Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks

These six powerful short stories chronicle bits of the lives of characters, major and minor, who have walked the rugged terrain of Chris Crutcher's earlier works. They also introduce some new and unforgettable personalities who may well be heard from again in future books. As with all Crutcher's work, these are stories about athletes, and yet they are not sport stories. They are tales of love and death, bigotry and heroism, of real people doing their best even when that best isn't very good. Crutcher's straightforward style and total honesty have earned him an admiring audience and made readers of many nonreaders.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061968341
List price: $9.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Athletic Shorts
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
The short story narrative, “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune” by Chris Crutcher, is about a teenager named Angus who is going through high school with many feats. He shares the same name as a cow, has same sex parents, and is overweight. The reader follows Angus as he tells how he has been nominated for Senior Winter Ball King. He is most nervous about his King and Queen dance with his long time crush Melissa Lefevre. Angus tells flashbacks he remembers of Melissa from when they were little, and says he has liked her ever since.I really enjoyed this short story. It tells of a high school student who has not been handed an easy life. However, he does not focus on the negative but instead tells much of what he likes about himself. Angus does not dwell in his misfortunes but appreciates the talents he holds. A major theme of this story is that everyone has their own struggles. He learns that while Melissa is beautiful, she too struggles in her own way. Angus owns up to his outward appearance but appreciates his high IQ and athletic ability. He is able to take his life as it is and find contentment.As a teacher I would use this short story in the following ways:•It would be great to teach the class about different issues that young people experience. I think it is definitely important to teach young adolescents that they are not alone in problems they face. By using this short story, students are able to learn this lesson through the character of Angus.•I think you could also have students write about one lesson they learned from the book and to find an encouraging phrase that they feel relates to this story and why. In my opinion, this would be an encouraging exercise. This short story has a great message that needs to be recognized. The short story “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune” would be great to use with young adolescents. It is very well written and an easy read that has a great message. The theme of this story is to remember that everyone faces battles and to appreciate yourself for who you are. These are both things that adolescents and adults alike need to be reminded of. It is a great life lesson.more
One short story from this book, "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune," is a story about a teenage boy struggling to move past the hurtful bullying he receives due to his size and his parents' homosexuality. His reactions to bullying usually consist of beating the bully's face in, but he now wants to fight it in another way. Angus wants to turn the bully's ironic choosing Angus to be the Winter King of their high school dance into a triumphant moment of smooth moves. But, he has other motivation for this, which comes in the form of his Queen-to-be for the dance, who also happens to be his crush.The main themes in this story revolve around bullying and overcoming differences, especially in a high school setting. The main character, Angus is picked on quite a bit in his school, and throughout the story he talks about how he goes about combating it, through this the story discussed much about what a teen has to do to get through and over bullying. The fact that Angus is bigger than most of his classmates is enough to make him a target for jokes, but he also has to deal with jokes about his parents being homosexual, which is certainly a lot for one teenager to handle.The theme of accepting your differences along with others' differences goes along with this; Angus has to learn to just accept who he is and who his parents are.This short story was enjoyable and relatable. Bullying is a common occurrence and something that almost every high school student experiences at some point in their high school life, which is what makes stories like this great. I enjoyed the fact that the main character did not try to change himself, but instead, took his grandfather's advice and just said "screw 'em." It was cheesy at parts, but that is most likely due to me being an adult and having read a lot of stories. For a teenage student, this story would probably hit home in some way and not seem cheesy at all. Overall, it is an encouraging story, that presents the idea that a teenager can just live life as who they are and find people who accept them for it. I would use this story in a middle school classroom.more
Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories by Chris Crutcher"A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune"Crutcher's fiction short story is told in the first-person narrative by the main character-Angus Bethune. Angus's life is rather different from most of his high school peers. Both of his biological parents became homosexual after he was conceived. Angus is an enormous football player with major insecurities. Angus is presented with a very rare opportunity - he is elected Senior Winter Ball king, and the queen just happens to be the girl of his dreams, Melissa Lefevre. Although there are several reasons that make this dream come true a real life horror story, Melissa's boyfriend, 'Golden Rick Sanford' rigs the vote, making the entire election a joke. Basically, Angus's already awkward life could come crashing down or maybe, just maybe might sky-rocket after this night is finished. Lucky for Angus, Melissa is a great lead dancer, and Angus is about seven times bigger than Rick. I suggest reading the story to find out if Angus really did get the girl - or not.Although I love this story and the issues it addresses, there are SO many controversial issues that this tiny story raises. Angus opens the short story with these words, "Sometimes, when I stand bak and take a good look, I think my parents are ambassadors from hell" (Crutcher 7). Although I know parent-teenager relationships are extremely tense, Angus takes his up a notch with this initial claim. Later, the reader finds out that the cause of this huge amount of half love, half resistance/hate is that all four of his parents/step parents are homosexual. Although this is relevant issue in today's world, it is also a very controversial one to teach in schools. While I believe that this is an issue that needs to be addressed because so many teens deal with a lesbian friend or relative - and often, it is hidden out of fear or embarrassment, it must be approached gingerly. On the other side, parents from a small-town conservative background grimace at the idea of same sex relationships and the affect of them on students. In order to teach this book without being efficiently fired, it would be imperative to discuss the pros and cons of why it would be good (or bad) to teach the book. This is not the only controversial subject that is mentioned in Angus's story. Another thing that are implied is teenage drinking (19). This is another huge issue in teenagers today. This short story easily connects with young adult readers and the issues they must deal with on a regular basis. I think Crutcher writes very similarly to many classic authors who broke the mold during their time and talked about the hard stuff. The rebel daughter that would have rather been single than trapped in a relationship with someone she did not love like Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's [Pride and Prejudice], the neighbor who wanted the married beauty like Gatsby in Fitzgerald's [The Great Gatsby] - all of these represent controversial issues, and although they may not seem as disputable in today's classroom, they represent the first rebel writers. I think Crutcher really steps up and deals with prominent issues that many authors shy away from. I think that this book should be taught because of the issues (although extremely controversial) that it raises, including:-the fact that homosexuality is something that students are faced with in today's schools.-the problem of teenage drinking, although it is downplayed in this story, it is present in schools today.-the peer pressure to conform, in this case, to have a beautiful girlfriend.The reasons that I think the book should not be read are the same reasons why it should be. I think the story is 100% awesome. I think the topics are very morally controversial but also relevant, and it would be very important to evaluate the background and values of the kids in my class before I teach it.more
"Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories" by Chris Crutcher contains a short story entitled “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune.” Crutcher’s short story is a realistic fiction about a high school senior named Angus Bethune. Throughout the story the author leads the reader to believe that Angus lives in California.If you have ever wanted to know what it feels like to be named after an animal, Angus will tell you it is not comforting. Angus is a “fat kid” as he refers to himself several times throughout the story, but he does not let that stop him from bragging about how good he is in football or at punching someone’s lights out. The only downfall is that football and fighting are the only things that Angus brags about in his tale. If Angus is not being picked on because of his size, he is at home dealing with his homosexual biological parents. Angus does not seem to have much going for him, but tonight he is going to be the king and his queen is the girl of his dreams, Melissa Lefevre. Angus and Melissa have been elected Senior Winter Ball King and Queen; there are only two problems: Angus does not know how to dance and Melissa is dating one of the guys that pick on Angus. So, the question is can Angus overcome his fear and be the king of the dance floor while winning over Melissa’s affection, or will he miss his chance?I really enjoyed reading this short story; I thought it was well-written, and it contains good subject matter. This short story is all about overcoming adversities such as bullying, being an overweight teen, and having homosexual parents. By using this short story in a classroom, teachers will be able to show the effects of what bullying can do to a person’s self-esteem. Angus’s story can show that no matter how bad life seems as long as you persevere you can overcome whatever is weighing you down. It is a shocking short, but it is one that many teens face in their everyday lives; maybe not the same sex relationships but definitely the bullying and damaging of their self-esteem. Crutcher’s short story also reminds me of Sherman Alexie’s book “The Absolutely True Dairy of a Part-Time Indian.” Both authors reflect on the hardships that “different” youth experience throughout their adolescent lives. I believe that the larger issue that these stories bring to surface is personal acceptance. One has to accept oneself before others will or because sometimes nobody will, whichever the case we are all different and that is what makes us unique.Teaching ideas-Anti-bullying-Personal acceptance-Anti-judgingI would read this story again, and I have already talked about the story to several people outside of the classroom which I read it. I believe that bullying needs to be an issue that is no longer overlooked in schools; I know we say that it is not overlooked but in all actuality it is. Bullying has gone past just picking on a kid in the classroom or hallways, now it is happening on the internet and by phone. After reading this story, I believe that more students/people will be aware of the lifelong affect bullying can have on someone’s life.more
