Period.8

Chris Crutcher is one of my favorite YA authors, and this book didn’t disappoint. What I enjoy most about Crutcher’s novels are the characters. No one writes more likable or hated characters than Crutcher, IMHO, and the protagonist and antagonist in Period.8 are some of his best yet–again, IMHO. Just as we discussed during last class, this novel delivers the ultimate good guy and the hated bully.

What I’d like to discuss this week, though, is the importance of this book as it relates to the issues kids are dealing with today. How does Crutcher develop this invisible wall between the teens and the adults? Why is this important to the story? Why would this interest YA readers?

You can discuss any and/or all of these points and/or questions, or you can talk about whatever you want to talk about. See you Tuesday.

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18 thoughts on “Period.8

  1. *Period 8* by Chris Crutcher was a fun read. It was quick and engaging, it definitely painted a realistic picture of the way real teenagers act and interact. You are right: there was certainly a clear distinction of who the bad guys (Stack and gang) and who the good guys (Paulie, Hannah and Logs) were. There really was no gray area once the “mystery” began to unfold.

    One of the more interesting yet expected things in this novel were the relationships between the teens and their parents. Paulie’s father was not the best role model, a man who had fidelity issues and was living out of a hotel, treating Paulie like his friend rather than his son. His mother was completely absent from the novel, being too weak of a character to even have a voice or clear role in the book. While you could argue that Paulie’s infidelity stemmed from his father’s example he set for him, his parents really had little effect on the person that he became: which was “the good guy” in the book. Stack’s father was abusive, hitting him for the slightest offenses, his mother also weak. This surely added to his villianous, control-freak persona. Mary’s parents were much the same, her father being overly protective, to the point of it being abusive, and her mother also weak and absent. This undoubtedly led to the destruction of her character and her low self-esteem. Taylor, the other female that we know of that was involved in the sex ring, also had a bad home life: a single mother that mowed through boyfriends, taking little interest in Taylor. In sharp contrast, we had Logs, the period 8 teacher that everybody loved and trusted. He was able to navigate this role by being honest with the students, he was never uptight or untrustworthy. He went out of his way to form a relationship with his students, and he had a very positive impact on Paulie, he was an almost father figure to him.

    The roles that adults take are integral to this story since they are the ones that shape and define the teen characters. While the teens are influenced by the adults, it is ultimately left up to them whether they succumb to their complete influence or not. Paulie seemed to be the only one to rise above the negative behavior of his parents and become his own person. This is important to teens because they need to feel they are given agency to be who they want to be, which is something completely free of their parents control. YA readers will appreciate that, and it will make them want to read to see what comes of these characters. Will they turn out like their parents? Will they become some pathetic byproduct of their parents’ problems? Will they rise above it? *Period 8* seeks to answer these questions, which is one reason why teens will be interested in reading it.

  2. Period 8 by Chris Crutcher is a very interesting read that has many adolescent issues surrounding the plot. From parental problems to cheating on a girlfriend, this book really encompassed some of the daily struggles that teens face. This book has a relatability factor that allows a young reader to put themselves in the situations of Crutcher’s characters. Looking back on High School you can totally pick individuals to play the roles presented. While this book was an easy read it still allowed the reader to capture the emotions of the characters and really be able to see their daily struggles. When Paulie admits to Hannah that he had cheated on her, you could tell that it wasn’t easy, but he felt as if it was the right thing. Teens struggle on a daily basis between what is morally right and wrong. Crutcher does an excellent job presenting this to the reader. I feel he is spot on in his interpretation of how adolescence are today and many students should read his piece because they can relate to what he is presenting.

