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angry-management

Every kid in this group wants to fly. Every kid in this group has too much ballast.Mr. Nak's Angry Management group is a place for misfits. A place for stories. And, man, does this crew have stories.There's Angus Bethune and Sarah Byrnes, who can hide from everyone but each other. Together, they will embark on a road trip full of haunting endings and glimmering beginnings.Every kid in this group wants to fly. Every kid in this group has too much ballast.Mr. Nak's Angry Management group is a place for misfits. A place for stories. And, man, does this crew have stories.There's Angus Bethune and Sarah Byrnes, who can hide from everyone but each other. Together, they will embark on a road trip full of haunting endings and glimmering beginnings.And Montana West, who doesn't step down from a challenge. Not even when the challenge comes from her adoptive dad, who's leading the school board to censor the article she wrote for the school paper.And straightlaced Matt Miller, who had never been friends with outspoken genius Marcus James. Until one tragic week—a week they'd do anything to change—brings them closer than Matt could have ever imagined.Chris Crutcher fills these three stories with raw emotion. They are about insecurity, anger, and prejudice. But they are also about love, freedom, and power. About surviving.And hope....

Title : Angry Management
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060502478
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 246 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Angry Management Reviews

  • Mark
    2018-12-06 03:50

    Chris Crutcher does it again. Seriously, this guy could write phone book entries for a living, and I'd still read and enjoy them. This title is a collection of 3 novellas, which incorporate some major and minor characters seen before in Crutcher's works - Mr. Nak, Angus Bethune and Sarah Byrnes and Coach Simet, among others, all reappear. There are also references to other characters/events from those books (such as TJ Jones from Whale Talk), so close readers of Crutcher will enjoy the new intersections that Crutcher has laid down in his fictional universe.But these novellas also stand on their own extremely well. As in other Crutcher works, themes of anger (duh- see the title), betrayal, racism and outright abandonment run throughout the tales. Crutcher's experiences as a child and family therapist has given him a warehouse's worth of sad tales to draw from for his books. However, these stories also highlight the redemptive nature of the human spirit, the power of love and true forgiveness, and the fact that teenagers, when we let them, are capable of tremendous compassion and courage. At the end of the day, it's about surviving to see another day; some of Crutcher's characters do, some don't, but you will be moved by their emotional travels. I always think Crutcher's work is ideal for classroom discussion, although his characters' use of language is going to turn some readers off. Regardless, these are stories that many teens already know, and the rest need to know.

  • Nancy
    2018-11-21 05:52

    Using the plot device of an anger management group for troubled teens, Crutcher presents three novellas that explore the reasons why each member has been referred to the group.There are a couple of familiar characters from Crutcher's other novels or stories: Angus Bethune, the fat teen with two sets of gay parents from "Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories," finds friendship and the possibility of love with Sarah Byrnes, the burned girl from the novel "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes," as they take a road trip to Reno to find the mother who abandoned her to her violent father shortly after he purposefully burned her hands and face on a wood stove.In another novella, Crutcher explores the spiraling damage of a hate crime badly handled by a school principal and superintendent. Matt Miller, a straight-laced Christian teen finds himself speaking out on behalf of Marcus James, the only black, and only out gay teen in their rural high school. Then there is Montana West, the adoptive daughter of the school board president, a rigid and controlling man. With the help of a teacher, Montana decides to challenge the school's decision not to run her article on medical marijuana in the school paper. Meanwhile, at home, her father has decided to return a little girl to the foster care system, and Montana faces him down on that issue as well.These novellas are absorbing, engaging reading, and make a good choice for reading aloud, or recommending to reluctant readers. They would serve very well for classroom or book group discussion, and are likely to lead readers to Crutcher's other books, as well as to other books about teens facing extremely difficult obstacles.The device of the angry management group is almost extraneous; it either should have been better fleshed out and incorporated into the book, or left out altogether. However, this is a minor detraction from an excellent book that should be in every teen collection.