This book contains the story "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune". Angus is an outcast. He always has been. People have learned that picking on him involves a risk--he admits to the reader that he is short-tempered, and has no scruples about punching the lights of anyone who dares to make fun of him. Despite his talent in sports (football) and apparent popularity (he has been elected Senior Winter Ball King), Angus still sees himself as a fat kid named after a type of cow, who has two sets of gay parents (his mother and father divorced and remarried same-sex partners). His insecurity is doubled by the fact that since he is the Senior Winter Ball King, he must dance a dance with the Senior Winter Ball Queen, Melissa Lefevre. Melissa is the most beautiful girl in school, the girl of Angus's dreams ("and only my dreams" he says). After being taunted by Melissa's date, Rick (a truly loathsome fellow), Angus dances with Melissa, and during their conversation she reveals to him that she has bulimia, an eating disorder. Angus realizes that he is not the only one who suffers from insecurity about himself, and realizes that even people whom the world see as beautiful are not satisfied with themselves. He ends up leaving the dance with Melissa, and backs down a jealous Rick before making his exit. He comes out of the experience with a better view of himself and realizes that there's no point in selling himself short just because he doesn't like the way he looks--because it's something that he can't change. It's who he is, and he can be proud of it.I love this story, mostly because the good guy actually gets the girl and the douchebag gets left out in the cold. For once.more
A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune is a short story by Chris Crutcher. The story is about a teenage boy named Angus Bethune. He is a high school student who deals with his weight issues and his parents being same sex couples. Though he speaks about these things as "not normal," his biggest problem is not knowing how to dance. In the story, Angus has won the crown of Senior Winter Ball King along side with his dream girl being the Senior Winter Ball Queen. Angus is more upset with embarrassing himself with Melissa Lefevre.Overall, this short story shows young adults how to be a strong individual, which is an extremely important attribute while growing up. There are so many kids in this world who believe they are living a "dysfunctional" life and have a "dysfunctional" family, and I think this book would bring them to the realization that everyone has the same thought.I really enjoyed this story and I really enjoyed the message that Chris Crutcher is trying to portray. This story shows Angus overcoming any sort of embarrassment he has towards his own life and it shows him growing into a young man. Chris Crutcher narrows down on issues like homosexuality, and I don't think many books or stories focus on how a teenager might deal with growing up in a world like that. I think many children are in a family like this and they could all use some sort of guidance on how to grow up and realize that their lives are okay. I think the book would be helpful to show students that you aren't the only one who has a different life and that it is possible to overcome any sort of obstacle that you think you might have. I would love to have this story in my classroom. I love the story and I love the way that it made me feel. I see this story making children feel sort of invincible to any obstacle. Overall, this story is fantastic and it brings forth some real life issues that I think young adults should be aware of. I know that if I can enjoy the story, that younger children might be able to do it as well. The only issue I could see with this story is that young adults might find humor in the issue that is dealt with. While the story was made to be humorous, they might make of the character a bit more than his enemies do in the story. You always have to deal with the kids that are a bit more playful. All in all, I see a moral in this story not to look at your life in such a negative way and to embrace yourself with all that you have.more
"A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune" is about a teenage boy who must overcome the issues of being overweight, living with parents who are same sex couples, and the ridicule that goes along with others who don't understand the environment he is raised in. Angus is involved in football and achieves good grades, but dealing with the jokes about his weight becomes too much at times. He has learned to walk away from the negativity, laugh with the bullies, and to throw punches when it becomes too hard to handle, but besides the support of his family members he has little friends to rely on. After a surprise win for the Winter Ball, his nerves are going crazy because he gets a few moments on the dance floor with his dream girl.This short story by Chris Crutcher, touches on the subjects of same sex marriage, teenage weight problems, and the bullying that happens when a person does not fit in with a certain group of people. This story can be used in a classroom to shine light on the difficulties of children, as well as adults, who have to deal with issues of bullying and the issues that they hide within themselves. Teachers should let their students know that bullying is never an option to express the way you feel about others and students need to know the dangers of bullying too. This story also lets students know the value of loving yourself no matter who you are or what your appearance may look like because even those who look like their lives are perfect in every way have flaws too. Let everyone know that they are