  3. I can see how a teenager may enjoy this book, although, I did not. In my eyes the characters were never fully developed. Paulie, the protagonist, had the potential to be likable but I never quite got there. Crutcher attempts to make Paulie a likable character by making him a victim of “Virgin Mary” and Arney Stack, and by him being honest to Hannah about what happened. Also, he throws in that bit about helping Bobby Wright become an “Olympic Swimmer”. Other than that there wasn’t much to like about Paulie. Mary Wells’ character was undeveloped as well. How was Arney able to have so much control over her? (did I miss something?)
    Basically, it was the teenagers (& Logs) against the world.
    The only positive adult role model is Logs and coincidentally he wasn’t a parent (unless you consider his cat, Gehrig). So, pretty much, parents are the bad guys in this book.
    Paulie’s Parents: mother=weak, father=cheater
    Hannah’s Parents: not able to save their daughter from an eighteen yr-old-boy
    Arney’s father: abusive
    Mary’s father: controlling
    Taylor’s mother: weak and promiscuous.
    Even the the police officer is a bad guy!
    I found the motive for why Arney decides to recruit girls for the sex ring to be weak.. because he was jealous of Paulie??? (again, did I miss something)

    • Tough to argue against your points. Although I think it’s the power of small details that make Crutcher’s characters so well developed and likeable (or hated). I don’t think you missed anything; I think it was left for you to fill in the gaps, and that doesn’t make it right. This is not the first time I’ve heard this about Crutcher’s work.

  4. *Period 8* is a book that shows young adults that no one, including adults, are perfect. All of the characters’ parents in the novel are preoccupied with their own lives to notice what is going on in their children’s lives. The main character, Paulie Bomb, has parents who are constantly breaking up and getting back together portraying the father as a cheater who can’t seem to help it and the mother as a weak woman who can’t exist without a man. Hannah, Paulie’s ex-girlfriend, has parents who never seem to notice that she’s driving the car around in the middle of the night. Arney, the antagonist, has a father who abuses him. Finally, Mary Wells, another key character, has a father who is so controlling and possessive of her that he barely allows her to communicate with her male peers.

    While I can understand that many young adults feel like it is them against the world, I felt that the portrayal of adults in this novel was unrealistic. Unfortunately some parents do have the characteristics of the parents in this novel. However, Crutcher fails to make at least one parent a decent person who is concerned with their child. Even Logs, the teacher in charge of period 8 and a mentor to many students, has a mysterious past that he regrets as he becomes consumed by hypothermia at the end.

    Two aspects of the book I enjoyed. One was the colloquial language used by all the characters, even the adults, throughout the novel. I believe this makes the book an easier read for a struggling student and makes the characters seem more realistic. The second aspect I enjoyed was the metaphor about the first time Logs saw the entirety of Earth from a picture on the moon in 1968. Logs describes this sight to Paulie as “God doesn’t see the shit that’s going on, He just sees this thing He gave us to live on, and it’s beautiful from that far out. He wouldn’t even know how badly we messed it up until it was too late…” (pg. 175). I viewed this as a metaphor to how people may appear one way on the outside, but actually have a lot more going on in the inside. This can be seen for both Arney, who initially seems like an annoying high school kid but is actually involved in recruiting girls for a sex ring, and Mary, who seems like a innocent girl controlled by her father but in reality has a significant internal conflict.

  5. I found Period 8 to be a painful read… although I did finish it quickly. There was not one character that I found enjoyable. The character development was lacking and the whole premise of the story was ludicrous. Maybe I have led a sheltered life but I can’t imagine that these are the issues that adolescents are dealing with on a regular basis. Perhaps I just wasn’t invited into the elite, Dansville Senior High School prostitution club… who knows. I don’t even know where to begin when discussing the problems I had with Period 8 but I suppose I will start with Paulie.