  • Rich
    2018-12-10 06:45

    This book is the perfect example of the love/hate relationship I have with Chris Crutcher, particularly his work over the last few years. Stotan, Running Loose, and The Crazy Horse Electric Game (I know that isn't the order they were published in, but it is the order I read them) excited me, moved me, made me laugh, made me cry and truly elevated me. Because of those books, for years I eagerly awaited each new book of his. Unfortunately, he's gone from a talented writer who could move me and make me think to a talented writer who has become a shrill scold, refusing to give any credence or credit to people on the other side of his idealogical fence. When it comes to pure raw emotion, they really don't better than Crutcher. He pulls it out of you, and in the case of this book, he practically yanks it out of you like a dentist pulling a tooth, with no novocaine. But once started, I couldn't put the book down. I liked the book because it did get to me on an emotional level, and that's important for any book. And there were evidences of the humor that I loved in his early books--especially in the story "Kyle Maynard and the Craggy Face of the Moon. I disliked the book because it seems that Crutcher is still living forty-five years ago in the mid-1960s going by the Who's motto--"Never trust anyone over 35." He treats racism as if it is still rampant in the country. (Is our country perfect? Of course not, and I'll never say it is, but things have gotten so much better. Because of human nature, racism will never completely vanish. The problem is that people like Crutcher look at a Utopian world and when our world doesn't yet match up to that Utopian vision, they throw fits.) In the world Crutcher has created everyone in a school setting--with the exception of the one or two gutsy teachers who befriend the main characters--are fools and politicians thinking more of their own careers and hind ends than the good of the students. And that goes for most everyone else in a position of power as well. I can understand Crutcher maybe wanting to show it from the kid's point of view, but he doesn't. This is how he has constructed his view of the world. In the final story, Meet Me at the Gates, Marcus James, he tries to create a sympathetic Christian character--Matt Miller. The dust jacket describes him as a straight-laced Christian. However Matt soon falls into dropping f-bombs every other sentence after the tragedy of the story. The transition doesn't feel right, it's too sudden, too quick--it feels like Crutcher created his perfect Christian, one who reads the Bible, but cusses every bit as good as a sailor. And in creating that Christian character Crutcher cherry picks his Christian doctrines and ignoring others. While the stories here are moving and powerful, they also show Crutcher's inability to really show both sides of an issue. I really wish I could find the writer I once loved, but I think it is a lost cause now.

  • Darcy
    2018-12-10 06:50

    What I really liked about this book was that it revisited some of the secondary characters we have read about in this author's previous books, but I was blown away with the third story.The first story dealt with Sarah Byrnes, someone I really admired from Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. After reading that book I didn't think we could learn anything else about her that would be worse, but I should know better than to ever think that as she learns something about her mother that has the ability to destroy her. I was so very glad that she had found someone who was there for her. I loved Angus, his actions were so simple. His idea of what to do after high school was genius for them both and makes me feel like Sarah will be all right now matter what.In The Sledding Hill we met Montana West. She seemed like your typical misfit, but she is more than that as we learn with the second story. I love that Montana rallied around the injustice that was her family, well mostly her dad. She did it in typical teen ways and in ways that were smart, in working the system her father controlled. I loved that she stood up for her little sister Tara and tried in a public venue to make those see the real person her father really was.The last story has familiar characters from Whale Talk, one of my favorites from this author. I admired Marcus from the start, it had to be hard to stand up and buck against things. I thought he did them in a way to get his point across and not inflame the situation too much. I really didn't expect the story to go where it did and even gasped when it reached the point of no return. Matt was a character that didn't act in a way I expected to. When he stood up for Marcus I was cheering him on and had me hoping that the two boys would become fast friends. Matt's actions after the gasp inducing incident made me want to nominate him for sainthood/person of the year/nobel prize, something, not sure what but something good. He kept trying to bring up the same argument that Marcus did, sometimes he got his point across, sometimes not, but if nothing else he shamed the adults to about the role that they played in things. I loved that he was struggling with his faith and what happened, that it was hard to live his life according to what was right morally and know that things weren't right in the law. The conversations that Matt had with Mr. Simet were ones that really made you think.The thread that pulled all these together was Mr. Nak from Ironman. I was glad to see he was doing good, but hated to hear his news about Hudge. I really wanted things to be better for him.

  • Az
    2018-12-11 06:05

    I’m a long-time Crutcher fan, however, I wouldn’t recommend this to those who haven’t read his other work. You need the character background. That aside, it’s still a good book. The first novella was my least favorite. I enjoy Crutcher because he’s non-conventional and yet believable. He tends not to pair up his characters, and in this one, well, he does. It’s a cultural problem with me, that you can only find validation through one other person who you happen to sleep with. *blows raspberry* You’re starting to buy into that, and I am not a fan.The second was much much better. Probably because I’m an anti-censorship junkie, and enjoy when people stand up to authority with an actual argument. Miss West has some balls. We could call them ‘impulsiveness’ or ‘lack of judgment’. But in my experience, it is better to make the snap decision and stand up and say what you mean—then to have experience hesitation and loose the opportunity all together. The third one made me cry. Though I couldn’t get a clear visual of Matt Miller (I know a Matt Miller, and he does not weigh one sixty), I believe him. He is amazing, for he is not on the outside, and yet defends people who are. Minority groups need to stand up for themselves, for the sake of legitimacy. Women should speak on women’s rights. But when a minority is a true minority (the only black kid in the school), he’s going to need some help. Getting from a golden boy is pleasing, particularly when he is utilizing the teachings of Christ. Many modern forms of Christianity have a problem with minorities. We need to work on that. And Matt Miller’s internal discourse is a great place to start. Usually you have to exist outside the mainstream to defend those who are. Not him, though. And he doesn’t do it with pity. He does it with honesty. I’ve been a Crutcher fan for a long time (not long in the geological sense, but in that I started reading them when I was younger than the main characters and now I’m preparing to graduate college), because it’s not that shit happens to you, and shit so often does happen to good people (everybody’s got something), but what matter is not what happened, but what you do with it. It’s not what happened; it’s what you do with it. It’s good stuff.

