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Crazy Horse Electric Game

Crazy Horse Electric Game

4.4 21
by Chris Crutcher

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Willie Weaver used to be a hero.
Now he's nothing.

Willie is a top athlete, the star of the legendary game against Crazy Horse Electric. Then a freak accident robs him of his once-amazing physical talents.

Betrayed by his family, his girlfriend, and his own body, Willie's on the run, penniless and terrified on the streets, where he


Willie Weaver used to be a hero.
Now he's nothing.

Willie is a top athlete, the star of the legendary game against Crazy Horse Electric. Then a freak accident robs him of his once-amazing physical talents.

Betrayed by his family, his girlfriend, and his own body, Willie's on the run, penniless and terrified on the streets, where he must fight to rebuild both his body and his life.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The author captures the playful side of sports and its sense of timing. Without mincing words, he composes harsh realities with images that sometimes take your breath away-and sometimes make you belly-laugh in astonishment and delight. Willie Weaver is a teenage boy who lives in a nurturing family, has loads of friends and is a perfect athlete. And then comes an water-skiing accident which destroys not only his balance and physical prowess, but his family and his sense of self. Willie flees the scene of his unhappiness and struggles to regain his self-respect and some physical capabilities in tough, street-wise Oakland, California. The story is a poignant telling of courage, the struggle to survive life on all levels, and an examination of values once held dear.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up The title refers to the game for the Eastern Montana American Legion baseball championship, as the star pitcher, Willie Weaver, leads his team against the powerful squad from Crazy Horse Electric. But the emphasis of the novel shifts quickly away from baseball after Willie suffers a head injury in a water skiing accident. Unable to accept the loss of his athletic prowess, the pity of others, and his parents' troubled marriage, Willie runs away and ends up in the inner city of Oakland, California. After being beaten and robbed by a gang, Willie is rescued by a black bus driver/pimp, who enrolls Willie in a school for troubled youths. Thanks to the understanding staff of the school, Willie regains his mental and physical abilities and his self-confidence. He returns home to Montana, however, to learn that there is no longer a place for him in the lives of those he left. If nothing else, Crutcher manages to cram many of the most popular themes of young adult novels into this book, as Willie faces the crib death of his sister, divorce, drugs, sexual feelings, gang violence, mental handicaps, physical handicaps, prostitution, child beating, and more. Willie's present-tense narration is annoying, and does not work well for this story that covers several years. The author is best in the effective description of Willie's effort to recover from his injury. But this is the best that can be said for a novel that often seems contrived. Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, Ill.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Crazy Horse Electric Game, The EPB
Chapter One

Sometimes he remembers it as if it were unfolding in front of him this very minute, all of it; event by amazing event. And sometimes it seems as if it all happened a long, long time ago, maybe in another lifetime. But the focal point, no matter how he thinks about it, is the Crazy Horse Electric game. He still doesn't know if it's the best thing that ever happened to him or the worst thing.

It's two summers ago and sixteen-year-old Willie Weaver walks through the front door of Samson Floral with Petey Shropshire and Jenny Blackburn, the girl Willie would like to be his girlfriend if he could figure out a sure way to make that transformation without destroying their friendship; their history together.

They have a mission.

Mr. Samson is in back, clipping and arranging flowers like he always is. He's seventy-five if he's a day — pretty set in his ways — and Willie knows this won't be easy. The kids stand behind Mr. Samson for a few minutes, watching and clearing their throats and sniffing loudly, in hopes he will notice them, but his hearing aid is dangling from his hip pocket and there's no chance. Finally Willie steps into his field of vision and says, "Hey, Mr. Samson." Mr. Samson jumps, decapitating the begonia he's clipping. He says, "Damn," and replaces the hearing aid in his ear, letting the world back in. "Young Weaver. How are ya, boy?" He swivels on his stool, nodding to Petey and Jenny. "Gonna make my shop famous this year? Win some ball games for Samson Floral?"

"Hope so," Willie says. "Looks like we could have a pretty tough team." He pauses, looking for a better way in to what hewants to say, but Mr. Samson just looks at them all, smiling and nodding slowly. "Actually, that's kind of what we came here to talk to you about . . ."

Mr. Samson's expression is unchanged, his head bouncing gently like that of a plastic beagle with lighted eyes mounted in the rear window of a '57 Chevy.

"Uh, we were wondering if we could talk to you about the caps," Willie says, flinching slightly.

"Of course," Mr. Samson replies. "What's the matter? They too small? Need more caps?"

"No, they fit okay," Willie says, looking to Petey for support. Petey's head hangs; Jenny's hand covers her mouth, stifling a giggle. Willie's on his own. "And there are plenty of them. It's the rose. We took a boatload of crap for the rose last year. We were wondering if maybe we could have a different logo. We'd put 'em on ourselves. I mean, it wouldn't cost anything."

Mr. Samson smiles and turns back to his beheaded begonia; picks it up in a halfhearted attempt to re-attach it to the stem, then lets it fall to the floor. "What did you have in mind?"

