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Bo Brewster has been at war with his father for as long as he can remember. Following angry outbursts at his football coach and English teacher that have cost him his spot on the football team and moved him dangerously close to expulsion from school, he turns to the only adult he believes will listen: Larry King.

In his letters to Larry, Bo describes his quest for excellence on his own terms. No more coaches for me, he tells the talk show icon, no more dads. I'm going to be a triathlete, an Ironman.

Relegated to Mr. Nak's before-school Anger Management group (which he initially believes to be populated with future serial killers and freeway snipers), Bo meets a hard-edged, down-on-their-luck pack of survivors with stainless steel shields against the world that Bo comes to see are not so different from his own. It is here he meets and falls in love with Shelly, a future American Gladiator, whose passion for physical challenge more than matches his.

Ironman is a funny, sometimes heartbreaking story about growing up in the heart of struggle. It is about standing up, getting knocked down, and standing up again. It is about being heard--and learning to listen.

Published: HarperCollins on Sep 22, 2009
ISBN: 9780061968426
List price: $8.99
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Following an altercation with his football coach seventeen year old Beauregard Brewster find himself in trouble and excluded from school, his only way back is to attend Mr Nakatani's early morning Anger Management classes. We follow Bo's progress both through the third person narrative and in Bo's own words in his letters to talk show host Larry King.Along the way Bo learns a lot about himself, his strong willed father now separated from his mother, his fellow students in Mr Nak's class (who regard the preppy Bo his as out of place in the class), as well as coming to terms with an unpalatable fact, to Bo, that he learns about his favorite teacher and swimming coach Mr Serbousek. He also finds an unlikely girlfriend.While attending Mr Nak's class Bo is also in training for a marathon triathlon, cycling, running and swimming, and he finds support from surprising sources and apparent disloyalty also from surprising individuals.This is a good read, Bo's letters to Larry are full of humour and wit, and the story itself is full of wise counsel but never becomes preachy.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Loved this book. Not as much as some of the others, but definately up there with Stotan! and Whale Talk. I was glad that the father and son entered counseling, even if dad was having a hard time sticking with it. Gave me some hope for their future. I loved the Nak Pack and how they worked on their issues. I even liked the writing to Larry King bit, it was a nice element. It was interesting to see Lionel Serbousek again and find out what had happened to him. And I like it that there was an arrogant, annoying jock on the swimming team, usually they're only on the football team in Crutcher's books.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Bo is sentenced to attend an anger management class by his former coach. In this group Bo (who is a tri-athelete in training) learns to deal with the unfairness of life. In addition , he learns valuable life lessons about himself and others. This is a good book about overcoming the obstacles in life.A very good book for high school students. It is inspiring and one that is easy to relate to.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
After an outburst in English class, teen jock Bo is sent to Anger Management classes with the scary bad kids. He finds he fits in better than he expected. Told partly through Bo's letters to Larry King, this books documents a year in Bo's life, the year his battle with his father comes to a head, he gets a girlfriend, and finds friends and support where he least expected it.I had a hard time getting into this - Bo was so focused on his personal training and Ironman goals, I couldn't find anything in common with him to latch on to. But as I read further, I realised that this is the message I'll take from the book, that you don't have to have something in common with someone to want them to reach their goals, and to care what happens to them. As details about Bo's life, and the lives of his fellow Anger Management members are slowly revealed, people's capacity for both empathy and horror comes to the front. There are parents here who are truly evil, and kids who manage to pull kindness out of the most dreadful situations.I'd give this to people looking for a realistic but hopeful stories about abuse.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This guy, Beau Brewster, is assigned to anger management with a bunch of people much more misfit than he to high school. He is training for a triathelon... by the end of the novel everyone is routing for him and he beats the asshole with whom interacting landed him in the anger management group.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is the powerful story of Bo Brewster, a high school student with a difficult father, a horrible English teacher, and a tough time in general. Bo relieves his anger and frustration in long letters to Larry King, the best listener he knows. After an argument with his English teacher, he is relegated to Mr. Nak's before school "Anger Management" class. With the help of the friends he makes in Mr. Nak's class, Bo eventually learns to see the people around him and the world he lives in just a little bit differently. In the process, he falls in love, trains for a triathlon (and beats the school bully), and develops his ability to empathize with others.The plot is told through Bo's letters to Larry King and through an omniscient, third person narrator. The plot contains references to mature topics, such as sex, drugs, domestic violence, and child abuse. The characters are dynamic, believable, and intensely human. The plot is compelling and unpredictable.Highly recommended for high school libraries.