  • Cathy Nelson
    2018-11-12 09:36

    The book was terrific. Not only will it appeal to struggling readers, it will also appeal to those high school readers who have stopped reading for their own pleasure. The three short stories feature characters from previous Crutcher books, and have the potential to lure those readers back to the longer novels. Chocked full of teachable moments or discussion topics on bigotry, child abuse, abandonment, censorship, prejudice, and more--this book can be a way to open conversations around topics that are sensitive and difficult to talk about when the issues are personal. Being able to discuss them from the point of view of the characters and how they dealt with these issues offers students a supreme opportunity to "experience" them in a safe and nonthreatening way. Even if these are not used as teachable moments in the classroom, each story ends with a positive message and equips the reader with how to deal with such uncomfortable issues, preparing them for a possible future experience. Either way, kids will have some background to hopefully be able to deal with the issues should they come their way.

  • Aaron
    2018-11-21 10:05

    Familiar faces and settings return in Chris Crutcher's most recent work, which is a collection of three short stories. This time, he has brought back some favorite secondary characters to give them a chance to resolve some of the issues they were confronted with in earlier novels.The first piece focuses on Sarah Byrnes from Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. She was the teen who had bad burns on her face from an incident with her father when she was younger. She is now getting a chance to try and reconnect with the mother who abandoned her years back, with the help of a new friend.Then, there is the interestingly named Montana Wild, first introduced in The Sledding Hill. She likes to write cutting edge stories for her school newspaper, but they tend to be a little too edgy for the administration so they are usually cut. To make things more interesting, her father is the conservative chair of the local school committee. After an article about medical marijuana is on the chopping block and her foster sister is being returned by her parents, she decides that enough is enough and fights back.Finally, we are introduced to Marcus James, who lives a small northwestern town readers first visited in Whaletalk. Those who have been there before will remember that sports are king and the community is not exactly open to minorities. Well, Marcu is gay and black, leaving him with a big target on his back. When someone hangs a pink noose on his locker at school, the administration is unsure of how to handle the problem. Matt Miller, a star wrestler who is strong in his faith, decides to step up and name those who did the crime, but he is not really ready for what happens in response.The tales are presented as if they were notes from a report by Mr, Nakatani, a guidance counselor who ran an anger management therapy group in Ironman. He is the perfect choice, because the underlying theme in all of the stories is anger ... what causes it, what it causes us to do, and what it doesn't let us do.As with most of Crutcher's books, the stories are filled with the edgy reality found in the lives of many of today's teens. They speak and act like real teens, which is what has made him one of the greats of the modern YA novel. The characters and situations are somewhat familiar, which makes visiting them a warm experience until the reader joins them in the harsh realities of their situations.The only problem I have with the book is that it can be a little heavy at times with the message in each story. Rather than allow the reader to connect the dots on his own, Crutcher uses the thoughts or voices of his characters to beat the message in, almost with a hammer. The lack of subtlety detracts from the story and their message because of the blunt preachiness evident. While I whole-heartedly agree with the messages involved, they could have been presented with more finesse. Even with this problem, it is definitely worth the read even if only to reconnect with favorites. Those unfamiliar with the characters should have no trouble catching up, either.

  • Jocelyn Stocker
    2018-11-13 06:53

    Personal Response:This book was really good. Chris Crutcher managed to weave three completely different stories, while also hitting on the larger points and subjects of adolescence. The writing was emotionally charged, raw, and realistic, and the characters were incredibly believable. Plot: The first story is about Sarah Byrnes, a strong girl whose abusive father burned her face, and whose mother abandoned her when she was young. Her and Angus Bethune, whose parents are both gay, embark on a road trip to find Sarah’s illusive mother, but find something much more valuable to both of them in the end. The second story is about Montana West, a popular-girl-turned-punk-chick and budding journalist. Her verbally abusive adoptive father, who also happens to be president of the school board, is censoring Montana’s controversial article about the benefits of medical marijuana. As a substitute for the original article, Montana’s journalism teacher has her interview a football player who, at first, she couldn’t care less about. Over time, she forms a bond with Trey Chase, and learns some valuable information on the medical use of marijuana from Trey’s grandmother. Back home, things are sliding downhill fast. After countless behavioral outbursts, Montana’s mother and father are taking back her little foster sister, and she must go up against her father in a hearing about her article. Despite her hardships, Montana discovers that, on her own, she’s strong enough to get the last laugh. The final story is about Marcus James, an openly gay, genius teenage boy who also happens to be the only black kid at his school. After finding a pink noose in his locker, Marcus’s history teacher, and an open-minded, devout-Christian wrestler named Matt Miller, try to find out who the culprit is as best they can. In the process, Marcus is put in the spotlight of every student in his school, and in the crosshairs of the boys who put the noose in his locker. When the trigger is pulled, Matt and Mr. S. must find a way to bring justice to a truly one-of-a-kind boy. Characterization:While Sarah may not have changed too much, she has taken baby steps to opening up to people. She and Angus went to work at a summer camp for disabled children, which helped her to open up to the children there. She let one little blind girl touch her face where it was burned, which took a lot of courage for her and let her become less defensive. Recommendation:I would not recommend this book for anyone over the high school reading level. The topics discussed in the book are a little more adult-oriented, and some coarse language is used, along with words that may be beyond the middle school reading level. However, this is a great read for any high school girl or boy.

