Book review by Aarene Storms: Losers Bracket

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Losers Bracket by Chris Crutcher

Annie Boots is a senior in high school, and it looks like she's gonna make it. Her foster family is loving and supporting (even if the dad is a bit of a control freak), she has a few good friends and some skilled social workers on her side, she's pretty good at sports, and she even has a great book group to hang out with at the local library.

If Annie could just stay away from her completely-messed-up biological family, she would be fine.

But she can't stay away. And her mom, her older sister, and her sister's young son Frankie are getting even more dysfunctional, really fast. Then, Frankie disappears.

Spokane-area author Chris Crutcher used to be on everybody's "must read" list each year, and he has a stack of writing awards to prove it. 

He draws on his experience as a family therapist and child protection specialist to portray characters in horrible circumstances. Reading his stuff feels real because it is. You know, going into a Chris Crutcher book, that the story won't be sunshine and roses.

Read it anyhow.

Some cussing. Alcohol/drug use and child abuse is mostly off-page. Dysfunctional relationships and bad ideas are on-the-page, front and center. As is, eventually, redemption.

Recommended for readers ages 12 to adult.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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