Buffalo & Erie County Public Library staff review by Peter Lisker
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 Shorts) 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.