    It really annoyed me that Crutcher tried so desperately to turn him into an upstanding gentleman that we should feel sympathy for. I felt as if the awkward background plot of Paulie’s philandering father was merely a way to excuse his own lecherous activity. After Paulie cheated on Hannah, he kept insisting that it was not what she thought and that he could explain. Apparently, the fact that Mary threw herself desperately at him was supposed to make a huge difference. The fact that Paulie knew how out of character Mary’s behavior was and could see how upset she was and yet he just started pawing at her anyway is a little bit disgusting and appalling. I understand teenage boys may not have a whole lot of moral values but I’d like to think that there would be some decent boys who would feel concern for her and maybe try and have a conversation… console her with some words. I also hated the way he treated his mother. It was as if he resented her for being weak and taking back her cheating husband. Maybe she was just trying to keep her family together and struggled with abandoning a man that she was in love with. Maybe that is weakness but, goodness, cut the woman some slack. It is also ironic that he didn’t find Hannah’s forgiveness a sign of weakness. In fact, he was annoyed with his mother for forgiving his father but he was annoyed with Hannah for not listening to his explanation for cheating. Alright Paulie, how would you prefer women to respond to their unfaithful partners? I also was curious if the reader was supposed to find Paulie likable because he agreed to give Bobby some swimming lessons. His whole attitude toward Bobby is really just annoying and hardly admirable. The whole dialogue about Bobby on page 165 just made me feel sad. “Gonna turn him into a channel swimmer,” Paulie says. “Don’t be dissin’ my man Bobby. He’s a work in progress. Been spending a little weight room time with him.” Justin laughs. “How’s that working?” “It’s gonna take a little more time in the weight room.” Later Paulie tells his friends “A lot of work in progress.” Paulie just comes off as a pretentious, condescending little punk. I sincerely hope that adolescents have a better role model to look up to when they consider trying to include their peers into their inner circles.

    I also was annoyed by the portrayal of adults. I understand that this is a characteristic of YA literature but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable for me to read. Maybe I would have even enjoyed this novel more if we had read it before A Fault in Our Stars. To me, Period 8 seemed poorly written and contrived. I suppose I can imagine some teenage girls enjoying reading it as it is quick and interesting. However, when I think of teenage boys reading this novel all I can hear them shouting is, “GAYYYYYYYY!” But who knows… maybe I’m wrong.

  6. Period 8 written by Chris Chrutcher kept me focusing on two topics. First, I believe teens would enjoy this read because many face one or more of the same challenges that were presented in the book. A majority of teens are going to face struggles with relationships in high school. Hannah experienced this in the beginning of the book when Paulie acknowledged that he cheated on her. In addition, teens face personal problems with parents that the main characters are faced with in Period 8. Paulie Bomb, comes from a home where the parents are constantly fighting. A number of teens can relate to this as divorce rates in society continue to rise. Mary was also faced with an overbearing father that many teens can view themselves in a similar position today. I believe teens enjoy reading stories about individuals that face similar challenges as themselves.

    Second, I had a hard time with the whole Period 8 concept in general. In the beginning, I thought Logs was creating an environment for teens to express their problems in a support group. As the book went on, I believe an educator in today’s school system would have a hard time holding a Period 8 type atmosphere in their classroom. Logs became to involved with the problems that his teens were faced with. I believe teachers can be a great source of reason and support for their students, but they also have the ability to cross the line.

  7. I found the relationships between the students and their parents one most students who read Period 8 will resonate with. Most students deal with the daily struggle of what to confide in their parents, and what to hide and lie about. I think It is extremely easy to withhold information from our parents because we see them as those who will only judge us. While I did withhold certain things from my parents, it was not anything that could ultimately harm me like some of the characters did in Chris Crutcher’s Period 8. I thought his story was fantastic because at times I felt like a parent—meaning I had no idea what the students were actually doing. I could only guess some things, not much. I would never have guessed that students would partake in the sex trafficking industry while in high school. It makes me wish I could have been a teacher at their school that could have helped them, and prevented all debauchery from happening. Students are just kids after all, just children.

    It is insane to think that these things actually happen in today’s world right under our noses, and we do not even notice them. While we could potentially be the one individual who can help a student stay on a beneficial path, we could also be the one who cannot see the potentially life ruining events that happen on a daily basis in our students lives.

    While all the characters are within the book for a reason, as a future teacher, the standout character is Logs. I think any teacher would want to have the respectful relationship Logs has with his students. Yes, he gets more personal information from his students than he should, they still confide in him. He is the one individual that can help the students. They trust him enough to ask life advice, ask for love advice, and ask for help. Any teacher wants to be a source of information and help to their students. We are not there to just teach content specific subjects. We are there to help our students survive, and thrive, through daily life events. When some do not have influential adults at home, we can be the one adult figure who can look out for them. I had an influential teacher in high school, and I want to be the same for my future students. Give respect, get respect. Give trust, get trust. Provide each student with the environment which makes them comfortable enough to ask for the help they need, when they need it.