  • Cinco
    2018-11-27 09:05

    I love Chris Crutcher's books, I love his characters, and I love that he views life as being worth the fight. His books have given me comfort and strength for many years. Unfortunately, I didn't love this book like I have many of his others (my favorite is Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes).The thread that holds these three novellas together, a therapy group run by Mr. Nak, doesn't add anything to the work. It stretches believability in a way that doesn't serve a purpose and shortchanges the character. It was absolutely wonderful for me, a fan of Crutcher's for over twenty years, to see Sarah Byrnes and my second-favorite of Crutcher's characters, Angus Bethune, again. I loved every word of their story.As many other reviewers note, Montana and Trey's story is good, but it's the weakest of the three. I think the characters in each of the three novellas and Mr. Nak could all shoulder their own books, but the need for deeper exploration showed most in this (Montana's) section.The third story, as has also been noted, made me cry buckets. Poor Marcus was marked for doom early on, but that didn't make my heart less broken when it happened. I was glad to see Crutcher take on the difficult subject of hate crimes and how tangled the motivations can be, but I'm not sure this story is as complete a work as it could have been. Marcus, though a great character, seems to have been sacrificed to teach other characters a lesson as if he were a plot device instead of a character. That said, this story will stay with me for a long time, which I know was Crutcher's intention--so it would be unfair to say he failed in any way in writing it.One technical note. I bought my copy on Amazon for the Kindle, and for at least that copy the editing was extremely poor. Shame on HarperCollins for skimping on quality--great writers deserve great editors.

  • Evelyn
    2018-12-08 04:45

    Since this was a collection of 3 loosely connected novellas, it seems fitting to consider each story separately.Story #1, "Kyle Maynard and the Craggy Face of the Moon": this was my second favorite of the three. Sarah and Angus were both quite easy to empathize with, and the anger, redemption, and healing contained in the story was powerful and touching. What happened to Sarah was truly terrible, and her strength made an impact on me.Story #2, "Montana Wild": Least favorite. Montana and Trey may have had legitimate reasons to be angry/troubled/how they are, but they read more like whiny teenagers. It got terribly sentimental every time Montana had a conversation with Tara, her adoptive younger sister, and the entire bend of the story was ridiculously left-wing. Yes, the school board was stuffed full with unpleasant men, but they had some very good points. The ending - urgh. Montana is said to be an excellent writer, yet the one example we get of her writing is somewhat less than moving.Story #3, "Meet me at the Gates, Marcus James": Heartbreaking. Racism and discrimination are topics that are heavily paraded before the media, but they still exist and...well. This story brought it home. A promising young man [spoilers:], and that is gut-wrenching. I couldn't exactly put myself in Marcus's shoes because our personalities are very different, but he was definitely likeable. Matt Miller, while religious, was someone I could see myself in. The ending - if I was a crier, I would have cried.I have a few words about the book as a whole. It might have worked better without the anger management class theme tying the stories together, but then again it might not have. The very last section kind of dampened the effect of "Meet Me at the Gate, Marcus James," but the very first section led well into "Kyle Maynard and the Craggy Face of the Moon."Overall, it felt a little disjointed, but the effect is good if you skip story #2.

  • Lora
    2018-11-19 05:50

    I once had a children's lit professor that saw me reading Whale Talk in the hallway. She said that she loved Crutcher's books, but Whale Talk seemed to go a bit overboard and every "issue" was in the story. At the time I couldn't agree because I was completely wrapped up in TJ's story. However, once I picked up Angry Management I kept hearing my professor's words in my head. This book is packed with issues that teenagers deal with from the difficult (abusive family, racism, abandonment, etc) to the things that every teenager deals with (self-esteem). I LOVE Crutcher's books and I don't want to sound like I'm excusing this "packing" technique he has, but I feel the need to explain it.Angry Management is three novellas about teens in a counseling group, and they are all connected by the group leader (who profiles each kid). As I was reading the leaders sections I could almost hear Crutcher reading it to me, knowing he got all of this from his experiences as a counselor.What sets this book apart from other short stories is that each of these novellas is a continuation of one of Crutcher's other books or a melding of his famous characters. The first has Sarah Brynes meeting Angus. It was delightful. The second pairs Montana West and Trey Chase (but I can't remember where they appear in Crutcher's past works) The third is set in TJ's (Whale Talk) high school a few years after he has left.This book did not disappoint. It almost read like fanfiction with all the wonderful characters meeting and interacting. I loved that each of the novellas could stand on their own, but were also somehow connected. I would recommend this to anyone who's a fan of Crutcher. To those who have never read his work, stop and before you read Angry Management pick up Whale Talk and Staying Fat for Sarah Brynes, at lease.

