Start the New Year right…with a Chris Crutcher book-Period 8. (Actually, the book’s not due out until April.)
I’m a big fan of Chris Crutcher, having read all his books and heard him speak. But, truth be told, his last two, Sledding Hill and Deadline, were not amongst my favorites. Well, Period 8, although abandoning his anger management themes, has brought him back to the forefront. It is a chilling book in many ways, while dealing with a vareity of issues, including honesty in relationships, overly protective parents, religion to name a few.
There’s too much going on in the book to really give you a synopsis, so I’ll give you snippets.
Paulie is a swimmer and thus built like one. He’s a catch. He cheated on his girlfriend, Hannah, who adores him and who he adores. In the interest of truth in a relationship, he tells Hannah about his infidelity (his father is a philanderer) and she immediately dumps his sorry ass, without even hearing his explanation.
Meanwhile, Mary Wells, called virgin Mary because of her shy, withdrawn demeanor has gone missing, an unusal thing for this straight A student, who has not missed a session of Period 8 since she was a high school freshman.
There’s Arney, junior class president, who has a hand in everything. What’s up with him?
And finally there’s Period 8, a period which we probably all wish we had. It’s lunch period and a group of kids gets together in Mr. Langdon’s classroom to discuss anything and everything. The one condition…what’s said in the room, stays in the room.
Period 8 is their story. There are some authors who write poetically. There are some who insert hidden meanings in their words. And then there’s Chris Crutcher, the consummate story teller, who unfolds a gripping tale with wonderful characters, an engrossing plot and a satisfying ending. You will love Paulie and Hannah, separately and together. Mr. Langdon is a character in all of Crutcher’s books…the teacher who guides students, doesn’t give them the answer, let’s them think it out themselves. What these kids are into, both good and bad, will make you smile and frown, respectively.
Period 8 is gripping and thought provoking. Do yourself a favor and read it. I couldn’t put it down.