Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 11, 2008

Raiders Night

Filed under: Look What I'm Reading for Book Club! — Joyce @ 11:46 am

At our wonderful dinner, Chris Crutcher recommended several books. RAIDERS NIGHT was one of them. I’ve been trying to push myself to read more books with sports, and this was the perfect opportunity. (Who doesn’t love to curl up with a book during spring break?!)

Matt plays football, does steroids, makes out, and struggles. He’s a coward. He’s a hero. His story is worth knowing. There’s going to be a moment in the future when I will see a student and know this book will be a perfect fit.  

 Robert Lipsyte did extensive research with a sports psychiatrist named Michael Miletic, MD while writing this book. That kind of background work really shows.

Good read.  




  1. Any sports story involving steroids is definitely timely. It seems like every month there’s
    another sports legend being accused of using ‘performance enhancing drugs’ (Barry Bonds,Roger Clemens etc.). If you were doing this book with students, it seems like you’d be able to bring in a number of other texts. I know that Sports Illustrated has done a number of stories on this topic.


    Comment by scrollman — March 11, 2008 @ 1:02 pm

  2. Joyce: I just finished this story today!! I am using it for my seminar on sports and I absolutely loved it. I wasn’t expecting it to be as dark as it was, but I think it had to be in order to expose this aspect of high school sports. I thought it was very realistic…didn’t you? Matt was such a real character for me…both how he was characterized by the author, but also through the text in which we were inside his mind and hearing his thoughts. I agree that a time will come when I will give this book to a student as well. I would recommend this to all my peers.


    Comment by mandygrl101 — March 12, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

  3. This sounds like a great book. I agree that anything having to do with steriods is definitely relevant and a hot topic of interest right now. This sounds like a book I’ll have to check out!

    Comment by katefrazer — March 15, 2008 @ 12:49 pm

  4. Jonathan, you’re completely right. One thing that is really modern about this is the Rx drug epidemic in high schools. Totally pertinent.

    Pharmaceuticals are a huge issue right now- did anyone read recently about the family in Georgia who was awarded a settlement based upon vaccinations causing (or triggering) autism in their daughter?

    Also of intereset: the fact that one type of drug has side effects, and that those side effects can be combatted with: what? Another Rx. My mom was a nurse and I used to work at a camp for handicapped children where she was the summer nurse. I can’t tell you how often I saw one pill going in to keep a kid calm, and a second pill going in to combat the first pill’s havoc. And that was doctor prescribed.

    Mandy, I know what you mean about how dark the story turned. Around page 100 I was stunned. But you’re right, that is a very real part of sports; hazing doesn’t only happen in GREEK houses, it’s in locker rooms, at summer camps, on teams.

    This story will stay with me forever.

    Comment by joycehansen — March 15, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

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