  • Ricki
    2018-12-04 02:45

    Chris Crutcher is, in my opinion, one of the best young adult authors out there. His books appeal to every type of kid. I loved this book. It was different than I expected. I thought it was going to be about an anger management class. Instead, it links the stories from Crutcher's previous novels. The reader does not need to have read these novels to understand the characters, as this novel can stand alone. The novel is separated into three stories, each pairing two characters. The only reason I gave four stars instead of five was because I became very invested in the characters, and the stories ended too soon for me. I felt like I was reading three novellas, and, selfishly, I wanted more.A preview of some of the characters:Sarah Byrnes was burned by her father when she was three. She has a scar on her face and doesn't feel beautiful. Her mother abandoned her, leaving her with her abusive father. Angus Bethune is overweight and lacks self-confidence. His parents are each in a public, homosexual relationship with another partner.Montana West is adopted, and she is tired of dealing with her arrogant, right-fighting father. Her parents have decided to give up on her younger sister, who is also adopted, because she is defiant.Trey Chase's parents died. He is mixed race and very handsome. Marcus James is black, gay, and living in the inland Northwest, where he is not accepted. Some of the school football players hang a pink noose on his locker.Matt Miller is a devout Christian, and is tired of the way other Christians look down upon the homosexual population.The stories are all connected in that they are all concerned with anger: how we deal with it and how others respond to it.I highly recommend this book.

  • Libby Ames
    2018-12-04 01:55

    Another profound Chris Crutcher book that I can't really recommend because of language and some painful issues. I love Crutcher's characters and his way of showing their victory in the face of some of the harshest tragedies. In Angry Management he combines some of his favorite characters in other books for three novellas. Sarah Byrnes is back, struggling with life and finding more pain, but also more success. Crutcher also gives some minor characters larger rolls.As a child and family psychologist, Crutcher writes from his experiences with the harsher sides of life. I enjoy his open minded view of struggling teens and their ability to overcome. He writes with the attitude that people should be understood rather than judged and I love that view. Some might be surprised with how closely his views echo mine. They certainly aren't traditional or conservative views, but I believe they are charitable view. I love reading his books, but if harsh language or difficult issues like child abuse, homosexuality, and bigotry are hard for you to read, you may not want to read. However, I feel that all his writing focuses on redemption and courage rather than the ugliness of these issues.

  • Amy
    2018-12-11 05:46

    194I've been reading Chris Crutcher's books for over 10 years now. I've always loved his writing. This book is like three stories in one, incorporating some of his characters from past books. I wish I remembered them enough to make their stories a little more interesting. The first two were okay reads, but could have benefited from being a story in themselves with a bit more plot. They seemed to short to really take off.But the last one...wow! It was riveting, and I really never expected to run across glbtq themes with this author, so that was a nice little surprise. The chapter starting on page 194, told from the pov of Matt Miller, a level-headed Christian, about what is going on with one of his classmates, a openly gay black genius with a target on his back---I wanted to cheer and hug someone...so it was probably a good thing that I was alone at the time.I had to reread the dustjacket to remind myself of the first two stories, the last one really blew them out of the water!

  • Jason
    2018-11-29 01:35

    Lame. Chris Crutcher's newest work, a collection of short stories based on characters from his previous works, is just that. An uninspired, hurried book, Angry Management, I predict, will find few teenage fans. These stories are predictable and riddled with stereotypical characters--either they are extremely conservative (and also ignorant), or they are extremely liberal (and being victimized by the conservatives, usually in positions of power). I feel like Crutcher didn't try very hard in writing these three short stories. In fact, I noticed at least four grammatical errors (then/than; your/you're) throughout the book. I didn't feel like much was at stake in these stories, and I found the book easy to put down. Do yourself a favor. If you want a good Crutcher book, read Deadline, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, or Ironman. But don't read Angry Management. It might make you angry, just like me.

  • Claire
    2018-11-29 05:43

    Definitely high school. Mr. Nak is back- hired by moderating angry management groups. Three novellas, all addressing (justifiable) anger and the fallout that results. Sarah Byrnes and Angus take a road trip to talk to Sarah's mom. Trey and Montana West make an unlikely team to address free speech, control issues, foster care, anger, oh and medical marijuana. The finale is a tales of bigotry, football royalty, corrupt law enforcement, Christianity and forgiveness. Mr. Nak wraps it up at the end, the upside and the down side of anger.Chris definitely has a point of view, I for one am grateful that Chris gives these characters a platform and a voice.

  • M
    2018-12-05 08:54

    Chris Crutcher does is again. I've just begun reading his work, so was not familiar with these characters. Have to say that the last story hit me the hardest. I had to put it down and cry and mutter and blog a bit about it. I knew exactly where it was headed - and I was not happy. Don't get me wrong, I knew in my heart that it was the only way for the story to go... I was just so unhappy that we're still at that point as a society, nation, people. Half an hour later, I picked back up and finished the story. Another half hour later, I was done with my cry. Wiped up my blotchy face, swore a blue streak, and then complimented Chris on another job well done.

  • Jessica
    2018-12-06 07:54

    I don't even know where to begin with this book. There is so much that is packed into each of Chris Crutcher's characters. His use of language engulfs the reader and it is impossible not to feel empathy towards the ridiculous lives that each realistic character brings to the novel. I just finished....I am sitting out a coffee shop and just finished Angry Management. The guy that is a complete stranger to me, asked, "You juts finished the book?" I replied, "yes." He comments, "You look completely satisfied."

