Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 22, 2008


Filed under: Chris Crutcher/Author Study — sunyprof @ 5:02 pm

Yes, Chris Crutcher IS reading your blogs so you want to make sure you only say nice things because he is old and emotionally fragile and how would you like it if his tombstone read, “Killed by SUNY blogs”?

Actually I am interested in what you write, both positive and negative. Sometimes a book takes on a whole different persona because of the history the reader brings to its reading. The challenge to any author is to tell a good story while at the same time making some kind of intimate connection with the reader. So…. interested.

And by the way, I’ve had enough snow this year on my side of the country so I’d appreciate it if you could get some Spring going before I get there. Looking forward to it, and if I can remember how to get on here, I’ll check back and give some responses. Feel free to say anything you want to say. My short term memory sucks so while I may remember what you wrote, there is NO chance I’ll remember who wrote it. See you soon.



  1. […] Cool for Words! Filed under: from your prof — sunyprof @ 6:00 pm Take a look at who’s on the YA Lit course blog!! Just a fan here!! […]

    Pingback by Too Cool for Words! « writing lives/teaching lives — February 22, 2008 @ 6:00 pm

  2. Mr. Crutcher,

    Thank you for your posting. What a pleasant surprise! Today I went to the local Cortland library and picked up 3 of your books. I look forward to starting them tonight. We in ENG 619 have virtually exhausted the topic of “relevant issues to teens in YA lit.”, but it is extremely important and should be the first part looked at when choosing a book for a YA class. You have certainly proven this to be true with your many books that involve teenage turmoils and experiences. Once I get through all of the books, I will have more to say on the subject and your writing, in general.

    Thanks again for your posting and interest in our class.

    Comment by jexter1 — February 22, 2008 @ 9:03 pm

  3. Mr. Crutcher,

    I also want to thank you for your upcoming visit to the area, and being a part of our blog. It is so nice to have an author take the time to speak with people who read his material (and teach it!) I’m looking forward to the discussion on censorship, and hoping that CAT class in Ms. Lemry’s room might be a part of that discussion.

    Thank you for being so open about your work and experiences,

    Comment by joycehansen — February 22, 2008 @ 10:29 pm

  4. Wow! How exciting to have you reading our blog! Thanks for taking the time to visit.

    You write in your post about the challenge “to tell a good story while at the same time making some kind of intimate connection with the reader.” This relates to a challenge I have as a teacher and reader of YA lit. My intention in reading YA lit is twofold: (1) I read to find good books to recommend to my students and (2) for personal pleasure. Sometimes I love a book, but feel uncertain about how my students will connect with it. Other times, I don’t love a book, but can see how my students might enjoy it for precisely the same reasons that I don’t. The success of your books shows that you have great insight into what speaks to young adults.

    I have to respond to Jessica’s comment that “We in ENG 619 have virtually exhausted the topic of ‘relevant issues to teens in YA lit.’” I disagree. I don’t feel that we have come anywhere close to exhausting topics that teens find relevant. In fact, I feel that this is nearly impossible as our world and our students are changing and growing so rapidly. I know that I need to do A LOT more reading (of not only books, but blogs, listservs, websites, etc., too) before I can feel any sense of authority when speaking to what is out there in terms of YA lit.


    Comment by sostrom — February 23, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

  5. I completely agree Sarah. I think Jess that you are pointing out that across the whole class’ reading we have covered and are covering a lot of fertile reading ground in 619! I agree with that as well! KES

    Comment by sunyprof — February 24, 2008 @ 8:12 am

  6. Mr. Crutcher,
    I would also like to extend my thanks for coming to our class. As the day approaches and as I read more of your books, I find myself growing very excited.
    I am especially looking forward to discussing your insight into life’s many lessons, especially the ones relevant to YAs. I found myself being hit hard by something in one of your books today. I was on my treadmill (a favorite reading place) with my nose in STAYING FAT FOR SARAH BYRNES, and I had one of those moments were I trip over my feet because of what I just read. I found a bit of myself in the character of Ellerby when he feels ashamed that he did nothing for Sarah Byrnes. I experienced that in high school, except Sarah was a boy and he didn’t stop talking. He started talking back to the kids who tormented him by sending out death threats. It’s a complicated issue, but this was a kid who’s life was made into hell from being teased. And I never helped him out. It’s what Ellerby said in class- shame. Ouch. Now that I’m older, I know there are a million Ellerbys out there, and I hope your book speaks to them like it spoke to me.


    Comment by allison — February 24, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

  7. Mr. Crutcher,
    I feel like a little kid back in Elementary school (where we had several read-and-greets with authors), reading your novels with the idea that I actually get to meet you and discuss these issues with you in person is truly an exciting venture! Last night I finished King of the Mild Frontier and I was cracking up throught the entire book. Some of my classmates warned me about the “laughing out loud” effects of your novels, but I was not expecting the public outbursts that resulted from reading these stories. I look forward to completing some more novels and getting to discuss the loads of issues found in each one. So far, like Allison, I have found a plethora of characters that I can connect with and know that young adults can relate to as well. Thank you so much for taking time to come and visit with us, we truly look forward to it.


    Comment by Kari — February 25, 2008 @ 10:04 am

  8. Mr. Crutcher,

    I had never read a book of yours until this past weekend, and I finished three within 48 hours. I truly and sincerely loved Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes, Sledding Hill and your memoir. I can’t wait to pick up the other titles that you have written, many of which were referenced in your memoir.

    Further, I always read books that I feel like I can recommend to female friends, but I never read books that I feel like I can recommend to my male friends (outside of school). After reading your stories, I can honestly say that your books can appeal to a range of audiences, both male and female, and that for many of the stories, I don’t think age is a factor. As a 22 year old female, I loved your stories, but I think I would have loved them just as much had I read them when I was younger. As Allison mentioned above, you have the rare ability to make your readers contemplate important and controversial issues, that reveal a lot about the world, and a lot about ourselves.

    I think the last author I met and had a chance to speak to was in 2nd grade and she had written TEN LITTLE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED …So needless to say, I can’t wait to meet you this week. Thank you in advance for coming!


    Comment by mandygrl101 — February 25, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

  9. Mr. Crutcher,
    I am also very excited about your visit. As others are saying, I haven’t read any of your books until recently, and I am loving them. I am looking forward to a great discussion!

    Comment by katefrazer — February 26, 2008 @ 4:09 pm

  10. Hi Mr. Crutcher,

    After reading your ill-advised autobiography, I feel like I already know you. Thank you so much for sharing your humor, your wisdom, and your passion. I really look forward to meeting you.


    Comment by scrollman — February 27, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

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