Synopses & Reviews
In this terrifying and provocative novel by the bestselling and award-winning author of Deadline
and Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
, a teenage boy tries to uncover what happened to a girl who has vanished from his high school. Was she abducted, or did she run for her life?
Paul "The Bomb" Baum tells the truth. No matter what. It was something he learned at Sunday school. But telling the truth can cause problems, and not just minor ones. And as Paulie discovers, finding the truth can be even more problematic. Period 8 is supposed to be that one period in high school where the truth can shine, a safe haven. Only what Paulie and Hannah (his ex-girlfriend, unfortunately) and his other classmates don't know is that the ultimate liar is in their midst. Terrifying, thought-provoking, and original, this novel combines all the qualities of a great psychological thriller with the controversy, ethics, athletics, humor, and raw emotion of a classic Crutcher story.
"The coolest teacher at Heller High is 'Logs,' as the students call him, who hosts an extended therapy session in his classroom during lunch, the 'Period 8' of the title. Even in Crutcher's normally sure hands, this premise doesn't work, largely because the action of the story isn't remotely believable. Basically, a psychopath is roping the school's prettiest girls (including one nicknamed the Virgin Mary) into a sex ring. Logs and his mentee, 17-year-old distance swimmer Paulie Baum, slowly unravel what's going on, leading to a high-octane finish that will keep readers furiously flipping the pages to uncover who the good guys really are. But subplots about Paulie's parents' marital woes and Paulie's struggle to finish his senior essay on 'adolescent decision-making,' coupled with cartoonish villains and implausible details when the Virgin Mary goes missing, police recruit the Period 8 crew to help them scour the woods for her body may stop some readers from reaching the exciting conclusion. Ages 14 up. Agent: Darhansoff & Verrill Literary Agents." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Deadline: “As usual, Crutcher does not hesitate to incorporate serious subject matter within an engaging first-person narrative.” Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review)
“Crutcher uses dark humor and self-deprecation effectively to avoid maudlin situations, and teens will appreciate the respectful tone of the work.” School Library Journal
"Crutcher writes vivid sports action scenes, and teens' interest will be held by the story's dramatic premise." ALA Booklist
Praise for Whale Talk:“Crutcher offers an unusual yet resonant mixture of black comedy and tragedy that lays bare the superficiality of the high school scene.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Cataclysmic and triumphant.” Kirkus Reviews
“Period 8 is the best of Crutcher: warmth, humor, and spot-on teen reality, but coupled with terrifying intensity and a shocking ending.” Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Wintergirls and Speak
Period 8. An hour a day. You can hang out. You can eat your lunch. You can talk. Or listen. Or neither. Or both. Nothing is off-limits. The only rule is that you keep it real; that you tell the truth.
Heller High senior Paul Baum—aka Paulie Bomb—tells the truth. Not the "Wow, that's an ugly sweater" variety of truth, but the other kind. The truth that matters. It might be hard. It often hurts. But Paulie doesn't know how not to tell it. When he tells his girlfriend Hannah the life-altering, messed-up, awful truth, his life falls apart. The truth can get complicated, fast.
But someone in Period 8 is lying. And Paulie, Hannah, and just about everyone else who stops by the safe haven of the P-8 room daily are deceived. And when a classmate goes missing and the mystery of her disappearance seeps beyond P-8 and into every hour of the day, all hell breaks loose.
In Charles Benoit’s newest noir masterpiece, small steps cause an avalanche of effects as one teen attempts to take charge of his destiny.
About the Author
Chris Crutcher has written nine critically acclaimed novels, an autobiography, and two collections of short stories. He has won three lifetime achievement awards for the body of his work: the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Outstanding Literature for Young Adults, the ALAN Award for Significant Contribution to Adolescent Literature, and the NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award. He has been a child and family therapist with the Spokane Community Mental Health Center and is currently chairperson for the Spokane Child Protection Team. Chris Crutcher lives in Spokane, Washington.