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Period.8
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About the Author

Chris Crutcher has written nine critically acclaimed novels, an autobiography, and two collections of short stories. Drawing on his experience as a family therapist and child protection specialist, Crutcher writes honestly about real issues facing teenagers today: making it through school, competing in sports, handling rejection and failure, and dealing with parents. He has won three lifetime achievement awards for the body of his work: the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and the NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award. Chris Crutcher lives in Spokane, Washington.

Reviews

Praise for Deadline: "As usual, Crutcher does not hesitate to incorporate serious subject matter within an engaging first-person narrative."--Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review)
Praise for Whale Talk: "Crutcher offers an unusual yet resonant mixture of black comedy and tragedy that lays bare the superficiality of the high school scene."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Period 8 is the best of Crutcher: warmth, humor, and spot-on teen reality, but coupled with terrifying intensity and a shocking ending."--Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and Chains

Gr 7 Up-Bruce Logsdon's Period 8 session, held during the regular lunch period, is a place for Heller High School students to talk about their concerns and feelings. Logsdon, or Mr. Logs as he is called by his students, is gifted at getting teens to unburden themselves and speak honestly. Chief among his admirers is Paulie Bomb, whose unbridled honesty has cost him his relationship with his girlfriend, Hannah. When quiet, unassuming Mary Wells (called the "Virgin Mary" by other students due to her outwardly prudish behavior) goes missing, Period 8 must grapple with the fact that their safe space has been compromised. Issues centered on trust, forgiveness, extreme bullying, disturbing parenting, and reputations are prevalent throughout the story. Crutcher captures teen speak in a natural and realistic manner. Although the narrative begins at a deliberate pace, the drama over Mary's disappearance and incidents in the final quarter of the story ratchet up the intensity. Some sexuality and rough language are present, but it is never gratuitous or excessive. Mr. Logs is a positive portrayal of an involved teacher; he is dedicated to his students and genuinely concerned about them. However, his personal contacts with several students outside of school might, in real life, cause some concern among hypervigilant administrators and parents. Crutcher keeps readers guessing as to who is behind Mary's disappearance, and the portrayal of the psychopath is truly chilling. A must-have where the author's novels or psychological thrillers are popular.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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