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Billy Bartholomew has an audacious soul, and he knows it. Why? Because it's all he has left. He's dead.

Eddie Proffit has an equally audacious soul, but he doesn't know it. He's still alive.

These days, Billy and Eddie meet on the sledding hill, where they used to spend countless hours -- until Billy kicked a stack of Sheetrock over on himself, breaking his neck and effectively hitting tilt on his Earthgame. The two were inseparable friends. They still are. And Billy is not about to let a little thing like death stop him from hanging in there with Eddie in his epic struggle to get his life back on track.

Topics: Family and Grief

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061968495
List price: $9.99
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Overall, this didn't blow me away. It starts off strong--the narrator is Billy, who was just killed in a freak accident involving a stack of sheetrock and is now hanging around to help his best friend Eddie through the loss (Eddie having lost his father to a different freak accident a few months earlier). What could be a great story about friendship and healing and inner strength--or something--becomes a story about censorship and book-banning. Which could also be a good story, but Crutcher chose one of his own books to be the one censored. I understand the appeal of using a real author and a real book, and I'm always happy to see authors who are pissed when their books get banned for idiotic reasons (viva intellectual freedom!), but in this case the book just seemed too personal. The second half of the book, when we get into the book-banning section, reads like a long lecture that Crutcher delivers to yell at whatever small town was found banning his book.

This is the first Chris Crutcher book I've read, I think, and I'm planning to read more--not because I think he's great, but because I suspect this was a minor work that he wrote to get over a writer's-block hump.more
Crutcher is one of my go-to authors for YA fiction and probably the most inclusive when it comes to the ugly life issues kids face. He's a champion of telling like it is and keeping books in the hands of the reader where they belong. This work,(cool and unusual twist) read just like some of his interviews. It was interesting, impassioned, and right on, but he's preaching to the choir, as it were. I don't know if the equivalent of the Red Brickers would really read it.more
I have to say that I loved this book. I don't rate books a 5 star unless I absolutely love it. The Sledding Hill is about a boy who loses his dad and his best friend within months of each other. He feels pressure from the preacher to become baptized. He misses his dad and his friend. Then he is introduced to a book (fictional) by Chris Crutcher. This book makes him realize that he isn't alone in the world and feels like he has friends again. *********************************************************************************************************The following contains spoilers so please stop reading if you don't want to spoil the book. First I want to say that I believe that you have to be saved to be baptized. There were a few other things I don't believe in as well but they helped build the book. Religious beliefs aside, I loved this book. I am a future English teacher and know that the greatest books can and will be on the banned book list. I loved how Chris Crutcher wrote himself into this novel because he has been on the banned book list. The relationship that Eddie and Billy's dad was great in this novel. Billy's dad reached out for him when Eddie came over and gave him what he needed. He didn't push Eddie to talk like the Tarter did. When I first picked up this book I wasn't sure what it was going to be about it. I can certainly say I didn't think it was going to be about censorship. Crutcher did a great job with this book. It may be one that I teach in the classroom one day. :-)more
I adore Chris Crutcher's books and have read almost all of them; I never seem to tire of his themes of compassion, intellectual freedom, standing up against bullies, and open discourse. That said, this book did not work well for me, although I appreciate that he tried a new approach. I think that might be the problem: the two unusual elements both might have worked better alone, giving the author time to work them out more successfully.(SPOILERS FOLLOW)The first element is that the author is narratign posthumously; Billy is killed in a freak accident (he kicks a pile of sheet rock and it falls on him) and he then narrates the story, popping in and out of the other characters' heads as a dead person. I have no problem with this idea, but Billy relates the thoughts he sees/hears, sometimes in third person and sometimes in first person, even within the same paragraph. Since he also narrates his own portions in first person, I had to keep stopping to figure out whether a particular thought belonged to Billy or to his friend Eddie, whom he visits and helps throughout the narrative.The second unusual element is that Crutcher inserts himself into the narrative; the book that some characters want to ban a fictitious book by Chris Crutcher himself. The characters fighting both for and against banning the book check out Crutcher's website and give lots of facts about his life. It comes across as a bit gimmicky and in my mind doesn't add much to the story.This book is also shorter than most of Crutcher's, and it seems like he rushed to the conclusion, which seemed mostly an excuse to have a couple of characters give impassioned speeches. In my opinion, a clever argument given as a speech should rarely be the climax of a book; it then makes the book seem too much of an excuse for the author him/herself to give a speech.Finally, while I agree with Crutcher that the people/characters we see as the "bad guys" do not generally think they are doing bad things, such as the reverend/school board member who is trying to ban the book, the fact remains that what they are doing is wrong, and I'm not willing to just accept that on face value. Those against censorship lose the battle (all of Crutcher's books are banned in the school) and supposedly win the war (the janitor and librarian who've lost their jobs get jobs at the public library, which many students now frequent in protest -- not realistic). Somehow, this ending just didn't satisfy.All these criticisms aside, I think Crutcher is a fantastic writer and I will continue to buy and read his books. I've already pre-ordered his next one!more
