Dedicated to sharing great children's fiction - old and new - with kids and their parents.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Crash by Jerry Spinelli
“Not everybody calls me Crash.There’s one personwho doesn’t.It’s just one of a million things that have bugged me for years about this kid.” -Crash
John Coogan's uncle nicknames him Crash.One Christmas, John got a brand new football helmet.As his uncle's family came through the door, John charges and knocks his cousin Bridget back out the doorway and into a foot of snow.This experience epitomizes Crash's personality; rough and tumble, a typical egotistical jock.When Penn Webb moves into the neighborhood just before 1st grade, he becomes the butt of a lot of Crash's practical jokes and teasing.Crash attacks Penn's second-hand clothes, white-haired parents, pet turtle, Quaker religion, vegetarian eating habits, the ubiquitous button adorning the front of his shirt, etc.Penn cheerfully accepts Crash's negative attention and remains his friend.In sixth grade, Mike Deluca moves in and joins Crash in harassing Penn.Then in seventh grade, Scooter, Crash's grandfather, moves in with the Coogan family.Then he suffers a debilitating stroke, and Penn brings him his sample of Missouri River mud to cheer him up.Crash's attitudes start to change.When Mike steals Penn's essay, Crash gets it back.Then Mike steals Penn's turtle.Crash goes to Mike's house, searches his room, finds the turtle, and returns it to Penn.Crash Coogan is learning to be a human being.
Written as Crash’s narrative of his experiences with Penn, this book combines humor with a strong message- true friendship can change even the most committed bully.