accepted because no one ever knows what is going on underneath the perfect exterior.I believe that Chris Curtcher touches on real life situations that occur in our society. Issues of stereotypes, same sex relationships and the children who are raised in those households, and learning to love yourself for who you are when everyone else sees you as nothing but a joke. This short story is a good story for children of any age to read because they can visualize and understand the affects of bullying. Children would enjoy this story because they can relate to what is happening to Angus and make connections with it too. Compared to "The Ketchup Incident" by Shawn Penning, this is a happy story that ends the way that the reader hopes it does. "The Ketchup Incident" deals with bullying in a way that shows the consequences of pranks and the horrible outcomes that can come from it. "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune" is a great story for younger children, as well as older children, who are not ready for the graphic images that bullying can create, but older children should definitely pick up "The Ketchup Incident" and learn the harm that can come from "harmless" antics.Teaching connections-Have the students form literature circles and discuss the issues that are brought up in the story.-Have students write down connections that they made to the characters and if they have ever encountered the same issues as they did.I would read this story again. Like Crutcher, I believe that these issues need to be addressed and sometimes reading about others going through these problems makes others aware of the matter. This story deals with real subjects and issues that people live with and go through on a daily basis. While the reader gets Angus's point of view, the emotions and pain that he feels is felt by the audience too. He has had a lot to deal with growing up, in his home life and his school life. Angus wants to be a normal teenage boy. He sees the girl he wants to be with and knows that they flow in different circles and he is aware that he isn't the fit athletic guy that any girl wants to be with. The reader feels sorry for him, but by the end of the dance the reader can feel satisfied that it has gone the way it should. The way he has been treated previously by others, leads the audience to cheer for him and become happy with the confidence he finds on the dance floor.more
In "A Brief Moment in the LIfe of Angus Bethune, a boy named Angus relates his hesitancies and nervousness in being elected the King of the winter ball at his high school. In classic 80s movie fashion, the hot popular girl turns out to have a not so perfect and put together life. Before the dance, Angus deals with whether to go to the dance or not etc and decides to take his grandfather's advice to Angus about people who make fun of him and says "Screw em'" and goes to the dance anyways. For this particular short story it would be relevant to talk about eating disorders. Especially since it is something that is becoming more and more pervasive in our society. Another teaching point might be to talk about public humiliation and how that is a very prevalent theme in literature, including Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry when Lillian Jean humiliates Cassie. You could even do a comparison between the two situations. Another teaching point could be to have the students write an essay in response to the story that could tell when the student was maybe humiliated and if they could relate to how Angus felt during the story. I did enjoy this short story although I am not particularly a fan of cuss words. However I do think the words used in the story are mild enough to be used for classroom instructional purposes. I liked that his parents were homosexual as children with same-sex parents is also becoming more prevalent. This short story certainly opens a lot of avenues to teach about the consequences of bullying and how important it is to be accepting and loving. The whole eating disorder thing is also good because I think that is one thing that girls are particularly silent about despite its populairty and I think that self-image is a huge thing for students to begin to understand during the middle school and high school years.more
“A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune” is a short story about a young man who is a senior in high school. He is a very large man who equates his name with that of an appropriately named cow. Both sets of his parents are gay and that, along with his weight, makes him the source of a lot of ridicule in school. And then, for once in his life, he gets to have his moment. He is chosen for prom king and gets to dance with the prettiest girl in school, Melissa. There is only one problem, he cannot dance. Melissa, however, eases his worries by instructing him to just follow her movements. While dancing he learns that she is bulimic which, in his eyes, makes her a normal girl who is nothing to be afraid of. In the end, Melissa asks Angus to leave the dance with her after they share a few dances.One theme that seemed to present itself often in this book was insecurity. Both Angus and Melissa were insecure with their bodies. It did not matter that Angus was large and Melissa was small, they both had problems with that aspect about themselves. The story really teaches the reader that no one believes themselves to be perfect. Everyone has something that they do not like about themselves. Also, the story reveals that everyone should accept themselves for who they are, not who their parents are or what they look like. This book would be great for children around 6th grade to read because many of the issues appearing in the book are situations that most children around that age can relate to.I personally very much enjoyed the story about Angus Bethune. It was funny and entertaining, while at the same time, it conveyed the positive message that kids should accept who they are because, in the end, that is not really what matters. Even though Angus was not the most handsome guy in the school, he still got the girl in the end because she liked who he was on the inside. I would recommend this short story to most anyone, especially teenagers going through the same ordeals.more