  8. Period 8 was an interesting, quick read. The storyline moved along at a stiff, page-turning pace. However, there’s still plenty of time to deal with life’s many important questions within this short novel. Paulie, like many of the other characters in the book, deal with the topic of truth and identity.

    Paulie cheats on Hannah and admits his betrayal. He struggles with his decision to cheat because his father is a cheater, and he considers his mother an enabler. Paulie’s parents are a prime example of the YA standard that the teenager is wiser than the parents, yet here he is repeating the mistakes he despises. This cycle is one that haunts him throughout the novel. He goes through a bit of an identity crisis, wondering if this one event changes whether he is truly good at his core.

    Likewise, there’s a place where Paulie and his classmates can divulge their mistakes and secrets in a “safe” place – Period 8. Here, they’re away from the prying eyes of parents and other authority figures that might criticize or apprehend their confessions. They share how they’re feeling with an understanding that what is said in Period 8 stays in Period 8. Mr. Logs is the only adult allowed into their world of secrets. Hannah, Paulie, and many of the other students in Period 8 rely on Mr. Logs for his counsel. They trust him more than their own parents.

    Trust and truth are blurry in this novel where cops and parents can’t be trusted and the truth can get you into trouble. Chris Crutcher examines these issues, which aren’t far from reality for many teens.

  9. I found the dynamic between kids and adults in Crutcher’s Period 8 to be quite unique. Our main character Paulie’s parents are, as I recall, absent and seem to be replaced altogether with a teacher-mentor-friend. And the only parent zoomed in on is a psycho, sex-crazed control freak, Mary Wells‘ dad.

    Mr. Logsdon’s character paints, in my opinion, a somewhat unrealistic teacher-student relationship. During the scenes when Logs and Paulie swim, all I could think was – wouldn’t his mom be a little suspicious at the time they spend together? And during the infamous period 8, I just could not believe the level of vulnerability those kids had. I was specifically skeptical when they started getting all philosophical. I guess that sort of thing could happen if the students and teacher worked to create the right atmosphere, as suggested I the novel. But it was a bit of a stretch for me.

    The most unbelievable scene was when Hannah sought refuge in Mr. L’s house after being pushed to an emotional limit. I just feel like that would never happen. Like any male teacher who placed such value in being a mentor would know he had to draw the limit at letting a teenage girl come in to his house alone. And if he did let her in, there would be major questions he had to answer. I realize the issue is later addressed when Hannah sarcastically responds to a police man’s interrogation by saying she’s sleeping with her teacher, and could if she wanted to, being an adult.

    Then there’s Mr. Wells. Here’s the example of the bad parent we talked about in class. Mr. Wells is a force to be reckoned with. He micromanages his daughter’s life and has caused deep psychological issues as a result. Mary’s rendezvous with Paulie is the reason for his heart ache, and when we discover her pushy interaction, we see her as risky. When we discover she’s being used by men, we see her as unwell. And really, her mysterious character is the driving force to this novel. But to a teenage reader, I think Mary Wells’ story would take a back seat to Paulie’s quest. Do I think he could have traveled so far without the guidance of his teacher? No, and I do think that gives YA readers a different perspective on independence. They can accept help and lean on others. They can take charge and get help for others.

  10. I enjoyed the book “Period 8” by Chris Crutcher I feel the book is geared more towards young adult males. I like the setting of a teenage group meeting during period 8 to talk about their problems both big and small with absolute confidentiality and no judgements. This setting is relatable to teens because most feel they cannot talk to their parents in fear getting in to trouble or being judged. I also like how Crutcher builds a wall between teenagers and adults by depicting the switching of roles between teenage and adult behaviors. For example Hannah is a strong individual as she dumps Paulie immediately after his confession of cheating on her with Mary Wells. Hannah’s parents are not emotionally available for her in her time of grief after her break up. However we have Paulie’s mother who is weak and submissive to the emotional abuse and chooses to live with her husband’s infidelities. Meanwhile as Paulie repeats his father cycle of being unfaithful, Paulie tries to encourage his mother to leave his father and move on with her life without him. Although Crutcher didn’t make the adults absent, he made them less significant by making the teenagers portrayed as the adults throughout the story and in the end, portrayed as heroes. Even though this story is unrealistic it keeps your interest and it is a great read for teenage escapism. Crutcher provides the reader with a nice blend of teenage drama and mystery. I would definitely recommend this book to students in grades 9-12.