Eddie and Billy are best real life friends, until Billy accidentally kicks a pile of sheet rock that rapidly cascades and kills him. Sadly, within the span of a very short time, Eddie losses both his best friend and his father to freak accidents.Knowing his friend has a lack of social skills and is also in emotional pain, Billy decides to hang around before passing on to the next level. Thus, his spirit regularly visits Eddie to provide guidance.When the nasty small-town preacher decides to use Eddie and his emotional pain as a statement regarding how to be a "Christian", Billy provides assistance.This book was ok, not great, just ok. It was good enough to finish and initially held my interest, but I was taken aback by the author's self aggrandizement. One of the major themes of the book was the banning of books and censorship.I was a tad bothered by the fact that the author used his real life book to incorporate into the fictional tale of Eddie and Billy and censorship.more
Eddie Profitt is not the most popular student in the 8th grade his mind is constantly going and he questions everything. Billy Bartholomew is the smartest kid in the 8th grade and the janitor’s son. Eddie and Billy become best friends. In the span of a few weeks Eddie’s father and Billy die, Eddie is the first to discover each body. Billy can still talk to Eddie and what you think is going to be a very sad story about how horrible Eddie’s life is turning out takes a turn and becomes a story about banning books in schools. This is a wonderful book that I highly recommend to all those who don’t want to be told what you can or cannot read.more
 Eddie Proffit and Billy Bartholomew are best friends, but nobody knows why. Billy is the smartest kid in the class, while everyone thinks Eddie is an idiot. In reality, people think that because he asks questions no one has an answer for like “Why didn’t the whale’s stomach acids destroy Jonah?”, but Eddie is a genius in disguise, and Billy saw right through it. They are inseparable.Just one tiny detail is wrong: Billy’s dead. He accidently killed himself during a sledding accident, but their friendship is not going to end, in fact, it’s going to get closer. Billy’s now a ghost and now follows Eddie to help him in his greatest time of need.It’s now the first day of school, and both Eddie and Billy planned to be in a class called Really Modern Literature, where you can only read books by live authors. The teacher plans to read their first book together called Warren Peace by Chris Crutcher. The thing is, there is a lot of Catholics in that class, and they don’t like all the abortions, the drugs, the language, how good Crutcher makes gay people look, and they want to ban the book without really reading it. Eddie decides to stand up to this. And with Billy by his side, nothing can go wrong, can it?This is not a typical Crutcher book. For one thing, all the other books I’ve read to him has to be realistic fiction, but with the topic of Billy being a ghost, that’s really not that possible. Also, he mentions a book written by him, that doesn’t exist, which I’ll tell you why later on. And third, he’s a character in his own book.In the back of this book, there are extras that told me the purpose of this book. Apparently, he wrote this one to fight back against the banning of his books. So [The Sledding Hill] is actually a censorship book about people wanting to censor his books, and he made up a book, because he didn’t want another one of his books to be part of the banning. Also, and this part is really smart, there is a whole absence of language, drugs, abuse, or anything else that people who look for in a book that would make it banned. Pretty much if you read this, you know the essence of every Crutcher book out there.Rating: Four and a Half Stars **** ½ more
Written from the third person point of view the story setting is in a small town and school. The boy, Eddie, experiences the death of of his father and best friend within a month of each other. Eddie is the one who finds each one of them dead in separate accidents. Billy continues to visit or "bump" Eddie to help him get through this tough time. A school book causes controversy and helps Eddie cope and survive his losses.more
When i first read this book i was a little skeptic. It looked a lot different than most of chris crutchers books. It has names for the chapters, the cover was rather unusual, and it revolved around a younger character, eddie profit, being 14 years old rather than 17 like most of his books. Almost immediately though, the book caught my attention. Its told from the point of view of eddie's best friend, billy, who died in a freak accident. I liked this book a lot. The protagonist of the story is eddie, who is trying to prevent a book his english class is reading from being banned from the local church. Its all being led by led by the reverned, whose also taking place of his father that died not too much before his best friend. The book deals with grief of a lost friend, a lost father, and growing up. Another reason why i liked this book a lot is because eddie's in crosscountry, and you can relate to him a lot at times. This book had me glued the whole time. i'd recommend this to anyone who likes to read...more