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved this book. I hightly recommend it for just about any serious thinker. A great group of diverse kids forced into an anger management class at school with Mr. Nak--a wise Japanese cowboy? It has a great exploration of fear and anger. It would be great for discussions. However, is it outdated, I wonder?read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Crutcher's gritty writing brings his real life characters to life. The rich and realistic plot is riverting and the father-son relationship gone bad is captivating. Adolescent both boys and girls will enjoy this book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Crutcher, Chris. Ironman. New York: HarperTeen, 2004.Genre: SportsThemes: Young Adult, Teens, Ironman/Triathlon, Anger Management, Therapy.Age / Grade Appropriateness: Teen - Grade 7-9, Age 12-14Awards:•A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (1996)• ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (1999.04 Good Sports, 1999)• ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (1996)Censorship Issues:•Language•Abuse•HomosexualityPlot Summary:Ironman is the story of a would-be triathlete who is still in high school. Bo Brewster is the product of a broken home, complete with a father who strives to break his son’s will at every opportunity. The story is told with a combination of first and third person; the first person point of view is told in the form of letters from Bo to Larry King. Bo writes King letters detailing his exploits during training for a local triathlon competition.The novel opens with Bo telling Larry the story of how he quit the football team, due to Coach Redmond’s constant verbal abuse. Redmond brands Bo a “quitter” and seeks to torment him during English class, which is taught by Redmond. Bo eventually calls Redmond an “asshole,” and is sentenced to an anger management group.The group is taught by an interesting character, Mr. Nakatani, a Japanese Cowboy from Texas. The group is comprised of the usual cast of misfits (think Breakfast at Tiffany’s), and Brewster is viewed as an outsider. The bright spot for Brewster during this period is a former trouble-maker turned educator, Mr. Serbousek. During the novel it is revealed that Serbousek is gay and Brewster has a hard time coping with his sexuality. The group has a profound effect on Brewster, of course, and they bond. The story culminates with Brewster’s performance in the triathlon. The members of the group come together to spur him on during the race. Critique: Crutcher is one of the elite novelists in the Young Adult genre, and Ironman does not disappoint. The novel offers teen readers the ability to relate with Bo’s plight and the members of the group serve as other characters to identify with. Crutcher’s background as a therapist shows in his writing style by using the group and in some of the terminology that used therein. The inclusion of the letters to Larry King (although dated, 1995) provide an interesting twist from the normal audience relationship.Ironman is well written and paced. The characters were likable and believable, without sacrificing message and intent. All in all, it was an enjoyable read. Crutcher remains at the forefront of YA lit.Curriculum Uses:The obvious uses include sports or working out subjects, but the underlying issues and concerns of the book are anger management and abuse. The members in the group all suffer from some form of abuse (translate- neglect). This book could be used as a springboard for discussion of abuse in the classroom.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Not Crutcher's strongest book, but still a great read! Give this to your non-traditional athlete.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This really wasn't as good as Crutcher's "Staying Fat.." or "Whale Talk", but it was still pretty good. I guess I had a hard time relating to the main character because I don't feel the anger he does. I wasn't impressed by his girlfriend and I thought the Japanese cowboy was a little annoying.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I listened to this in the car and I loved driving because this book was so good. Bo trains for the ironman race and has to fight his father who gives his opponent a $5000 bike. His dad thinks it will teach him something if he loses! The anger management class saves his soul. 8/20read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Bravo for Chris Crutcher. Again he prevails as on of the most intuitive and gutsy young adult authors of our time. This book was deeply moving and very real. A breath of fresh air and a slap in the face all at the same time. I loved it. Read it and tell a friend to do the same!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Following an altercation with his football coach seventeen year old Beauregard Brewster find himself in trouble and excluded from school, his only way back is to attend Mr Nakatani's early morning Anger Management classes. We follow Bo's progress both through the third person narrative and in Bo's own words in his letters to talk show host Larry King.Along the way Bo learns a lot about himself, his strong willed father now separated from his mother, his fellow students in Mr Nak's class (who regard the preppy Bo his as out of place in the class), as well as coming to terms with an unpalatable fact, to Bo, that he learns about his favorite teacher and swimming coach Mr Serbousek. He also finds an unlikely girlfriend.While attending Mr Nak's class Bo is also in training for a marathon triathlon, cycling, running and swimming, and he finds support from surprising sources and apparent disloyalty also from surprising individuals.This is a good read, Bo's letters to Larry are full of humour and wit, and the story itself is full of wise counsel but never becomes preachy.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Loved this book. Not as much as some of the others, but definately up there with Stotan! and Whale Talk. I was glad that the father and son entered counseling, even if dad was having a hard time sticking with it. Gave me some hope for their future. I loved the Nak Pack and how they worked on their issues. I even liked the writing to Larry King bit, it was a nice element. It was interesting to see Lionel Serbousek again and find out what had happened to him. And I like it that there was an arrogant, annoying jock on the swimming team, usually they're only on the football team in Crutcher's books.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Bo is sentenced to attend an anger management class by his former coach. In this group Bo (who is a tri-athelete in training) learns to deal with the unfairness of life. In addition , he learns valuable life lessons about himself and others. This is a good book about overcoming the obstacles in life.A very good book for high school students. It is inspiring and one that is easy to relate to.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
