Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Deadline by Chris Crutcher

Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned. Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world. How can a pint-sized, smart-ass seventeen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho? First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine; and to help the local drunk clean up his act. And then there's Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she's first on the list. Living with a secret isn't easy, though, and Ben's resolve begins to crumble . . . especially when he realizes that he isn't the only person in Trout with secrets.Deadline was a book that I wanted to read as soon as I saw it on the shelf.  The cover and description grabbed my attention right away.  I finally got around to reading it when I checked it out from the library about a month ago.  It was sitting on the shelf with my other checkouts, waiting to be read.  I almost gave up on it, weighed down with the guilt of the "required" reading I still had to do with a month left in the summer.  I'm glad I didn't return it unread.  I renewed the book with about 4 days left until the original due date, but it turns out I didn't have to. I read it in three sittings.  The main character was really likeable.  I thought his dialogue and internal thoughts were realistic to a high school senior.  My impression (or hopes) before reading the book were that he would look outside his small town and try to see the world before the end of his life, but it turns out that there was a lot going on in his own hometown that taught him about life.  Some of the issues and events are more mature.  I'm still debating on putting this on my classroom shelf because of the mature content, but it was definitely an enjoyable read for me, and I definitely recommend it for those interested in seeing the world through the eyes of someone who knows their end is near.

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