Now Petey speaks up. "We were thinking maybe an 'S' over an 'F,' for Samson Floral. You know, like the San Francisco Giants."

Mr. Samson looks over his glasses. "You look at the box scores lately, young fella?"

Petey is blank.

"Giants are dead last. Giants are always dead last." He shakes his head slowly. "Nope. No 'S-F' for us. You boys follow me now. Just follow me out front."

Their eyes roll toward the heavens as they dutifully follow Mr. Samson out onto the sidewalk, where he points to the flashing neon rose above the door. "You kids know how long that sign's been there?"

"Thirty-four years," they say in unison.

"That's the rose on your caps. Identical. You win some games, people see the rose, they make the connection and they buy flowers from me. That's called advertising."

Willie makes a last attempt. "But you have the only floral shop in town. People have to buy their flowers from you."

Mr. Samson nods, smiling. "Then the advertising should work," he says. "I think we'll keep the rose." He walks back inside, leaving the kids to stare at the flashing flower and marvel at his logic.

Willie turns to Jenny, who laughs out loud now. "You were a lot of help," he says. "I'll come to you first the next time I need backup."

Jenny grins and tweaks his cheek, her long blond single braid whipping behind her head. "I'm with Mr. Samson, I think they're cute. Besides, it makes you work harder to prove yourselves. You know, boys named Sue."'

"Great," Petey says. "Another year of my big brother calling me 'Petunia' every game day. Like it's not hard enough getting any dignity in this world when you're barely five foot three. God, my dad made me wear that stupid cap in our Christmas-card pictures last year."

Willie Weaver walks down the hot, dry two-lane highway with Johnny Rivers — the catcher, not the singer — to practice at Sollie Weaver Field, named after Willie's grandfather, who donated the land and put up most of the money to build it, and who was a legendary athlete around these parts in his day. He played football, basketball and baseball at Notre Dame back before the age of specialization, when an athlete could play as many sports as he was good at. Largely because of Willie, the rose on their caps now has dignity among all teams in the league. Samson Floral is undefeated after ten games.

"It depends on what you can do with Sal Whitworth." Johnny is explaining how Samson Floral can beat Crazy Horse Electric and take the Eastern Montana American Legion Championship away from them. Crazy Horse has won it three years running. "Keep his bat off the ball and we'll own 'em," Johnny says. "They got nobody else can hit you."

"What're you talking about?" Willie says. "They've got hitters clear through the line-up. Jesus, Johnny, their batboy hits."

"They can hit," he says, "but they can't hit you."

"They sure hit me last year."

"Last year you were two inches shorter and about thirty pounds lighter and your arm wasn't a licensed nuclear weapon," Johnny says.

Willie smiles. Not even his dad pumps him up the way Johnny does....