After an outburst in English class, teen jock Bo is sent to Anger Management classes with the scary bad kids. He finds he fits in better than he expected. Told partly through Bo's letters to Larry King, this books documents a year in Bo's life, the year his battle with his father comes to a head, he gets a girlfriend, and finds friends and support where he least expected it.I had a hard time getting into this - Bo was so focused on his personal training and Ironman goals, I couldn't find anything in common with him to latch on to. But as I read further, I realised that this is the message I'll take from the book, that you don't have to have something in common with someone to want them to reach their goals, and to care what happens to them. As details about Bo's life, and the lives of his fellow Anger Management members are slowly revealed, people's capacity for both empathy and horror comes to the front. There are parents here who are truly evil, and kids who manage to pull kindness out of the most dreadful situations.I'd give this to people looking for a realistic but hopeful stories about abuse.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This guy, Beau Brewster, is assigned to anger management with a bunch of people much more misfit than he to high school. He is training for a triathelon... by the end of the novel everyone is routing for him and he beats the asshole with whom interacting landed him in the anger management group.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is the powerful story of Bo Brewster, a high school student with a difficult father, a horrible English teacher, and a tough time in general. Bo relieves his anger and frustration in long letters to Larry King, the best listener he knows. After an argument with his English teacher, he is relegated to Mr. Nak's before school "Anger Management" class. With the help of the friends he makes in Mr. Nak's class, Bo eventually learns to see the people around him and the world he lives in just a little bit differently. In the process, he falls in love, trains for a triathlon (and beats the school bully), and develops his ability to empathize with others.The plot is told through Bo's letters to Larry King and through an omniscient, third person narrator. The plot contains references to mature topics, such as sex, drugs, domestic violence, and child abuse. The characters are dynamic, believable, and intensely human. The plot is compelling and unpredictable.Highly recommended for high school libraries.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved this book. I hightly recommend it for just about any serious thinker. A great group of diverse kids forced into an anger management class at school with Mr. Nak--a wise Japanese cowboy? It has a great exploration of fear and anger. It would be great for discussions. However, is it outdated, I wonder?
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Crutcher's gritty writing brings his real life characters to life. The rich and realistic plot is riverting and the father-son relationship gone bad is captivating. Adolescent both boys and girls will enjoy this book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Crutcher, Chris. Ironman. New York: HarperTeen, 2004.Genre: SportsThemes: Young Adult, Teens, Ironman/Triathlon, Anger Management, Therapy.Age / Grade Appropriateness: Teen - Grade 7-9, Age 12-14Awards:•A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (1996)• ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (1999.04 Good Sports, 1999)• ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (1996)Censorship Issues:•Language•Abuse•HomosexualityPlot Summary:Ironman is the story of a would-be triathlete who is still in high school. Bo Brewster is the product of a broken home, complete with a father who strives to break his son’s will at every opportunity. The story is told with a combination of first and third person; the first person point of view is told in the form of letters from Bo to Larry King. Bo writes King letters detailing his exploits during training for a local triathlon competition.The novel opens with Bo telling Larry the story of how he quit the football team, due to Coach Redmond’s constant verbal abuse. Redmond brands Bo a “quitter” and seeks to torment him during English class, which is taught by Redmond. Bo eventually calls Redmond an “asshole,” and is sentenced to an anger management group.The group is taught by an interesting character, Mr. Nakatani, a Japanese Cowboy from Texas. The group is comprised of the usual cast of misfits (think Breakfast at Tiffany’s), and Brewster is viewed as an outsider. The bright spot for Brewster during this period is a former trouble-maker turned educator, Mr. Serbousek. During the novel it is revealed that Serbousek is gay and Brewster has a hard time coping with his sexuality. The group has a profound effect on Brewster, of course, and they bond. The story culminates with Brewster’s performance in the triathlon. The members of the group come together to spur him on during the race. Critique: Crutcher is one of the elite novelists in the Young Adult genre, and Ironman does not disappoint. The novel offers teen readers the ability to relate with Bo’s plight and the members of the group serve as other characters to identify with. Crutcher’s background as a therapist shows in his writing style by using the group and in some of the terminology that used therein. The inclusion of the letters to Larry King (although dated, 1995) provide an interesting twist from the normal audience relationship.Ironman is well written and paced. The characters were likable and believable, without sacrificing message and intent. All in all, it was an enjoyable read. Crutcher remains at the forefront of YA lit.Curriculum Uses:The obvious uses include sports or working out subjects, but the underlying issues and concerns of the book are anger management and abuse. The members in the group all suffer from some form of abuse (translate- neglect). This book could be used as a springboard for discussion of abuse in the classroom.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Not Crutcher's strongest book, but still a great read! Give this to your non-traditional athlete.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This really wasn't as good as Crutcher's "Staying Fat.." or "Whale Talk", but it was still pretty good. I guess I had a hard time relating to the main character because I don't feel the anger he does. I wasn't impressed by his girlfriend and I thought the Japanese cowboy was a little annoying.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I listened to this in the car and I loved driving because this book was so good. Bo trains for the ironman race and has to fight his father who gives his opponent a $5000 bike. His dad thinks it will teach him something if he loses! The anger management class saves his soul. 8/20
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Bravo for Chris Crutcher. Again he prevails as on of the most intuitive and gutsy young adult authors of our time. This book was deeply moving and very real. A breath of fresh air and a slap in the face all at the same time. I loved it. Read it and tell a friend to do the same!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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