Chris Crutcher’s collection of short stories introduces readers to his characters found in his novels to further explain their lives. Crutcher writes with authenticity, where his characters are bravely dealing with conflict and pain. Bigotry, jealousy, acceptance, loneliness are all present in these stories.
Crutcher, C. (1991). Athletic shorts: Six short stories. Greenwillow Books.
Athletic Shorts is about athletes dealing with larger life issues and the struggles of performance and friendship. There are six stories in the book. The book contains bad language, talks about homosexuality and challenges parents who are overbearing and bigoted. The small town setting and circumstance may seem mundane but characters like Telephone Man and Johnny Rivers are really memorable. There are no stereotypes in this book.
Morning, T., Jones, T. E., Toth, L., & Fleishhacker, J. (1991). Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories (Book). School Library Journal, 37(9), 278.
Librarians should use this book to introduce readers to Crutcher’s larger works since many of the character in this story collection are written in novels. Librarians can assign this book to mature readers who are seeking authentic text that uses real-life presentations of teenage experiences. The notion of what it means to be a “jock” is certainly challenged here. Librarians could invite readers to create social media profiles about the characters in these stories and contemplate the kind of reactions their status updates could receive.