Despite the unenlightening name and rather innocuous looking cover, I was immediately hooked with this book. In the first chapter, 14-year-old Eddie Proffit's father and then his best friend, Billy Bartholomew, both die in unrelated freak accidents within a few weeks of each other. Eddie is the one to discover both of their bodies, and the shock and grief literally strike Eddie mute. However Billy's death doesn't stop him from narrating the entire book while his spirit decides to stick around Earth for a second time to check up on Eddie. With newfound omniscience, Billy gives the reader insights into Eddie's mind as well as his own thoughts and the thoughts of a few other characters. The next few chapters give the appearance that the rest of the book will be devoted to discussing grief, which it does to some extent. However, the book then takes a turn when Eddie's elective course, Really Modern Literature, starts discussing a controversial (and faux) novel, Warren Peece by none other than Chris Crutcher. The small town’s fundamental Christians get up in arms against the book, trying to have it pulled from the course curriculum along with other "obscene" books. Eddie, with some help from Billy's ghost, must decide whether to go with the flow or stand up for a challenged book. This book, while suffering from some writing style flaws, is an interesting look at the process of censorship and the motivations behind both sides of a censorship challenge.more
I'm taking a chance with The Sledding Hill. The story is narrated by Billy, a teenager who dies in the opening pages of the book. His spirit sticks around to keep an eye on his best friend Eddie who lost his father only a few months before Billy died in a freak accident. Eddie is not having an easy time of it. Even before Eddie's father and Billy died, Eddie had difficulties in school and a sometimes troubled relationship with his mother. Eddie's mother wants him to be baptised into the fundamentalist church she attends. Once his father dies, Eddie's mother starts bringing Rev. Tarter, who also teaches history at the high school Eddie attends, over for dinner on a regular basis. After Billy dies, Eddie decides to stop talking, his only defense against a world that has turned on him. Rev. Tarter respects Eddie's silence in class, but lets him know that he'll have to talk if he wants to be baptized. He first must tell his story to the assemble congregation. Trouble is, Eddie doesn't want to join the reverend's church. The reverened is actively trying to push religion in the high school where he teaches--trying to get his students to become vocal oppenents to evolution in science class and to force the school librarian to stop using a controversial book with the contemporary literature class she teaches. Eddie's not saying anything about any of this to anyone, except for Billy's father who still works at the high school as a custodian and to the ghost of Billy, whom Eddie is not quite sure he believes in. Adult readers, especially Chris Crutcher's readers, know by now that a show down is coming, that Eddie is going to make a big speech in front of Rev. Tarter's church. The Sledding Hill builds to its climax slowly but effectively, revealing more about the Rev. Tarter, the town the book is set in, and the students at Eddie's high school as events head to what must be one of the more interesting Sunday's any fundamentalist church has ever spent. Secrets are revealled; we find out that a minor character who attends Rev. Tarter's church comes out just before Eddie's final confrontation scene. However, Mr. Crutcher wrote The Sledding Hill specifically for middle school age readers, I'm told at the request of Middle School teachers and librarians, so the controversial subject matter is not on the same level as it is in his other books like Whale Talk or Ironman. Still, I'm taking a chance by adding it to my class book club library. Hope it's worth it.more
The story starts out about a boy who first finds his father dead, and less than 1 month (maybe 3) finds his best friend dead. They have both died by accident. Then the book segues into a rant about book burning, censorship, and fundamental Christians, with a bit of racism thrown in. One star for being an annoying political rant.more
I found it interesting how the story was narrated by a deceased character, but that made the story feel a bit complete before it even began. Billy mentions that he can go anywhere and understand people's thoughts, even going into their minds as if he can picture some past event that left a large impact on that person. It gives the reader the feeling that Billy already knows what's going to happen before it even happens, which makes the action a little less exciting. However, I liked how the characters responded to a realistic situation which contrasted well with the narration of deceased Billy. I also liked how Eddie evolved throughout the book and his silent resolution that was his secret weapon to not quite defeat Reverend Tarter, but humiliated him to no end.more
There's a lot going on in this book because Crutcher -- true to form -- hits on so many elements that will interest teens. There religious persecution, censorship, death, peer pressure, and school issues going on here. Not only that, but there's a life-after-death friendship that holds this whole book together. I especially liked the Chris Crutcher twist at the end; you'll have to read to find out what I mean by that!more
I didn't really enjoy this book. I thought it was kind of boring. I did not like how he mentioned himself alot of the time. I thought it was wierd how it was from the dead person's point of view. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless they are interested in a class like best sellers. It did not take long to read but it took a long time to get into.more