This is a short story about a kid dealt a miserable hand, or so he thinks. He is overweight, unattractive, named "Angus" (like the cow), and his parents are both gay. He has four parents that love him though, and has always been told to stay true to himself. The night of the story is the night of his highschool's Winter Ball. He has been voted on court by what he can only assume is a big prank. He accepts, taking the advice of his grandfather, not wanting to draw any attention to himself. The queen is this popular girl he's been in love with forever. He's afraid to be alone with her on the dance floor. Not because he expects anything to happen, it's just that he can't dance and she's so perfect. What will he do?I think this story would be great to teach because of it's honesty. He comes out and tells you all of his problems. For me, at least, it made me open up and feel like this was a real character. I think children could become turned off by the typical, all-American boy heroes if they felt no connection. Angus, however is an outcast with anger, family, self-image and weight issues. His honesty could help some children deal with their problems, or see that they aren't as big as they think. I fear that the gay parents would be a problem in teaching this. Especially in the school district where I graduated. I just don't see parents or even the students being comfortable with such a work yet. Maybe by the time I am actually teaching though. I really did like the story. I felt for Angus and I was rooting for him by the end of it. I feel like the queen was very relatable too, not that I've ever had an eating disorder, but just the whole "having it together" projection. I love that she was comfortable around him and opened up. It would have killed me if she would have been rude to him during his special moment, even though it was what we all half expected, right?more
In A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune, which is a short story from Athletic Shorts, Angus Bethune talks about how different he is from the moment he was born. Angus Bethune was a big kid. Not only was he big, but his parents divorced from their heterosexual relationship to both become homosexuals. Anyways, so the real problem Angus has is that he is going to be crowned the King at the dance they are having and he is going to get to dance with the one girl he has had a crush on since he was younger. But, Angus does not know how to dance. When he gets to the dance the girl is there and her boyfriend is a jerk and treats her bad. Angus stands up to the boyfirend and goes and stands with the girl, Melissa. He finds out Melissa is bulemic and realizes she is not a goddess. He then dances with her at the dance.One connection that i could make to the class is not to bully people. We need to look at how the boyfriend treated Angus just because of his parents or because of how he looked. That is not right and students need to know that treating people badly based on their looks is wrong. Another connection can be the bulemia. this is an eating disorder and it is bad for their bodies. But I think I would tie it in with telling the students not to be ashamed of how they look. I absolutely loved this short story. I thought It was funny and very entertaining! I was not having a very good day and when I read this, I just smiled! I thought it was great that Angus stood up for his parents. I also thought it was great that Angus did not look at Melissa as a goddess anymore, because he knew that she once had problems as well. Overall this book was fantastic!more
Angus Bethune is a teenage boy, but not just any teenage boy. He is dealing with not only having the name of a cow, and being the butt of a lot of other kids jokes, but also having parents that are both in same sex marriages. Recently, Angus has been elected as the Winter Ball King. For one night he will get to share a dance with the girl of his dreams, Melissa Lefevre. Will he be the joke of the night? Or will he find out that he isn't the only one who feels less than perfect?All kids feel left out at some point in their life. Teaching this certain text would allow students to compare themselves to the story and make them feel better about themselves and realize that even the prettiest, most popular kids feel down sometimes. I also think a connection could be made between the story and the issue of bullying. This would give the teacher a chance to really point out the issues of bullying and how many people actually are bullied in school for things as simple as appearance.I loved this short story. I thought it was very easy to relate to in every way. It reminded me of when I was in high school and people like Angus and Melissa both got teased for different reasons. I definitely think this story should be shared with high school students, so they can see that there really are people out there dealing with things such as same sex parents and bullying.more
"A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune" is a story of a high school boy, Angus, who has a crazy, messed up life. From dealing with being an outcast because of his larger size to dealing with his weird parental situation, Angus has a lot to deal with. This short story describes his night of truimph at a school dance when he realized everyone is not as perfect as they seem.I do not think this story is fit for young children, but I think it is a good story for young teenagers in ninth or tenth grade. One way I could teach this is to show my students that just because someone looks different doesn't mean they are. They still need to be treated like everyone as human beings and as equals. I also could use this story as a lesson on drinking, and how it can harm yourself and the others around you.Overall, I liked this story. I thought it was witty, and that Angus was a great, relatable character. I think this story also many very good messages about treating others how you would want to be treated. However, I think this story had a few too many curse words to be read with younger children.more
