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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 Sep 22, 2009
ISBN: 9780061968495
List price: $8.99
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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.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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 ;)read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
 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 read more
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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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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 ;)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
 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
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
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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.
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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.
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