The Sledding Hill is not an ordinary book. It is a book which talks, without any diffidence, about the issues of the today world. Its main protagonist is Eddie Proffit, an over smart guy, who has to undergo two really hard strokes. In a time period of only three months, he loses his Dad and his best friend Billy Bartholomew to violent accidents. With these happenings his world changes immediately.The whole story is told by nobody else then ghost Billy who supports his friend Eddie also after his death. A support that is strongly needed. Eddie has to deal with Mr. Tartar, who is both a feared English teacher at school and the minister to a flock of Protestant fundamentalists at the Red Brick Church. Not an easy starting position for Eddie and a pretty hard thing to do, but he still has Billy’s help, even when in a very special form... We had to read The Sledding Hill for our Beyond Bestsellers class. First I wasn’t very motivated and the start truly confused me but the book became better and better and it has many intelligent thoughts and ideas included. It is one of the books, which make me feel, that I have learned something. Therefore: Yes, read it ;)more
This is not one of my personal favorites, but it is also written at a very elementary level for a reason. This is about a dead boy who follows his alive friend around to help him out in the world he's still alive in.more
This book had some parts that were really good but other parts were kinda weird. It thought it was weird of Chris Crutcher to put himself in the book.more
i did not like this book. i thought that it was super boring. i didn't find any part exciting until for the speech at the end. i would recommend this book, if someone wanted to read a really boring book.more
Eddie is dealt some hard blows - his dad and his best friend die within a month of each other, and he just kind of shuts down. Until he is assigned a fictional book by Chris Crutcher in an elective reading class he takes. The local religious community tries to get the book banned, and Eddie, along with the spiritual guidance of dead friend Billy B. LOVED the fact that Chris created a fictional book to write about and made himself a character in this story. Very amusing.more
I didn't like this book. It was too similar to Crutcher's other books while lacking their best features. I was bored by the characters, bored by their situations, and irritated the Crutcher wrote himself into the story. Overall this was a miss for me.more
My favorite Chris Crutcer book and I really like all of his books.more
amazing story of a small town's struggle to censor a book every kid is smuggling to read. a high school and community torn apart by religious fundamentalism, tragic deaths, and a boy who wants to find himself. postmodernism for young adults.more
Innocent, an angel living on Earth, and David, a sociopath whose urges have been reined in to only kill those who have been judged, break a swath through the city, killing those whose souls have been lost. The art changes with each numbered book included in this collection, giving some interesting takes on the characters. My favourite, for the dark humour and hint of background for David, is when the two go over to David's mom's house for supper, and the neighbour tries to kill them with a jar of poisoned cookies. :) "Interrogation" was twisty and turny, and "The sword" started off as a typical super hero fight, with all the overblown dialogue that entails, but ended on a more human note.Some of the stories seemed unrelated, I've gotten used to reading comics with over arching plots. This volume ends on an unresolved note (part 1 of ?) which will have me hunting down volume 2 to see what happens next, but I still feel annoyed, because part of why I like reading collected series is to avoid the cliff hangers. Overall, a decent start to a series, and I'm interested to see what happens next.more
A very interesting and thought provoking book about friendship, loss, grief, censorship and religion. The story line about a friendship that survives death and the descriptions of the afterlife vs. Earthtime are vey good, but the censorship and religion struggles felt like a rehash of the movie Footloose. I admire the message Chris Crutcher is trying to convey to kids, that no one can tell you what to think about the world around you, and that there is no place for intolerance in a just world. *** Spoiler ****I was surprised that the author wrote himself into the book, in fact the back half of the story is primarily about the banning of his books - it was interesting but distractingly manipulative.I think teens will connect with this story, expecially the friendship and personal growth aspects. I hope they read the supplements and realize why the author is so adamant in his support of the first Ammendment, and peruse the many resources he lists to become more informed.more
This book i feel is a wonderfully well written and insightful book of a misunderstood child.As soon as i started i couldn't put it down. It contains some of my favorit topics in it suchs as a misunderstood human, religous discrimation, and the fact people think anyone different should be changed till there exactly like them.more
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Reviews

Overall, this didn't blow me away. It starts off strong--the narrator is Billy, who was just killed in a freak accident involving a stack of sheetrock and is now hanging around to help his best friend Eddie through the loss (Eddie having lost his father to a different freak accident a few months earlier). What could be a great story about friendship and healing and inner strength--or something--becomes a story about censorship and book-banning. Which could also be a good story, but Crutcher chose one of his own books to be the one censored. I understand the appeal of using a real author and a real book, and I'm always happy to see authors who are pissed when their books get banned for idiotic reasons (viva intellectual freedom!), but in this case the book just seemed too personal. The second half of the book, when we get into the book-banning section, reads like a long lecture that Crutcher delivers to yell at whatever small town was found banning his book.

