Angry Management

( 11 )

Overview

Welcome to Angry Management

It’s a place for misfits. For stories that will rip out your heart and give you back one better than what you started with. Stories about prejudice, rage, and hope. About surviving it all and showing the world that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

In three novellas, Chris Crutcher brings together some of his most unforgettable characters—among them Sarah Byrnes, Angus ...

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Angry Management

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Overview

Welcome to Angry Management

It’s a place for misfits. For stories that will rip out your heart and give you back one better than what you started with. Stories about prejudice, rage, and hope. About surviving it all and showing the world that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

In three novellas, Chris Crutcher brings together some of his most unforgettable characters—among them Sarah Byrnes, Angus Bethune, and Montana West—to bare their souls. No sugarcoating here. Just the truth.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Ed Goldberg
Crutcher resurrects characters from previous books and short stories in the three novellas comprising this book, which takes its title from the nickname of a teen counseling group. Misfits Sarah Byrnes, facially scarred by her abusive father (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes; Greenwillow, 1993/VOYA August 1993), and obese Angus Bethune, who has two sets of gay parents (A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune, Athletic Shorts; Greenwillow, 1991/VOYA April 1992), find each other and some insights on their respective lives. Liberal-minded Montana West (The Sledding Hill; Greenwillow, 2005/VOYA June 2005) battles her conservative father and the school board, which he heads, over freedom of the high school student press. In addition, she must advocate for her emotionally stunted five-year-old foster sister, whom her controlling father wants to return to the foster care system. The only black and openly gay student in his high school, Marcus James confronts bigotry, primarily in the form of Roger Marshall, whose family has a history of intolerance and violence. He is aided by an unexpected source, fellow student Matt Miller, a devout Christian who barely knows Marcus. There is nothing new here, but that is fine. It is vintage Crutcher, in his inimitable fashion, denouncing bigotry and hatred, advocating for abused children, and promoting Constitutional freedoms. Readers might not remember some of the characters, but that does not matter. The stories are well written, action packed, engrossing, and at times humorous. Readers will root for some characters, despise a few, and feel emotional tugs for others. Characters are portrayed realistically, and not all stories have happy, storybookendings; however, Crutcher infuses the endings with hope. A good introduction to Crutcher, his latest book will certainly please current fans as well. Reviewer: Ed Goldberg
Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Crutcher has done what readers often long for: he has come back to tell the story of some of his minor characters. The characters have not aged and each comes to the forefront of the novella. Recent Crutcher novels have become somewhat pedantic, with social issues taking a larger role in the lives of the protagonists, but that focus works very well in the novella format, which is centered around a single focus, exploring its impact on the characters. These three novellas are terrific stories filled with contemporary issues; they explore the human implications of social posturing. They are organized as the therapy notes of Mr. Nakatani, the anger management teacher Crutcher's readers met in Ironman. Sarah Byrnes tries one more time to make sense of the abuse of her father and her abandonment by her mother. This time she is with Angus Bethune, a big kid who has two sets of homosexual parents and yet is a heterosexual high school boy lusting for a girlfriend. In the second, Montana West decides to stand up to her ultra conservative adoptive father regarding the freedom of the high school press. She is also trying to save her mother and foster sister from her father's domineering control. In the last of the three, Matt Miller is a likeably committed Christian who intends to stand up to the hypocrisy of his small town in its acceptance of gay, African American, Marcus James. Language in the stories is very adult and situations are not for the faint of heart; these novellas take on tough issues with all their gritty details. High school readers will certainly want to talk about what happens in these stories and how those actions are represented in the world and culture around us. Reviewer:Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Crutcher's fans will relish the reunion with some familiar characters in this collection of three stories set in the Pacific Northwest and thematically united around anger. "Kyle Manard and the Craggy Face of the Moon" takes Angus Bethune (Athletic Shorts, 1991) and Sarah Byrnes (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, 1993) on a road trip to Reno to confront the mother who abandoned her years before. In "Montana Wild," student journalist Montana West (The Sledding Hill, 2005) defends her article on medicinal marijuana in a very public shouting match with the right-wing school-board president, who also happens to be her father. "Meet Me at the Gates, Marcus James" unexpectedly binds gay Marcus James, sole black student at his high school, with complexly devout Christian Matt Miller (Deadline, 2007) and sympathetic teacher John Simet (Whale Talk, 2001), when racist football players hang a pink noose on Marcus's locker. Subthemes packed into the mix include foster care, sexual awakening, body image, and hope, played out through lively plot and dialogue. Too many stereotypical characters weaken the stories' impact, including blindly bureaucratic school administrators and knee-jerk conservative Christians. The unnecessary conceit that all the characters attend an anger management course led by Mr. Nak (Ironman, 1995, all HarperCollins) remains undeveloped, and the stories end too abruptly. Despite these flaws, readers will encounter colorful characters and thought-provoking subject matter in a quick read.—Joyce Adams Burner, National Archives at Kansas City, MO
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Well written, action packed, engrossing, and at times humorous . . . [Angry Management] is vintage Crutcher.”
ALA Booklist
“Crutcher fanatics rejoice! . . . Teens comfortable with Crutcher’s black-and-white take on controversial issues will delight in these stories, and with his best book cover yet, this may draw new fans to the fold.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060502478
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 771,183
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet 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 protec-tion 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 6, 2009

    Angry Management by Chris Crutcher, a must read!