A Brief Moment in the LIfe Of Angus BethuneAngus just cannot catch a break. From his weight to his parental issues to just his name in general, he is all messed up. But, truthfully, this makes his character that much more lovable. When Angus is named Senior Winter Ball King by his classmates, which he believes is a joke, he finally gets to spend time with his dream girl and he realizes that nobody is perfect.I am not sure I would teach this story to elementary students. There are a few language and themes in this story that may be too much for their ears, but I would definitely teach this to seventh and eighth graders. We could look at the issue of body image and being comfortable with oneself and realizing that no one is as perfect as you may think they are. With as much bullying going on in schools today, it is important to try to do whatever you can to limit it.I enjoyed reading Angus Bethune. I am sure adolescents would be able to relate to his situation. While I am not personally involved in his situation with his parent, I have two friends that are in similar situations, so that made his more human to me. I would love to see what happens after the dance with Angus and Melissa, I just want them to grow old together!more
The story that I read from this book is entitled “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune.” This short story by Chris Crutcher is about an over-weight teenager named Angus Bethune with a more than interesting home life. The story is narrated by Angus and gives a small insight into his life and his experiences growing up the way he has. Angus details how his grandpa has taught him to be himself without any reservations. He comes to a dilemma when he is voted the Winter Ball Kings (he thinks as a joke) and he gives his account as to how he deals with the situation. I feel that this would be a great test to read with an older literature class. One concern that I have with the story is how Angus deals with his anger and frustration early on by fighting. Another concern that I have would be the situation of his parents. I feel that some students and their parents might have reservations about reading a text at school with some of the themes in the book. Overall, I really liked this short story by Chris Crutcher. I liked how Angus was just himself. I also liked how he stood up for his family even though it’s much different than anything I can imagine. I loved how he dealt with the situation at the end and the ending of the story as a whole was really good!more
This story is about a boy named Angus who has a very untypical home life. HIs mom and dad divorced, and then they turned gay and lesbian. Angus is an overweight teenager and is often teased by kids at school. Although Angus is self-conscious, he has learned to stand up for himself and fight back. He is elected Christmas Ball King at his high school and gets to dance with the girl of his dreams, Melissa Lefevre. To his surprise, Melissa has a great time with Angus and wants to continue dancing with him.Three topics that would be good for discussion in this book include homosexuality, bullying, and bulemia. Many middle school and high school students struggle with all of these topics. These topics may not relate to someone personally, but almost every student knows a friends or family member that has been affected by those three topics. In today's society, more and more people are coming out about being gay and lesbian. Therefore, it is important for teachers to be knowledgeable about this topic, and for teachers to also allow students to express their feelings in a safe, classroom environment. Furthermore, bullying and eating disorders affect numerous people. During both middle and high school students are teased and even beat up for being overweight, smart, too thin, etc. Also, students feel so much pressure to look a certain way that many of them would go to any measure to carry on that persona. I feel that these topics would be great to read more about in other books. They are also great topics for class discussions because all three of them have such an impact on the lives of adolescents.I thoroughly enjoyed this short story because I could relate to it! I felt like this story was a very accurate description of the lives of many teenagers. I could really relate to Angus because I was teased some in elementary school. I didn't like school when I was younger. Therefore, seeing his struggles reminded me of my younger school days. Also, when Melissa Lefevre shared her secret with Angus, I felt that showed how everyone has problems and issues going on in his/her life. Some people may appear beautiful and have a "perfect life", but in reality, they are hurting and suffering like everyone else.more
"A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune" is about a high school senior named Angus. He is a self proclaimed "fat kid" with divorced parents who are now in same sex marriages. Angus has recently been elected as Senior winter Ball King at his high school and his queen is Melissa Lefervre, the "girl of his dreams." Angus is struggling with the idea of his dance with Melissa at the ball because he is a terrible dancer but he is looking forward to his short moment with her. Once at the dance, Melissa is suprisingly different than what Angus expects and their "moment" may last longer than he first thought. I think this story is best suited for high school juniors or seniors. I think any grade younger may have a hard time understanding some of the situations Angus is in and his sense of humor. I think this story would be fun to read for students and may introduce some students to same sex marriages/relationships and help them to have a better understanding of bullying and how it affects a person. I enjoyed reading this story. I thought Angus was hilarious and I laughed out loud quite a bit while reading it. I loved the description Angus gave of his dad and Alexander where he described their body differences as "It is as if minor gods were given exactly enough clay to make two human forms but divided it up in a remedial math class." (pg 16) Although Angus admits to having a short temper, I think he is a funny, smart guy who doesn't get enough credit. I was really happy with the ending and I think Melissa is smart for kicking Rick to the curb.more