Crazy Horse Electric Game, The EPB
. Copyright © by Chris Crutcher. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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 protection 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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Crazy Horse Electric Game 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Bartoszek More than 1 year ago
I read the book The Crazy Horse Electric Game by Mr. Chris Crutcher. This book is about an all star baseball pitcher, Willie Weaver, in Coho, Montana who has the most perfect life. Until during one of his vacations with his family and girl friend he has an extremely bad accident skiing. After the accident his life is never the same, he can¿t play sports do to his mental and physical condition. His father gets mad when he doesn¿t try to get back to normal and his girl friend Jenny starts to cheat on him. He runs away to Oakland, California were he gets beat badly by a gang the Jo Boys, then lives with a bus driver and pimp, Lacey, who takes care of him, then he goes a school for people with mental and physical problems, OMLC: there he works with a consular that helps him to get back to his normal self physically. In the summer he graduates from the OMLC and is back to his normal self, back when he pitched in the crazy horse electric game, but when he goes back to his home town on Coho, Montana he finds something he though he¿d never see.
The reasons I think Mr. Crutcher wrote this book was to say to teens that read his book to never give up in something you work hard to get, also to say that just because now you have a good life things won¿t get hard in the future. Mr. Crutcher wrote this book pacifically for teens for the reason that teens can relate to this story and understand it better than older people. The book is spoken in first person since Willie Weaver is the one who is telling the story, which is important because the entire event in the story including the story revolves around Willie. I connect to Willie in this story because during my senior season of high school football I was on top of my game and having great game when I broke my ankle in the fourth of nine games. I was out for 4 weeks and I felt deserted and unwanted until I came back my last game.
I could say this story could actually happen based on the time and place, the way the story was told, and the way things happened to Willie, I here about it all the time on the news and around my community. The significance of the book title is that The Crazy Horse Electric Game is a big part of Willies life, ¿Willie's dad advises him to stay focused on the Crazy Horse Electric game.....¿(Crutcher) show how much he and his dad care about the game. And this is who he was and who he strives to get back to being. It is also a big part of Big Wills life (Willie¿s dad) and who he wants Willie to get back to being so he can have Willie live the rest of his life in being a big sports star. I would recommend this book for a teen that has or is playing a sport that he or she is good at. Since this book is about a person who plays a sport and that the book is mainly about sports and their injuries.
And last but not least I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars, because I book has very good details and flow to it. It doesn¿t 5 out of 5 because of the ending wasn¿t go far enough for me and I wish it would have gone longer and given more detail. This is my review on The Crazy Horse Electric Game by Mr. Chris Crutcher hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome. The author, Chris Crutcher really teaches a great message of not giving up even when challenges come your way. This is great book for teens to read and I think this is the best book I have ever read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The twolegs trekked through the thick woods, heading far away from Horseclan territory. They eventually reached a thunderpath and a still monster. The one carrying Velvetstars prison put her in the back of the monster, before they both got into the front and the engine started. Velvetstar yowled with fear and pain, hoping a clanmate, or anyone would hear her. The blaring noise of the monster grew louder and everything she knew dissappeared from Velvetstars sight. (Next post at twolegged result one) -Velvetstar-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think i will ask if i can join today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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gadiL More than 1 year ago
Over this past summer I had read this book for summer reading. The book is about a teenage boy named Willie Weaver who had it all. He was a great athlete, had a girlfriend, and a loving family. However, this all came to an end for Willie after a terrible boating accident that crippled him. After the accident, Willie felt like a failure infront of everyone, so he abandoned his parents, friends, and girlfriend and ran away from home. As the story progresses, the reader learns that Willie found someone to live with and began attanding a school in Oakland, California. Over one year, Willie gained his physical strength back and even graduated from high school. Yet, in his return home, Willie was bewildered to what had happened when he was gone. Willie thought that he would be welcomed with open arms by his parents and friends, but it was not like that. Everyone thought he was dead and his parents had gotten a divorce, now his father was a adrunk and his mother was remarried. This book helped myself understand that life is never perfect, one day you have something and the next day it is gone. Willie Weaver was living the lfe of any normal teenger until the day of his accident. i would recommend this book to any teenager because it is easy to connect to the book since willie is a teen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read a pretty good book by the author named Chris Crutcher. There is a boy by the name of Willie Weaver. His father Mr. Weaver was a star athlete of the town and though his son would carry on the family name. Well little Willie Weaver was starting to make a name for himself in the sport of baseball. He then won the biggest game that he could win at his age wit han amazing catch. There was a problem though. They had lost A child in the family. It was willie weaver little sister. Their the family was hurt about that.Since Willie won the Crazy Horse Electric Game, he became a star an popular. When he was on a skiing trip with his family and hurt himself bad enough so he could'nt play sports any more. The family was'nt getting along no more so willie took a bus and moved to California. In my opinion I would rate this book a seven on a scale from one to ten. The reason for that i thought the book was to slow and allways going up and down. Chris Crutcher still did a good job on this novel and will read more of his work. People who like sports should enjoy this book.I believe the overall message of this book would be to never get down on yourself at the hardest time of your life and think positive.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the crazy horse electric game for my college english class. My teacher thought I would enjoy it and she was right i did enjoy it very much. the story line was perpect. i was a little mad when will didnt see what he had to do. but then he did see what he had to do. this book was surreal and just becuase i liked the crazy horse electric game so much i have started reading chris crutcher's Chinese handcuffs im sure it will be a great read as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the crazy horse electric game. The book was full of heartbreak and triump through the hole story. If someone has ever gone through what he went through the'll understand but in conclusion the story is very good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just read this book it was great. It had alot of action and a great story line.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a wonderful book by Chris Crutcher. I was 'in' to the story the whole time. When Willie was shunned by his family, friends, girlfriend, and even the whole town you could feel his pain. But when he found a life on his own, it was time to rejoice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good, it showed some valuable lessons that should be learned on through life. It also showed how when you give up, you are just losing a big fight. Chris Crutcher defirnetly is a nice book author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All of his life, Willie Weaver has been an all-star athlete. One day Willie suffers from a horrible water-skiing accidnet. He is hurt badly and has a hard time dealing with his disability. So he decides to run away to California to get away from his friends and family becuase he doesn't want the to feel sorry for him. He has been gone for almost a year and pretty much started a new life. Will Willie return home after being gone so long? if he does return home will things be the same or will everything have changed? I really enjoyed the book and it was one of the best books i have ever read. After reading jsut the first page I was already interested in the book. I would deffinately recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading. However, I would especially recommend this book to and athletes or people who loves sports. I also really like how the book teaches many vsluable lessons but in an interesting and entertaining way. I really liked how it made me stop and think about how great of a life i really have. This book will help people understand how you sohuldn't take the gifts God give you for granted, because at any time they can be taken away from you just as easily as they were given to you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Book is so great! It did start out slow and as soon as it picked up it was even better. I totally loved this book. It is very emotional when it wants to be. It's a book to learn a lesson or two from.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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