Buffalo & Erie
County Public Library staff review by Peter
Angry Management by Chris Crutcher
Teen misfits – they
all have a story, and it is Chris Crutcher’s gift as a writer that makes his
stories compelling for teens and adults.
Crutcher, a former school psychologist, reprises teen characters from his previous novels in his latest, Angry
Management, presented as three novellas. Given
the brevity of these stories, teens might be encouraged to return to the originals in which
the characters were introduced.
My favorite Crutcher
character, disfigured Sarah Byrnes, who first appeared in Staying Fat for
Sarah Byrnes, takes a road trip to Reno with Angus Bethune (Athletic
in “Kyle Maynard and the Craggy Face of the Moon” to confront abandonment
issues with her mother and learns about love along the way. “Meet Me at the Gates, Marcus
James” brings together brilliant, gay, African-American Marcus James with devout
Christian Matt Miller to tackle issues of race, sexual identity and hate crimes. The weakest story, “Montana Wild,”
addresses intellectual freedom and parent responsibility.
I highly recommend
young adult literature as exemplified by Angry Management to parents as a window
into issues that confront today’s teens, and for teens to reflect on the
passion these problems evoke.