One of the short stories is about a boy named Angus. Angus is overweight and both of his parents are remarried to homosexuals. He deals with a lot of ridicule. He is even named “King” at a school dance as a joke. The “Queen,” Melissa is the girl of his dreams. She seems perfect, but during their dance reveals that she is bulimic. In the other story, Junior was born with “water on the brain.” He undergoes life threatening surgery and survives. Because of his brain damage, his head is much larger than some and he also has seizures. He also deals with a lot of bullying, but has a best friend that will stand up for him.In both stories, the main character has a friend in the end. The friend is somebody that can understand or relate to the problems that he is facing. I would think that most young readers could connect with these stories. Not necessarily the same issues, but feeling as if he or she were “different.” It also shows how important it can be to have a friend. In my opinion, this book was average. I could have stopped reading it and not been interested in what happened next. I think these stories would be great for students in Junior High, especially the story about Angus. At this age, many students feel awkward and just need somebody to understand. I really appreciated Melissa being able to stand up to her “popular boyfriend” and be nice to Angus.more
In Chris Crutcher's short story, "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune," tells the story of Angus and the struggles he faces at home and school. Angus is an over-weight senior in high school, who feels he was cursed at birth when he was given the name "Angus." In addition to struggling to be over-weight, Angus has two sets of homosexual parents. At school he is constantly ridiculed for his stature and home life. However, Angus shares that he is also a smart student and strong athlete. Angus is finally accustomed to the life he is leading, when he gets elected Winter Ball King. He does not know how he got elected, but somehow the embarrassment will be worth it because he will get to share a dance with his long time crush, Melissa Lefevre. Only two obstacles stand in his way to making his dream of being with Melissa for a brief moment stand in his way: his temper and inability to dance.I think this is an attention grabbing text that presents many important themes for adolescent readers. A major theme is present at the end of the book where Melissa reveals her eating disorder to Angus. This reveals that everyone has problems. Often times, students think that the "pretty people" have life easier, and Melissa's confession proves that theory is false. People of all shapes and sizes have problems. Another important part of the text is the connection the reader makes to Angus. While not every student can relate to having two sets of homosexual parents, every student can relate to feeling awkward, uncomfortable, and insecure. Insecurities are a part of growing up, and any reader can relate to the feelings and struggles Angus has. I really enjoyed reading this short story. I feel that the characters were lovable and realistic. I loved the no-nonsense attitude Angus' grandfather had that gave him confidence to go through with the Winter Ball. I also extremely enjoyed the theme that everyone struggles with finding comfort in their own skin. I also really enjoyed Angus' character. I felt that although he had so much to overcome, he was a good person who stood up for his family and what he believed in. The characters are presented like real people with problems and insecurities. This presentation of the characters makes the story real and attractive to adolescent readers.more
The article “Angus Bethune” from the book Athletic Shorts is a quirky depiction of the struggles that come with being a teenager. Angus is the fat kid with the weird family and the weird name; however, along with these awkward traits, the reader discovers that Angus has many lovable qualities. Amidst these lovable qualities is Angus’s bravery which he makes good use of when he is named Winter Ball King and forced to share a dance with his long time crush, Melissa Lefevre. One problem – Angus can’t dance. This story will take you back to all of the awkwardness that makes high school unforgettable.I think this text is fun, relevant, and relatable for many adolescents. Although some of the situations, such as Angus’s family life, are extreme, young people can learn and mature from seeing Angus’s perspective on life. People can see that everyone from the funny guy to the popular girl have struggles. This text may give a newfound self-confidence to its readers. This passage may also encourage students to break away from their self-revolved thinking and consider the struggles that others may be facing. Ideally this article has the potential to show students their similarities and form a tight-knit community of adolescents.I adored the characters in this article and found them perfectly flawed as all teenagers are. Everyone can think back and remember those adolescent insecurities that haunted them. It is refreshing to see that quirky and weird aren’t bad things. They are normal. They are fun. This article renewed my insight on the lives of high school students.more
