work: the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Outstanding Literature for Young Adults, the ALAN award for a Significant Contribution to Adolescent Literature, and the NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award. He has been a child and family therapist with the Spokane Community Mental Health Center and is currently chairperson for the Spokane Child Protection Team.
Is it any wonder that I found “Angry Management: three novellas” to be an outstanding book of three ‘short’ stories about teens dealing with anger, prejudice, insecurity, love, power, and hope. Crutcher brings back five of his characters from previous novels as major characters in these stories. They face sexual awakening, body image issues, power struggles, family dysfunction and yet most all come out as heroes for their ability to overcome obstacles.
I was particularly intrigued by a new character, Matt Miller, a devout Christian who actually seems to understand and attempt to take “What would Jesus do?” seriously. He stands up to the school superintendent, the football jocks, and a group called the BattleCry kids, “an organization of aggressive Christians who think they need to define the moral high ground for teenagers who aren’t them.”
Thank you, Chris Crutcher!

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