  • Lauren Miraglia.
    2018-12-01 06:40

    I thought each story within this was amazing, beautiful and touching. The final story really touched me. Leaving you with these... "Forgiveness is the scent the violet leaves on the heel that crushes it." - Mark Twain"I don't think humans are wired to forgive right away. In fact, for some things I don't know if they ever can. And I don't know that they should. That never made much sense to me. Twain may have had it right. It's the scent of the violet, the good that the wronged leave on their way out. The good the bad guys can't stomp out." - Chris Crutcher

  • Clara Dearmore Strom
    2018-11-13 05:51

    I am sad to say that I was disappointed by this book. Chris Crutcher has been my favorite teen author up until now. I do not know why authors (and actors) feel the need to preach their politics in their books. I have always liked that he dealt with controversial subjects, but 2 of the stories in this book read more like a political propaganda. I am also tired of being stereotyped by intolerant liberals. I guess he is always good at stirring up emotions, I'll give him that.

  • Rich
    2018-11-25 08:04

    Angry Management by Chris Crutcher is a cheater novel in that it’s not one big novel but one novel that contains three shorter stories loosely interconnected, very loosely connected through the notes of an anger management counselor.This is a short review because I don’t want to spoil anything. The stories have people in them from his previous works but if you haven’t read them then that won’t matter. I’ve only encountered a couple of these before but am familiar with the others from synopsis, reviews, and talk about the other books. I’ve got all of Chris Crutcher’s stuff in my To Read list on goodreads. I just haven’t got enough time in the day to get everything read and I’m spacing them out because with the good stuff you don’t want to do it all at once because when it’s gone, it’s gone. These are good.The last story in the book is about a gay black student in a north-western town that used to be a “sunset town.” That’s a town where black people had to be out by sunset. “Don’t let the sun set on you in this town, boy.” I can hear it in my mind’s ear. Once upon a time, in 1986 I went to University in Alabama and I went to a friend, a good friend’s home town with him over a long weekend. I met his parents. I shagged the drag, scooped the loop, hung out with his friends from high school and it was all very fun, very proto-typical small-town USA and the whole thing was somewhat spoiled by a sign I saw painted on the back of a billboard entering the county at the time. It was the home county of our governor, or a representative or a senator or something. It was a big-shot politically, and on the back of the billboard bearing his name was spray painted something to the effect of not letting the sun set on you in X county. I can’t remember the name of the county and I asked what it meant. My friend said, “Oh, it’s a white county,” as if that explained it.I grew up until I was 1o or 11 in Southern Alabama and from there moved to Germany where I went to school with military kids on a military base. In the schools I went to in Alabama I was sometimes the minority student. As the kid of two newly starting out teachers we didn’t have a lot of money and poor neighborhoods weren’t always necessarily near the nice white schools. As new teachers they didn’t necessarily get hired at the nice white schools. I don’t remember ever encountering racism in my home and as a white blond boy I didn’t ever encounter it aimed at me. It was part of my privilege of being a little Aryan looking boy. There’s all sorts of things I wouldn’t have to experience in terms of racism being who I am. I get that. But racism/bigotry? I didn’t have a case of it when I went to Germany and was on the base. I don’t remember it there either. There was enlisted vs officerism, but I don’t remember racism. Again, as a blond boy living in Germany… I’m not in a great position to actually notice racism as it’d likely not be aimed my way.I knew racism existed. When I went to college I saw it existed. Sure, everybody pretended at this liberal arts college that it didn’t, or that it happened other places, or that “Well, it’s not ME of course, I don’t care but you know… OTHER people care.” So it was there. I was growing up, I was becoming aware of it. And then there was the all white county. It was shortly after that that I joined the Navy. I can’t say I did it because I was scared of racism because that’d be a lie. But it did play a part. I was feeling a little like a fish out of water and when I talked to other people they weren’t alarmed by the whole, “Oh, it’s a white county” answer. So, yeah. I left.Years later when I went back to the South for work, it was Memphis and I had no white employees. I was the only white employee and I wasn’t just the boss. I was the bosses bosses boss. I was a big shot. And I was sensitive to that. At one point I asked a manager of mine if she couldn’t at least try and hire a white person because I lived in Memphis and I saw white people all the time. Surely one of them, somewhere, could work for us. It didn’t work out. She lasted a day and never came back. It turns out when white people are a minority and black people are the majority racism doesn’t just go away… I went to get food for an employee meeting and took an employee with me to help carry it. I stood in line and was the only white person in the place. I wasn’t self-conscious. I wasn’t paying attention. I was talking and joking with my employee. Finally I noticed people were going around me. I was being ignored, they were waving people around me and I couldn’t order until the employee looked at the lady on the register and said, “He’s okay. He’s with me.” Then she took my order. When we got in the car and I asked how long I’d have had to stand there if he hadn’t vouched for me he answered, “Oh, you shouldn’t be coming to this part of town by yourself.” And he was okay with that answer. So, I left Memphis.Here’s the thing. I’m not talking about the book, but I’m trying to give a background, the last chapter of the book deals with racism and one of the lines in the book, by a white guy, here I’ll quote it.“You don’t understand that we’re more diminished by racism that Marcus is. It doesn’t cost us as much, but we’re more diminished.”It is spoken by a white guy about racism, a hate-crime against a black gay guy. That sums up exactly how I feel about racism today, in 2012. Yeah, it hurts the target of it but it diminishes me when it happens. Even if I don’t see it. Even if I’m not there when it happens. We should be past it and I want it to stop and I can’t wish it away and I’m against it. Completely against it. It’s not white guilt. I don’t have a thing to feel guilty about when it comes to race relations. It’s white-anger. It’s me being tired of senseless stupidity on the part of all races who let skin color make a damned bit of difference. Life’s too short.