This is the first Chris Crutcher book I've read, I think, and I'm planning to read more--not because I think he's great, but because I suspect this was a minor work that he wrote to get over a writer's-block hump.more
Crutcher is one of my go-to authors for YA fiction and probably the most inclusive when it comes to the ugly life issues kids face. He's a champion of telling like it is and keeping books in the hands of the reader where they belong. This work,(cool and unusual twist) read just like some of his interviews. It was interesting, impassioned, and right on, but he's preaching to the choir, as it were. I don't know if the equivalent of the Red Brickers would really read it.more
I have to say that I loved this book. I don't rate books a 5 star unless I absolutely love it. The Sledding Hill is about a boy who loses his dad and his best friend within months of each other. He feels pressure from the preacher to become baptized. He misses his dad and his friend. Then he is introduced to a book (fictional) by Chris Crutcher. This book makes him realize that he isn't alone in the world and feels like he has friends again. *********************************************************************************************************The following contains spoilers so please stop reading if you don't want to spoil the book. First I want to say that I believe that you have to be saved to be baptized. There were a few other things I don't believe in as well but they helped build the book. Religious beliefs aside, I loved this book. I am a future English teacher and know that the greatest books can and will be on the banned book list. I loved how Chris Crutcher wrote himself into this novel because he has been on the banned book list. The relationship that Eddie and Billy's dad was great in this novel. Billy's dad reached out for him when Eddie came over and gave him what he needed. He didn't push Eddie to talk like the Tarter did. When I first picked up this book I wasn't sure what it was going to be about it. I can certainly say I didn't think it was going to be about censorship. Crutcher did a great job with this book. It may be one that I teach in the classroom one day. :-)more
I adore Chris Crutcher's books and have read almost all of them; I never seem to tire of his themes of compassion, intellectual freedom, standing up against bullies, and open discourse. That said, this book did not work well for me, although I appreciate that he tried a new approach. I think that might be the problem: the two unusual elements both might have worked better alone, giving the author time to work them out more successfully.(SPOILERS FOLLOW)The first element is that the author is narratign posthumously; Billy is killed in a freak accident (he kicks a pile of sheet rock and it falls on him) and he then narrates the story, popping in and out of the other characters' heads as a dead person. I have no problem with this idea, but Billy relates the thoughts he sees/hears, sometimes in third person and sometimes in first person, even within the same paragraph. Since he also narrates his own portions in first person, I had to keep stopping to figure out whether a particular thought belonged to Billy or to his friend Eddie, whom he visits and helps throughout the narrative.The second unusual element is that Crutcher inserts himself into the narrative; the book that some characters want to ban a fictitious book by Chris Crutcher himself. The characters fighting both for and against banning the book check out Crutcher's website and give lots of facts about his life. It comes across as a bit gimmicky and in my mind doesn't add much to the story.This book is also shorter than most of Crutcher's, and it seems like he rushed to the conclusion, which seemed mostly an excuse to have a couple of characters give impassioned speeches. In my opinion, a clever argument given as a speech should rarely be the climax of a book; it then makes the book seem too much of an excuse for the author him/herself to give a speech.Finally, while I agree with Crutcher that the people/characters we see as the "bad guys" do not generally think they are doing bad things, such as the reverend/school board member who is trying to ban the book, the fact remains that what they are doing is wrong, and I'm not willing to just accept that on face value. Those against censorship lose the battle (all of Crutcher's books are banned in the school) and supposedly win the war (the janitor and librarian who've lost their jobs get jobs at the public library, which many students now frequent in protest -- not realistic). Somehow, this ending just didn't satisfy.All these criticisms aside, I think Crutcher is a fantastic writer and I will continue to buy and read his books. I've already pre-ordered his next one!more
