The Sledding Hill (Paperback)
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Short Description for The Sledding Hill Billy, recently deceased, keeps an eye on his best friend, fourteen-year-old Eddie, who has added to his home and school problems by becoming mute, and helps him stand up to a conservative minister and English teacher who is orchestrating a censorship challenge.
- Published: 06 October 2006
- Format: Paperback 256 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780060502454 ISBN 10: 0060502452
- Sales rank: 366,845
Reviews for The Sledding Hill
Reviewed by Long Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com
Washington State native and young adult literature veteran Chris Crutcher is no stranger to censorship. Many of his critically acclaimed novels have been persecuted for their content and use of "inappropriate language," as well as the thematically taboo nature of the stories themselves. THE SLEDDING HILL, Crutcher's latest novel, deals with the issue of censorship, and the struggle students, as well as pro-literature advocates, must undergo to ensure the right to read contemporary works.
Narrated by the "spirit" of the recently deceased Billy Bartholomew, Billy tells the tale of his best friend Eddie Proffit, who in the course of three months was the first to discover the dead bodies of both his father as well as Billy. Dealing with the trauma of what happened, Eddie decides to stop speaking altogether, sheltering himself from communication with the people around him. With both his father and Billy gone, Eddie is soon pressured by a local church figure to take the plunge into 'salvation' and join the church. But alas! Billy isn't going to let something as trivial as death come between him and his best friend. With the help of Billy (or rather, his spirit?), Eddie is able to cope and come to terms with, in his eyes, what the right thing to do is.
In each of Crutcher's novels, it is nearly guaranteed that at least some kind of issue is directly put into discussion and, indeed, THE SLEDDING HILL is a story of the censorship of books read by students in schools. Cleverly written, Crutcher manages to poke fun with his writing by instilling himself as the author of the controversial pseudo-novel Warren Peece (pun very much intended). Full to the absolute brim with important questions and thought-provoking answers, what else would one expect from a Chris Crutcher novel?
I personally find any and all of Chris Crutcher's novels incredibly well-written, and very entertaining for the likes of a teenage attention span. The issues tackled are strongly influenced and make good discussion topics as well as a progressive voice for young ears to hear. Anyone who found the heated debates between the uber-conservative Christians and the liberal-minded protagonists from STAYING FAT FOR SARAH BYRNES (an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, and highly recommended by yours truly) is sure to appreciate Crutcher's whole-hearted commitment towards all human being's rights to certain freedoms, including the right to read contemporary literature containing modern ideas, no matter how verboten they may sound. by TeensReadToo