  • Victoria
    2018-11-13 05:04

    This was a blind date with a book from my library. I never would have picked this one up on my own...The cover wouldn't catch my eye and the themes wouldn't have appealed to me. BUT...In a way, I'm glad I read it. It's set up as three novellas that all deal with the issues of anger and tragedy and figuring out how to live through difficult circumstances from a teenage perspective. There's a lot of language and plenty of dumb drama and Crutcher is a therapist so he weaves that element into each story. The format was interesting and each story seemed real enough. The first of the three was the most eye opening and the other two were just so-so. Anger plays SUCH a big part in our interactions with other people and Crutcher tried to get to the bottom of why that is and how to handle it when it crops up (in yourself and in those you have to deal with).

  • Stephen
    2018-12-11 06:55

    IT was great to catch up with a few old friends and to meet some new teens. Chris Crutcher writes a unique style of fiction. The characters are all facing problems but they have the resilience of youth and deal with their problems in mostly positive ways. I held off on this for a while because I prefer book length stories to shorter works but this is really several novella length stories that could easily have been "padded" into books. The fact that it wasn't just shows the author is not short of compelling story ideas. By all means this is worth the reading time.

  • Massanutten Regional Library
    2018-12-03 01:59

    Heather, Central patron, July 2017, 5 stars:This is a book of three short stories, all loosely tied together by common theme. All of them are beautiful and heartbreaking in different ways. I'd love to read more of each story, but they were all wrapped up nicely. The third story is especially haunting and I feel pretty well wrecked from it. Love.

  • Ziggy_D1
    2018-11-11 04:03

    Anger Management, a young adult fiction story, by Chris Crutcher, demonstrates the effects of anger. 3 stories where anger influences the lives of people's actions and beliefs. Anyone who likes to know how someone's anger shows a part of their characteristic.

  • Cindy Bigler
    2018-11-15 06:04

    I love Chris Crutcher's books. I have read everything he has written and find myself gaining a different understanding for trials that are experienced by other. Great book.

  • Quinn
    2018-11-27 07:51

    I think it showed all of the emotions that average teenagers go through and telled lots of unique characteristics for all of the characters it talked about

  • Kelly
    2018-12-06 05:48

    Any time I hear that a book has been challenged in a school library, I do two things. First, I wonder if the person(s) making the challenge have read the book and understand its message. Second, I pick up the book and read it for myself. I think a lot of readers are with me on this, especially my teenage readers. What’s the first thing that happens when you tell a teenager–or anyone, for that matter–that they shouldn’t do something? They do it, of course! So, this summer, when I heard that Chris Crutcher’s Angry Management (a nominee for the 2011-12 South Carolina Young Adult Book Award) had been challenged and pulled off the shelves in one South Carolina county, I knew that the controversy surrounding this book would only make sure that teens would read it. I don’t even know that I would have read this book if some goofball hadn’t tried to remove it from his kid’s school library. (I’m an elementary school librarian now. This book was barely even on my radar.) But I did pick up Angry Management, and I did read it in its entirety–which is more than I can say for the parent who tried to have it banned. If he had read the whole book, maybe he would have learned a little about how the censoring of ideas only leads to trouble. No one wins when we try to trample on the First Amendment. (For more on this controversy, visit http://www.chriscrutcher.com/south-ca....)In Angry Management, we are reintroduced to some of Chris Crutcher’s most memorable characters–Sarah Byrnes, Angus Bethune, John Simet, Montana West, and others–in an anthology about teenagers with reasons to be angry. Whether it’s an abusive father, an absent mother, homophobia, racism, being overweight, fighting against censorship, or just struggling to survive, these kids are facing a lot, and they have good reason to be angry. But can they use their anger and turn all of their rage into something positive? Can they deal with their scars–on the inside and outside–and use their hurt to do something good, be something great? Will they be able to show everyone that they can’t be broken…no matter what is thrown at them? It’s not an easy road to travel, and not all of them will be successful, but these beloved characters have a chance to use their anger in a productive way and change their lives forever. “Not a good chance, maybe. But a chance.”Before this book, I had only read one other novel by Chris Crutcher–Whale Talk–so I wasn’t familiar with most of the characters in this anthology. It didn’t matter. Even without the background from previous novels, the stories in Angry Management were powerful, and each one taught a lesson. Yes, there was a bit of language (the reason this book was challenged in SC in the first place), but it was true to the tone of the book and the lives of the teenagers depicted. Most teenagers aren’t going to say, “Well, phooey,” when they’ve lived with abuse their entire lives. Sometimes, only an expletive (or five) can convey just how angry someone is. The message of Angry Management is what we need to focus on. We–teens and adults alike–should use our anger to make us stronger, and fight against the injustices that try to keep us down. We need to use our rage to lead us to a better–and more hopeful–future. I hope you’ll take the time to read this wonderful book. It is moving, eye-opening, and heartbreaking, and it serves to remind us that, at the end of the day, we always have hope that things will get better.For more information on Angry Management and other books by Chris Crutcher, please visit http://www.chriscrutcher.com/index.html. If you’re a South Carolina school librarian, pay special attention to his upcoming appearances in our state. Awesome.

