Letter Essay #5
Ava Lambo Period 3 Mr. Jockers
Dear The Blog
Recently I finished reading the book Crash an 160 page realistic fiction novel by a children’s author, Jerry Spinelli. He is an american writer of children’s novels. He has won the John Newbery Medal and the Golden Kite award for Fiction. Crash was published in 1996 and has a 3.8/5 rating. As I was browsing the realistic fiction section in Mr. Jokers library I came across the book Crash. I read the back of the book and skimmed the pages to figure out it was a middle school drama book. I have read books about similar topics in the past so I thought I should give this a try. The book has some comedy to it while also being something kids can relate to if they have been bullied or picked on for being different.
In the novel Crash, 7th grader John Coogan who goes by Crash Coogan is an all star football player but there is one person who does not call him crash and its someone he can’t stand! It all started in first grade Penn Webb. John and Penn are polar opposites. John loves sports and being ruff, loves electronics and lives in a nice house with lots of toys. Penn is vegetarian, lives in a ranch, gets his clothes at a thrift store and does not even own a TV. Crash likes to pick on Penn because he thinks he is so much better than him. “ Are you guys poor? Looks like it to me your kid hardly has any toys, and you only have one floor on your house” (pg.24). In 7th grade Crash and his new friend Mike join the football team while Penn goes for cheerleading. When new girl Jane Forbes comes to town and catches Crash and Mike’s attention. When Jane starts to fall for Penn it does not settle well with Mike and Crash.” Likes him? Your crazy. No girl would like that oatburger”. (p.54) When Crash finds himself jealous and pulls a prank on Penn with Mike that he might regret, Crash has to decide what kind of person he is.
I liked the way the author made Jane go for Penn and not a mean boy like Crash or Mike. I feel like in movies and books the girl cheerleaders stereotypically always go for the boys that are tuff and play football. The author gave readers a new way to look at things and it’s something we don’t see enough. This shows that if your mean and bully people because you think you are better than them not you don’t get everything you want and not everyone is going to do what you say. I also appreciate how Penn did not let Crash and Mike get to him and just ignored them. He was the bigger and better person throughout the story and sets a good example for readers to stay true to who you are and don’t change for anybody..
I like the way the author crafted the book. I enjoyed how the author started off the story and took us back to the time were Crash and Penn first met in first grade “ Good Morning. I’m your new neighbor. My name is Penn Webb. What’s yours?” (p.2). Including this backstory really helped me get a better understand of the story when it went back to present day.
In some ways this book reminds me of the book Wonder a novel written by R.J Palacio. In the book Wonder main character Auggie has a deformed face. Auggie faces a lot of challenges with bullying and kids at school playing tricks on him and taking advantage of him with his hearing and eyesight not being that good. Kind off like Crash takes advantage of Penn being quaker and knows he won’t get mad or fight back at whatever he tries to do.
“Mike was right? Was I a dud? Why wasn’t I joining the mob and hooting with the rest of them? Why wasn’t I grabbing the gun and pumping a couple of rode into the victim myself? In fact I did feel like grabbing the gun, but i felt more like shooting Deluca than Webb. Did that make me a dud? Did others see me that way?”
“ Crash Coogan. The Crash man. Suddenly the name did not seem to fit exactly. I had always thought me and my name were the same thing. Now there is a crack of daylight between them, like my shell was coming loose. It was scary” (p.127)
What I love about this passage is it highlights were the character is changing as we are asking ourselves the same questions that Crash is asking himself. Crash is finally coming to his senses and realizing that he is hanging out with the wrong crowd and these people are bringing him down instead of lifting him up. There is probably a time in everyone’s life when you find yourself in a toxic friendship and need to get out. I am glad I decided to read this book. Crash is an 8 out of 10.