Eddie and Billy are best real life friends, until Billy accidentally kicks a pile of sheet rock that rapidly cascades and kills him. Sadly, within the span of a very short time, Eddie losses both his best friend and his father to freak accidents.Knowing his friend has a lack of social skills and is also in emotional pain, Billy decides to hang around before passing on to the next level. Thus, his spirit regularly visits Eddie to provide guidance.When the nasty small-town preacher decides to use Eddie and his emotional pain as a statement regarding how to be a "Christian", Billy provides assistance.This book was ok, not great, just ok. It was good enough to finish and initially held my interest, but I was taken aback by the author's self aggrandizement. One of the major themes of the book was the banning of books and censorship.I was a tad bothered by the fact that the author used his real life book to incorporate into the fictional tale of Eddie and Billy and censorship.more
Eddie Profitt is not the most popular student in the 8th grade his mind is constantly going and he questions everything. Billy Bartholomew is the smartest kid in the 8th grade and the janitor’s son. Eddie and Billy become best friends. In the span of a few weeks Eddie’s father and Billy die, Eddie is the first to discover each body. Billy can still talk to Eddie and what you think is going to be a very sad story about how horrible Eddie’s life is turning out takes a turn and becomes a story about banning books in schools. This is a wonderful book that I highly recommend to all those who don’t want to be told what you can or cannot read.more
 Eddie Proffit and Billy Bartholomew are best friends, but nobody knows why. Billy is the smartest kid in the class, while everyone thinks Eddie is an idiot. In reality, people think that because he asks questions no one has an answer for like “Why didn’t the whale’s stomach acids destroy Jonah?”, but Eddie is a genius in disguise, and Billy saw right through it. They are inseparable.Just one tiny detail is wrong: Billy’s dead. He accidently killed himself during a sledding accident, but their friendship is not going to end, in fact, it’s going to get closer. Billy’s now a ghost and now follows Eddie to help him in his greatest time of need.It’s now the first day of school, and both Eddie and Billy planned to be in a class called Really Modern Literature, where you can only read books by live authors. The teacher plans to read their first book together called Warren Peace by Chris Crutcher. The thing is, there is a lot of Catholics in that class, and they don’t like all the abortions, the drugs, the language, how good Crutcher makes gay people look, and they want to ban the book without really reading it. Eddie decides to stand up to this. And with Billy by his side, nothing can go wrong, can it?This is not a typical Crutcher book. For one thing, all the other books I’ve read to him has to be realistic fiction, but with the topic of Billy being a ghost, that’s really not that possible. Also, he mentions a book written by him, that doesn’t exist, which I’ll tell you why later on. And third, he’s a character in his own book.In the back of this book, there are extras that told me the purpose of this book. Apparently, he wrote this one to fight back against the banning of his books. So [The Sledding Hill] is actually a censorship book about people wanting to censor his books, and he made up a book, because he didn’t want another one of his books to be part of the banning. Also, and this part is really smart, there is a whole absence of language, drugs, abuse, or anything else that people who look for in a book that would make it banned. Pretty much if you read this, you know the essence of every Crutcher book out there.Rating: Four and a Half Stars **** ½ more
Written from the third person point of view the story setting is in a small town and school. The boy, Eddie, experiences the death of of his father and best friend within a month of each other. Eddie is the one who finds each one of them dead in separate accidents. Billy continues to visit or "bump" Eddie to help him get through this tough time. A school book causes controversy and helps Eddie cope and survive his losses.more
When i first read this book i was a little skeptic. It looked a lot different than most of chris crutchers books. It has names for the chapters, the cover was rather unusual, and it revolved around a younger character, eddie profit, being 14 years old rather than 17 like most of his books. Almost immediately though, the book caught my attention. Its told from the point of view of eddie's best friend, billy, who died in a freak accident. I liked this book a lot. The protagonist of the story is eddie, who is trying to prevent a book his english class is reading from being banned from the local church. Its all being led by led by the reverned, whose also taking place of his father that died not too much before his best friend. The book deals with grief of a lost friend, a lost father, and growing up. Another reason why i liked this book a lot is because eddie's in crosscountry, and you can relate to him a lot at times. This book had me glued the whole time. i'd recommend this to anyone who likes to read...more