  • Debbie
    2018-11-13 01:43

    Although I was already a fan of Chris Crutcher's work, this book shot to the top of my TBR pile when it was challenged by a parent in South Carolina. Because of Crutcher's willingness to take on a host of societal issues, his books are often challenged--and teens love them. I'm not generally a huge fan of short stories, but I enjoyed this collection of three novellas and the chance to revisit characters from several of Crutcher's previous novels. Highly recommended.The characters in the three stories are loosely bound together by Mr. Nak's Angry Management group. "Kyle Maynard and the Craggy Face of the Moon" features Sarah Byrnes and Angus Bethune. Sarah bears her burn-scarred face like a shield to protect herself from becoming too involved with anyone and Angus uses his girth and his sense of humor in a similar way. The teens become closer as they embark on a road trip to find Sarah's mother, who abandoned her to her abusive father.In "Montana Wild," Montana West writes the kind of stories for her school newspaper that never get published, thanks to conservative administrators backed up by the right-wing head of the school board who happens to be her adoptive father. When her latest story, about medical marijuana, gets shot down, she is asked to write a human interest piece on a football player. Trey Chase is not a stereotypical "dumb jock" and Montana is drawn to him right away. His grandmother, Mari, is dying of cancer and uses marijuana to ease her pain and nausea. Mari suggests that Montana not give up on her medical marijuana article. Even knowing that the school paper won't publish it, Montana decides to push the issue and get it before the school board. Mari says, "You don't have to win to win. Just keep putting it in front of them. The truth rises." The showdown between Montana and Maxwell West is inevitable.The third story, "Meet Me at the Gates, Marcus James" was my favorite. Marcus is the only African American student at his high school, which is run by football-obsessed bigots. Not only is Marcus whip-smart and outspoken, but he is also gay. When he strolls into Mr. Simet's U.S. Government class wearing the pink noose that had been hanging on his locker, no one misses its significance. Mr. Simet is supportive, but cautions Marcus about the statement he's making by wearing the noose. When the school administrators call an assembly to "address" the bigotry, Matt Miller, a devout Christian calls them out for appearing to address the issue, while making it impossible to resolve. I love this character, who embodies the best Christian behavior, rather than the holier-than-thou brand of Christianity that permeates American culture. He stands up and tells the truth, which unleashes an unforeseen shitstorm and connects him with Marcus forever. Marcus' father is another interesting character because, even though he understands what it's like to be hated for something he can't control (his race), his initial reaction to learning that Marcus is gay is anger. He eventually accepts his son and has this to say, "You know, teacher man, bein' homosexual isn't somethin' my boy chose. He just was. Somebody's readin' the good book all wrong. You ask me, God creates it, God loves it. Simple as that." Amen.

  • Alex Richter
    2018-11-21 09:50

    I loved this book so much that I would recommend it to anyone who is into any type of realistic fiction and to deep thoughts like the book The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I also loved the way how this book was written, Into three separate stories containing deep detail on the fact of what happens to people who aren't as fortunate as we are. The first story is about two people, like all of the stories, and one is fat and his parents are gay and the other person is from a broken family her dad's in jail, and her mother left because of her abusive father towards her and her mother. Later in the story the two characters drive to find her mother and when they both found her the mother has already had another baby and named it the same name as her. The second story is about a girl who's name in Montana she was adopted because her parents didn't have enough money and her father is the head of the schooling in her town. The other character Trey is great in school does everything right and lives with his grandmother. So Montana is trying to get a story out to the town and the high school but the board of education which consists of her dad won't let it go through. So then Monatanas little sister is very foolish whenever she becomes angry so she is kicked out of the same house where Montana lives and she decided S to leave too because she and her little sister are a package quote on quote. And then both Montana and her little sister finally live at Treys grandmothers house. I also can't forget how each story is so told so well, with the amount of background given for each character. The last story is about a gay black kid who has an extremely high IQ and the other character is smart but not that smart and does everything right. Because Marcus is gay people always make fun of him and he's bullied. Matt, his friend, sees this and asks him if he need help or if you want anything, Marcus says no. The next day Marcus returns back to school with a pick noose mark around his neck. After that other day of being made fun of Matt helps Marcus by giving him enough money to go to a private school. In conclusion I would recommend it to anyone, and to remember that there are posts of very bad people in the world and that a reader should read this book thinking that they might be able to help those in need.