  11. I thought this novel was filled with drama, excitement, and a plot that would interest any student. While I personally thought the story was a bit.. unrealistic.. milder forms of boys like Arney do exist, and unfortunately sex rings are a real issue.. but again it is unlikely that a variation of this story would happen to high school students. This, however, was realistic is many other ways, such as in all the other characters, Paulie Bomb, the typical jock, homecoming king type who is cute, popular and nice, who is obviously dating (or rather dated) the pretty, strong, independent, fit, popular girl, Hannah (cheating is also something perhaps these kids could relate to). There are also characters like Bobby who is more shy and who needs allies like Paulie to branch out, or Mary Wells who is a girl who is simply misunderstood and has strict parents; in my opinion those four characters are the more relatable characters. I think that the novel shows that students/young adults CAN in fact impact things and other people in life, which I think insinuates the underlying message to kids to be to make your decisions carefully and wisely.

    While still talking about the characters and introducing today’s topic we have Mr. Logsdon, or Logs, who is an extremely popular teacher amongst the students and gives them a safe space to talk about their thoughts and feelings. I think this novel shows the difference between students and adults is through the separateness of the conversations, and the questioning. I feel as if the adults in this novel, Logs aside, we talking at the students not with them. Mr. Wells, for example, didn’t even trust Hannah with the whereabouts of his daughter and questioned her, making her feel incompetent all while Officer Rankin was lying to everyone’s face. That being said I think that Logs was the only adult who respected the young adults and got respect back, however, I think this portrays an unrealistic type of teacher that students may now want after reading, which in my opinion being a teacher like Logs wouldn’t be appropriate. While there are things about his teaching methods I enjoy, I cannot say I would interact with students in the same manner he did.

    I think this book would be really enjoyable for students and keep them on their toes, it did that for me!

  12. I really didn’t like Period 8, but I also really enjoyed it, and found myself thinking a lot about what was going to happen between reading sessions. It was a very confusing experience for me.
    One of my issues has to do with Logs. Every single time he was given dialogue, I felt like I was reading something out of a textbook from our literacy class last semester(Understanding Youth). All of his exchanges just sounded so…text book? It’s really hard to explain. I think cliche or unnatural might be the best words for it. I felt that way about a lot of the dialogue, but especially with Logs.
    I thought that the relationship between Logs and his students was really awesome, but at the same time, ridiculously unrealistic. Granted, these relationships were questioned within the novel. But even the existence of period 8 just seemed so unbelievable to me. How does a confidential, nothing-is-off-limits group therapy session like that even get started?
    But like I said, the idea of having a teacher like this is really awesome. These kids definitely feel so respected and valued, and I think that’s definitely something that young readers would be attracted to. One of the cliche complaints of teenagers is that “nobody understands,” and through Logs, Crutcher might convince them that they are in fact understood.
    I really didn’t like any of the characters. I was rooting for Paulie at some points, but I also kind of hated him. He wasn’t evil like Arney, not even close. But he’s still kind of a jerk with a nice-guy mask that nobody, not even Hannah, ever really sees beyond. I think that it takes more than being sorry to stop being a jerk. He learned his lesson, but we didn’t spend enough time with him to see whether or not he actually changed from it. That being said, I think there’re some really great conversations to be had about all of these characters, and a lot to be learned from them.
    I think this book would be really good for older high school students that might be a little behind in their reading level. I didn’t find the writing to be particularly fancy or well-done. The characters were made from cookie-cutter molds, with a some minor changes here and there. I didn’t find much to like in the writing itself; the story was totally plot driven.
    Lastly, and these are some pretty minor gripes of mine, Crutcher did not write about Hannah’s rowing very realistically. There’s no way she rowed with swimmers. I mean, even a slow rower would be boat lengths ahead of a fast swimmer within two strokes. Rowing is a LOT faster than swimming. And there’s no way any rower would tow two humans with a single. First of all, that’d be SO heavy, and would probably give her serious back problems. Secondly, she would have to fasten a rope to the rigging, and the strain of that much extra weight would probably just damage the shell. And it’s really not likely that Hannah would risk that, especially if she just got a new boat like Crutcher says (racing shells are VERY expensive). It’s also really rare for high school students to row their own singles without being part of a team. Like, where is Hannah’s coach? Who even taught her how to row?