Despite the unenlightening name and rather innocuous looking cover, I was immediately hooked with this book. In the first chapter, 14-year-old Eddie Proffit's father and then his best friend, Billy Bartholomew, both die in unrelated freak accidents within a few weeks of each other. Eddie is the one to discover both of their bodies, and the shock and grief literally strike Eddie mute. However Billy's death doesn't stop him from narrating the entire book while his spirit decides to stick around Earth for a second time to check up on Eddie. With newfound omniscience, Billy gives the reader insights into Eddie's mind as well as his own thoughts and the thoughts of a few other characters. The next few chapters give the appearance that the rest of the book will be devoted to discussing grief, which it does to some extent. However, the book then takes a turn when Eddie's elective course, Really Modern Literature, starts discussing a controversial (and faux) novel, Warren Peece by none other than Chris Crutcher. The small town’s fundamental Christians get up in arms against the book, trying to have it pulled from the course curriculum along with other "obscene" books. Eddie, with some help from Billy's ghost, must decide whether to go with the flow or stand up for a challenged book. This book, while suffering from some writing style flaws, is an interesting look at the process of censorship and the motivations behind both sides of a censorship challenge.more
I'm taking a chance with The Sledding Hill. The story is narrated by Billy, a teenager who dies in the opening pages of the book. His spirit sticks around to keep an eye on his best friend Eddie who lost his father only a few months before Billy died in a freak accident. Eddie is not having an easy time of it. Even before Eddie's father and Billy died, Eddie had difficulties in school and a sometimes troubled relationship with his mother. Eddie's mother wants him to be baptised into the fundamentalist church she attends. Once his father dies, Eddie's mother starts bringing Rev. Tarter, who also teaches history at the high school Eddie attends, over for dinner on a regular basis. After Billy dies, Eddie decides to stop talking, his only defense against a world that has turned on him. Rev. Tarter respects Eddie's silence in class, but lets him know that he'll have to talk if he wants to be baptized. He first must tell his story to the assemble congregation. Trouble is, Eddie doesn't want to join the reverend's church. The reverened is actively trying to push religion in the high school where he teaches--trying to get his students to become vocal oppenents to evolution in science class and to force the school librarian to stop using a controversial book with the contemporary literature class she teaches. Eddie's not saying anything about any of this to anyone, except for Billy's father who still works at the high school as a custodian and to the ghost of Billy, whom Eddie is not quite sure he believes in. Adult readers, especially Chris Crutcher's readers, know by now that a show down is coming, that Eddie is going to make a big speech in front of Rev. Tarter's church. The Sledding Hill builds to its climax slowly but effectively, revealing more about the Rev. Tarter, the town the book is set in, and the students at Eddie's high school as events head to what must be one of the more interesting Sunday's any fundamentalist church has ever spent. Secrets are revealled; we find out that a minor character who attends Rev. Tarter's church comes out just before Eddie's final confrontation scene. However, Mr. Crutcher wrote The Sledding Hill specifically for middle school age readers, I'm told at the request of Middle School teachers and librarians, so the controversial subject matter is not on the same level as it is in his other books like Whale Talk or Ironman. Still, I'm taking a chance by adding it to my class book club library. Hope it's worth it.more
The story starts out about a boy who first finds his father dead, and less than 1 month (maybe 3) finds his best friend dead. They have both died by accident. Then the book segues into a rant about book burning, censorship, and fundamental Christians, with a bit of racism thrown in. One star for being an annoying political rant.more
I found it interesting how the story was narrated by a deceased character, but that made the story feel a bit complete before it even began. Billy mentions that he can go anywhere and understand people's thoughts, even going into their minds as if he can picture some past event that left a large impact on that person. It gives the reader the feeling that Billy already knows what's going to happen before it even happens, which makes the action a little less exciting. However, I liked how the characters responded to a realistic situation which contrasted well with the narration of deceased Billy. I also liked how Eddie evolved throughout the book and his silent resolution that was his secret weapon to not quite defeat Reverend Tarter, but humiliated him to no end.more
There's a lot going on in this book because Crutcher -- true to form -- hits on so many elements that will interest teens. There religious persecution, censorship, death, peer pressure, and school issues going on here. Not only that, but there's a life-after-death friendship that holds this whole book together. I especially liked the Chris Crutcher twist at the end; you'll have to read to find out what I mean by that!more
I didn't really enjoy this book. I thought it was kind of boring. I did not like how he mentioned himself alot of the time. I thought it was wierd how it was from the dead person's point of view. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless they are interested in a class like best sellers. It did not take long to read but it took a long time to get into.more
