"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Retrospective Wednesday: Stotan! by Chris Crutcher

Retrospective Wednesday is a feature at My Head is Full of Books designed to give bloggers a chance to highlight a book that was published in previous years, in the hope that it will cause others to go back and read it. The featured book must have been published one or more years ago. 

Stotan! by Chris Crutcher was an appropriate reading choice for this month where we are all watching the Olympics because this book is about four boys training for their school's swim team.  Prior to the beginning of the season their coach guides them through an intense training schedule to become stotans, or stoic Spartans. But in typical Crutcher style to book isn't just about swimming, sports, and boys.  It is also about issues that affect kids today like racism and abuse. It is about how to make one's way through life. Written in 1985 it has an almost historical fiction feel to it. What was life like for teenagers in the 1980s before computers, cell phones, Facebook, and digital photography.  But that is part of the book's charm, kids interacting in real time, face-to-face.

I am a fan of Chris Crutcher because his books all seem to be infused with integrity. Reader learn things bout themselves as they read his books. It would be hard not to feel inspired by Stotan! 
"I'll be a Stotan observer: look for the ways to get from one to the other of those glorious moments when all the emotional stops are pulled, when you're just so goddamn glad to be breathing air---"
I read this book as part of my Chris Crutcher Challenge--- 8/13
and it was my 17th book in Read 20 books in July Challenge.

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