    • Dylan- First of all, hilarious last paragraph. I appreciate you clearing that up for us 😉

      Reading your post made me think of something- you mention the “Group Therapy” aspect that kids would be attracted to, but I wonder what that would cause in our own classroom. Would kids think this is acceptable, and wonder why we, as teachers, do not allow this? Would they see us as treating them like children because we don’t allow this?

      Just a few thoughts… probably more of rambling…

  13. Period 8, by Chris Crutcher, contains a wide range of adult figures. It has the understanding adult in Mr. Logs, the man-child in Paulie’s father, the enabler in Paulie’s mother, the absentee in Hannah’s parents and the ultra-over bearing parent represented by Mary’s father. The crappy adults in this work allow/require the students to take a more responsible role. Paulie is forced to be the mediator between his perpetually unhappy parents, this situation creates his character as more of a parent figure. He is able to observe the their relationship as a whole and apply his wisdom to provide a long term solution. Hannah seems to be a character who is left to her own devices, she seems to do alright for herself, mostly makes decent decisions and partakes in an organized sport. Mary’s father is the typical helicopter parent that leads to a rebellion of the child. Mary becomes a ghost character, easily persuaded by Arney due to her fathers over-bearing nature. This suffocation allows the reader to recognize that some rules are for their own good, however ultimately they are responsible for their own actions. Mr. Logs serves as the student’s conscience. He organizes the meetings but he sits back and allows them to go any direction they please, making sure that they remain respectful of one another and try to understand various scenarios from multiple points of view. He is not viewed as an authoritative figure, but he is respected and temporary. I believe that the temporary aspect of Mr. Logs symbolizes the placement/emphasis of responsibility on the students. They will be responsible for behaving in a respectful manner and continuing with their meetings for themselves. The untrustworthy police officers in this novel destroy the illusion that law and authority are the highest form of good. It requires readers to accept that the world is not as black and white as they may have expected. The adults in Period 8 create an environment that allow adolescent readers to question authority, recognize their wisdom, and accept their changing responsibilities.

  14. Although I didn’t love Period 8, I didn’t hate it either. I went through waves of enjoying reading, and then not enjoying reading…to wondering how this is even published, to realizing how it is published.

    To discuss your question, the adult figures in this novel are very unstable, such as Mary’s father, Paul’s parents, and Mr. Logs, and I think this puts emphasis on why the characters in the novel are going through such struggles, and have no guidance. Mary’s father is incredibly controlling, and a lot of his behaviors go fully unanswered (i.e. when Mary said she wanted him sexy one minute and a child the next), Paul’s father is a pathological liar who seems to recognize his issues yet won’t take responsibility for them while his mother enables the behavior and allows it to tear her apart, and Mr. Logs has an inappropriate relationship with his students. I don’t think the class Period 8 in general is an acceptable use of time in schools, more for the teacher than the students. Logs crosses a lot of boundaries and allows a lot of conversations that aren’t exactly appropriate, and creates this relationship with the students where Hannah feels comfortable going to his house at midnight? I almost envision him as a weird inappropriate version of Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World. I know his intentions are good, but his behavior just is not appropriate, even though he does help the kids. They all seem to be searching for a stable parental figure and Logs is the closest thing they have, which isn’t saying too much. Mary and Paul are very influenced by the actions of their parents and the environments they live in, which is why Mary is in the sex-ring and Paul is repeating the actions of his father… and Crutcher doesn’t have them really resolve their deep rooted issues.