The Sledding Hill is not an ordinary book. It is a book which talks, without any diffidence, about the issues of the today world. Its main protagonist is Eddie Proffit, an over smart guy, who has to undergo two really hard strokes. In a time period of only three months, he loses his Dad and his best friend Billy Bartholomew to violent accidents. With these happenings his world changes immediately.The whole story is told by nobody else then ghost Billy who supports his friend Eddie also after his death. A support that is strongly needed. Eddie has to deal with Mr. Tartar, who is both a feared English teacher at school and the minister to a flock of Protestant fundamentalists at the Red Brick Church. Not an easy starting position for Eddie and a pretty hard thing to do, but he still has Billy’s help, even when in a very special form... We had to read The Sledding Hill for our Beyond Bestsellers class. First I wasn’t very motivated and the start truly confused me but the book became better and better and it has many intelligent thoughts and ideas included. It is one of the books, which make me feel, that I have learned something. Therefore: Yes, read it ;)more
This is not one of my personal favorites, but it is also written at a very elementary level for a reason. This is about a dead boy who follows his alive friend around to help him out in the world he's still alive in.more
This book had some parts that were really good but other parts were kinda weird. It thought it was weird of Chris Crutcher to put himself in the book.more
i did not like this book. i thought that it was super boring. i didn't find any part exciting until for the speech at the end. i would recommend this book, if someone wanted to read a really boring book.more
Eddie is dealt some hard blows - his dad and his best friend die within a month of each other, and he just kind of shuts down. Until he is assigned a fictional book by Chris Crutcher in an elective reading class he takes. The local religious community tries to get the book banned, and Eddie, along with the spiritual guidance of dead friend Billy B. LOVED the fact that Chris created a fictional book to write about and made himself a character in this story. Very amusing.more
I didn't like this book. It was too similar to Crutcher's other books while lacking their best features. I was bored by the characters, bored by their situations, and irritated the Crutcher wrote himself into the story. Overall this was a miss for me.more
My favorite Chris Crutcer book and I really like all of his books.more
amazing story of a small town's struggle to censor a book every kid is smuggling to read. a high school and community torn apart by religious fundamentalism, tragic deaths, and a boy who wants to find himself. postmodernism for young adults.more
Innocent, an angel living on Earth, and David, a sociopath whose urges have been reined in to only kill those who have been judged, break a swath through the city, killing those whose souls have been lost. The art changes with each numbered book included in this collection, giving some interesting takes on the characters. My favourite, for the dark humour and hint of background for David, is when the two go over to David's mom's house for supper, and the neighbour tries to kill them with a jar of poisoned cookies. :) "Interrogation" was twisty and turny, and "The sword" started off as a typical super hero fight, with all the overblown dialogue that entails, but ended on a more human note.Some of the stories seemed unrelated, I've gotten used to reading comics with over arching plots. This volume ends on an unresolved note (part 1 of ?) which will have me hunting down volume 2 to see what happens next, but I still feel annoyed, because part of why I like reading collected series is to avoid the cliff hangers. Overall, a decent start to a series, and I'm interested to see what happens next.more
A very interesting and thought provoking book about friendship, loss, grief, censorship and religion. The story line about a friendship that survives death and the descriptions of the afterlife vs. Earthtime are vey good, but the censorship and religion struggles felt like a rehash of the movie Footloose. I admire the message Chris Crutcher is trying to convey to kids, that no one can tell you what to think about the world around you, and that there is no place for intolerance in a just world. *** Spoiler ****I was surprised that the author wrote himself into the book, in fact the back half of the story is primarily about the banning of his books - it was interesting but distractingly manipulative.I think teens will connect with this story, expecially the friendship and personal growth aspects. I hope they read the supplements and realize why the author is so adamant in his support of the first Ammendment, and peruse the many resources he lists to become more informed.more
This book i feel is a wonderfully well written and insightful book of a misunderstood child.As soon as i started i couldn't put it down. It contains some of my favorit topics in it suchs as a misunderstood human, religous discrimation, and the fact people think anyone different should be changed till there exactly like them.more
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