King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography.

Author: Chris Crutcher

Publisher: Random House/Listening Library, p2004.
length: 4hrs. 30mins.

Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Media Type: audiobook
Read by: Chris Crutcher
Author's website

Grade level: 9+

Reader's annotation:
Growing up in a small town in a remote area under the thumb of an older brother isn’t always easy. Being a very non-athletic person in a school that worships its athletes is even more difficult.

This is the autobiography of Chris Crutcher, mostly his experiences from his childhood and high school years. He keeps us entertained with stories about his sports experiences as he is not really a very good athlete, and being bullied and/or controlled by his older brother, whatever you want to call it. He referred to himself as a bawl baby, and shamelessly told us about all the times he got tricked into doing something he didn’t want to do and ended up crying his way out. There were several touching, and heart-wrenching, in some ways, events that gave the reader insight into how similar his novels are to his real life. At the end he does talk a little bit about his life as an adult.

It is almost hard to remember that this is not one of his novels, especially when you hear a story that sounds familiar. This gives great insight into why Chris writes the kinds of books he does and where his stories come from.

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I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.