    I would like to discuss how I would teach this book… because I am really not sure. I see good lessons in it, but they are not necessarily put on the page for the reader. For example, Paul’s justification for cheating on Hannah is just ludicrous, and I really don’t see how that is supposed to make it acceptable. I’m glad that Paul feels guilt for what he did, but he excuses his behavior for a poor reason. How do I discuss this with kids when the writer seems to see this justification as acceptable?

    I think the issues that arise in this novel–cheating, sex, poor parenting, drugs, insanity, etc. are all present, but not resolved or really delved in to too much to discuss on an enlightening level.

  15. It took me picking up this book a total of three times for me to finish it. I just couldn’t put it down. I found this book extremely entertaining. As I quickly read through it, all I could think of to compare it to was binge watching a show to describe it to my friends as I discussed the book. For me the only thing that had a lot to be desired was the sudden ending. I understand where the climax is in terms of Logs and Paulie stranded out in the water, them having to swim for it and then Paulie coming back with his friend’s boat to help save Logs. Then the ultimate showdown between good and evil with Paulie and Arney takes place to give us what we’ve been waiting for for most of the book, Paulie kicking his ass. But then it kind of just ends like that. I was left wanting to know more about everything like who was all involved in the drug and sex ring, but maybe that’s the point I’m not completely sure. However, a better ending would’ve had me considering this book for one of my favorite fiction books I have ever read. I really enjoyed the way it was written, the humor amidst chaos as well as the suspense that kept you wanting to know what was going to happen next. I thought that made this different than the other Crutcher books I have read in the past, this was suspenseful and not sports driven. This allowed every teenager the ability to relate to this book. Who wouldn’t want to go somewhere all their problems can be sorted out and have it never leave the room in terms of what was talked about and by who? I felt like we had that in the form of writing in high school my senior year in our journals where we could write about anything we wanted. My English teacher would write comments on each passage like a back and forth dialogue at times. I also felt like the invisible wall that exists between adults and kids was very present in this novel because they live in different worlds. They have different concerns and priorities, so their focus is much different. At times this can allow teens to shut adults out of their world because they feel like the adults just don’t understand anything they’re going through. I think another part of it is that adults can sometimes act like they were never teenagers and judge them for making the same mistakes they made when they were younger. That’s what’s so great and open about Logs. He doesn’t judge or pretend that he never made mistakes or that he’s never made wrong decisions and he’s out in the open about it. It’s one of the reasons the students feel safe around him when discussing things because he noticeably understands and cares rather than just pretending to. I would love to create an environment like this for the kids I teach someday.

    I think another important thing that Crutcher is trying to show teens is that not everyone has great role models for parents, but there are role models out there to choose from that you can model yourself after if you choose the right one. No one has perfect parents, and some people have flat-out lazy parents, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t adults out there who aren’t A) willing to reach out and help and B) just be there for you in your moment of need and in general as a good example for them. Logs is a great model for the kids to mold themselves after. He’s caring, involved in the students’ lives and is what seems like a genuinely good guy. He’s there showing those students that someone is there for them, even if their parents aren’t. That’s what period 8 is supposed to be for these kids, an escape. There’s an adult helping them solve all of their issues rather than telling them not to worry about such trifles or focus on the bigger things in life. To these kids, these are big things, and even though in this book they do turn out to be much bigger, they don’t have to. They can just be small things that at times a kid needs to know there’s an adult out there who cares and that’s what Logs provides. He also gives them an area where there are no rules except to be respectful of others and he teaches that by modeling it himself during group discussions. Instead of these kid’s parents and teachers who give them all of these rules, for a little while they’re given none. He provides an escape from normal adult interactions. He provides an escape from being treated like a child. He teaches them that kids are going to make mistakes sometimes and I think we see that come full circle at the end with Hannah and Paulie. They realize that they can’t expect to be perfect at such a young age, and that there are times when people need to be forgiven for something they’ve done. That seems to be a lesson learned from Logs.

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