    As Chris left our high school he handed me the galley of AM. (Page numbered? Whew, we are good!) Enter a new anger management therapist, Nak, a Japanese cowboy therapist who has seen far too many teenagers suffer from AM, the name of his counseling sessions dedicated to a young man who always called the sessions Angry rather than Anger.

    To begin each novella, Nak writes therapy notes on the young adults: Sarah Brynes and Angus Bethune, Montana West, Matt Miller and Marcus James. And then, let the emotion, the anger, the pathos, the epiphany begin!

    As I read I said, "Oh, this is my favorite," three times. Chris' writing has never been better: eloquently sparse and band-aid-yanking raw. Love? It's here. Prejudice? Oh yes. Hypocrisy? On open display. Strength? An upper-cut worth.

    If you are a YA librarian, just save yourself some time and buy multiple copies. If you have been under a rock and are not a Crutcher fan yet, get your copy pre-ordered now!

    ENDERS Rating: Beyond loving these haunting stories!

    Joan Enders
    HS Librarian, YA Book Reviewer, Grant Writer
    http://whattoreadwhattoread.blogspot.com/

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Angie Fisher for TeensReadToo.com

    Google Chris Crutcher, and chances are one of the first topics to pop up will be censorship. That alone is cause for this reviewer to pick up his books.

    A therapist and child advocate, Crutcher is one of the finest authors I've read for teens. He not only uses real experiences with real adolescents to form his characters, he hits young adult reality fiction right on. Crutcher is honest, straightforward, and not afraid to tackle the hard subjects coming-of-age lessons forge. And boy, do kids respond.

    ANGRY MANAGEMENT is Crutcher's latest novel. Built out of three novellas involving some familiar characters from past books, adolescents and grown ups alike who can't appreciate the honesty and raw emotion brought forth from these characters do so out of fear of today's reality.

    The novellas are connected by Mr. Nak's (IRONMAN, 1995, HarperCollins) Angry Management group, a place where teens who don't follow the norm meet to tell their stories. The stories they've lived from the cards they've been dealt.

    Anger is most definitely a theme in these pages, but so are love and prejudice, freedom of religion and abuse. Hope and survival. Crutcher has a way of pulling at the deep, raw emotion we all possess, especially for kids, and bringing it to the surface. No wonder so many find his work threatening.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2012

    Angry management is about three different stories of 17 year old

    Angry management is about three different stories of 17 year olds having huge issues in the time of their life. One is a short love story, the other is about someones dad being being the head of the school board, in which he denies the general rights of high school students and kicks the main character's little sister out of the house. The final story is about a very smart high schooler, except that he is constantly bullied in school because he is the only African-American and is gay. I really enjoyed the plots of the last two stories, because of the constant battles between the adults and high school kids throughout the book. The first story on the other hand, wasn't as great, and I never really saw any huge plot, except that there was a problem between who's dating with who. Plus, the beginning really didn't make much sense to me. Even though the book mainly talks about problems in high schoolers' lives, this book is obviously made for adults, and that's who I recommend it to (especially for the usual swearing throughout the book). Seeing that I'm not too old enough yet to understand some parts of the book, it's probably for people a bit older. Besides that, this was a pretty interesting book once I got into it.

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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    Not recommended for teenagers

    Yeah, I'm the one guy that thought this book was horrible. This book is horrible my 14 year old son picked it off the School summer reading list and told me he couldn't read it, when I asked why he said "because every other word is a cuss word" I counted around 20 F bombs and at least one was used to describe the act of having sex at a chaperoned event. Totaly inappropriate for a minor. do not buy this book it is a waste of money and what little I read was not even written legibly. I am in the process of having it removed from our schools library and taken off any reading lists that my be distributed in the future.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another thought provoking novel by Chris Crutcher

    "Angry Management" is written in the same style of Crutcher's "Athletic Shorts" with some of fans favorite characters from "Whale Talk", "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes", "Ironman" and "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune". Written in three short stories with dialogue at the beginning and end of the novel by Nak from "Ironman", we not only revisit some old characters, but are also introduced to several new characters that readers will fall in love with. If you love Chris Crutcher's novels or you're looking for a book that will make you think about real issues affecting teens today, you should read "Angry Management".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I couldn't put it down from start to finish!

    I pre-ordered ANGRY MANAGEMENT months ago and have counted down the days till its release. Chris Crutcher, as always, does not disappoint. From the first story that utilizes past characters Sarah Byrnes and Angus Bethune, I was pulled into their lives intensely. It was genius to bring back the character of Mr. Nak to guide the reader through the lives of past beloved characters and a new one or two. I loved this book even more than DEADLINE, Crutcher's last book-- and that's saying a lot.
    This is another one I will be buying for my friends who care about kids, as well as those who just love a great story (stories, actually).

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    Posted March 9, 2012

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    Posted September 5, 2011

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    Posted April 11, 2013

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    Posted June 30, 2009

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    Posted October 23, 2012

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