A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ironman by Chris Crutcher

For the past week, I have been glued to coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games, and this inspired me to reread one of my favorites from my early years.  I thought it would be appropriate to review this one even though it's an oldie but a goodie, especially since it's about a triathlete.  Ironman by Chris Crutcher has its fair share of funny moments and delivers a powerful story of perseverance and endurance.

Title:  Ironman
Author: Chris Crutcher
Pages: 288
Publisher:  Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780060598402
Publication Date: April 14, 1995
AR Levels:  Interest Level--9th to 12th; Book Level--5.5; Points--9.0
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/275846.Ironman

In a nutshell:  Bo Brewster is a high school triathlete.  He and his father have been at odds for quite some time, and Bo has also developed quite a temper.  An incident with his football coach/English teacher lands him in Mr. Nak's "Angry Management" class (which, at first, seems like a motley crew of rule breakers).  He enjoys writing letters to one of his favorite celebrities--Larry King, whom he sees as a source of wisdom.  His favorite teacher (Mr. S) and his new friends in Mr. Nak's group assist him on a journey of self discovery, in which he learns about love, perseverance, and forgiveness.

I'd recommend it for grades: 8-12+ (There's some "adult language" and some darker issues discussed in this one, so reader discretion is advised.)

I'd recommend it for: Anyone who appreciates a good sports book enmeshed with a bit of teen angst.  

What I liked most about this book:  It does touch on some serious issues, but Crutcher manages to balance this with many funny moments to keep the reader interested.

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y):  Instead of one particular moment, I'm going to pick a favorite character--Mr. Nak.  He is by far the funniest and most sarcastic Asian-American cowboy that has ever been written.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious):  5 stars easily. I've read this one three times now, and it never fails to amaze me!

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