This short story (in a book of short stories) chronicles the hardships of a massively-physiqued high school boy with two sets of homosexual parents. Angus, though large, is athletic and intelligent, and uses wit to internally overcome the demeaning slurs he has been faced with his entire life. We meet Angus as he is preparing to accept his role as Winter Ball King, alongside Queen Melissa Lefevre, whom he has adored a lifetime. During preparations for the upcoming dance he must attempt with her, the narrative brings forth flashbacks that offer an understanding of Angus’ character and attributes. By the end of the story, Angus overcomes not only the dance, but also personal barriers that previously stunted his development of self appreciation. He learns no one is perfect, and that his positive qualities are more than enough to be an outstanding individual.Angus uses an extensive number of metaphors, similes, hyperboles, and allusions. Wit and irony are easily found in his humorous personal narrative. Students should be encouraged to pick out their favorite uses of figurative language. They could also act out, illustrate, or discuss as a class the best forms of figurative language used, giving opinion on which ones they liked best. Ask them why Angus’ character’s wit makes us like him more as a protagonist. Also, have them circle all allusions and references to culture they can find (even if they don’t particularly understand or know them). How does using these allusions help relate to their age group? Discussion and activities should also focus on the character development of Angus. How did he change over the story? Write personal journals on change, and use a venn-diagram to determine what is different about Angus from the beginning of the narrative to the end.In the beginning of Angus’ narrative, I was shocked by the entrance of parental homosexuality into Young Adult literature; however, the protagonist soon stole my heart as I discovered how he coped with such and uncontrollable aspect of his life. Admiration abounded for Angus as I realized how well he grasped his own “flaws” in life, though I ached with the knowledge that his self awareness was not yet complete enough to ultimately accept his self identity. Angus was a character I would truly want to be friends with; his witty language, hyperboles, and downright side-splitting usages of references and metaphors had me rolling the entire time. Angus was telling this story straight to my face. Though I initially was turned off by his parents’ choices, the way he handled his situations drove straight to my heart an urgency to thrust this story into the hands of every 15 year old in America. Well done, “Angus.” You conquered high school.more
The title of this book is funny because of its double meaning. The book contains six short stories about athletes, and sports are mentioned, but the stories are really about the people. I think young athletes would enjoy it because the stories are about people like them, and they could probably relate to the descriptions of the sports. This is a great book for anyone, because the stories are about the relationships between the main characters who are athletes and their families and friends.It was a good book for me to read, because I am not an athlete, but I think I am better able now to respect people who are athletes, because they have lives besides their sports. The characters have to learn how to be respected and to respect others who are different from them. I could relate in a way to the white kid who went to a school with mostly black kids. I was really touched by the last story about learning to be a friend to someone with AIDS. Some of the characters in the stories come from novels that Chris Crutcher had written, so when I have get a chance I want to read his other books now!more
I read this late last night so I don't know if I'll be able to remember all the stories.1. Angus Bethune (wrong spelling, but you get the idea) - only original story. I think I saw this movie with Kathy Bates - completely changed but the skeleton of this idea was there. Maybe best story of the book. Fat boy with 2 sets of gay parents wants his moment in the sun. He was elected King of the Winter Ball and gets to dance with his dream girl, Melissa Lefebvre. He knows it was a joke, supposed to humiliate him, but he takes his shot. Enjoys it and manages to turn the tables on the snot who tried to set him up.2. Pin - story of Johnny, the boy from Crazy Horse Electric Game who tells those awful puns. He wrestles his father in a coming of age story. Dad's controlling and dislikes most everything about his son, especially what he can't control. Great story about dads and sons. Won't tell you how it turns out, but good story.3. Pin again - Petey Shropshirire, sidekick to Johnny of the above, has to wrestle a girl. It's humiliating because if he loses he was beat by a girl, if he wins, he beat a girl. Lose, Lose situation. He meets the girl and together they work out a way that neither of them loses face.4. Lonnie Banks Running Loose story about befriending a young homosexual man dying of AIDS and how it affects his friendship with his best friend.5. Gone Fishin' (?) - story about the death of Lionel Serbousek's Stotan! family and redemption.6. tells the story of Jack (Telephone Man) from Crazy Horse Electric Game from his point of view. How he is taught racism by his father, but through going to OMLC - One More Last Chance for kids who can't make it at a regular high school - and being rescued by an African-American student from being beat up, he learns that he doesn't have to believe the same racist stuff his dad does.I liked these stories. I was glad to see some of the old characters back again and hear their stories. The Johnny and Petey stories were the weak link here. Otherwise I liked the book.more
With themes such as acceptance, forgiveness, and grief, Crutcher uses sports to tell six coming of age stories. Five of the six stories are based on characters from other Crutcher books. The sixth is a reprint from a short story collection. Angus, the butt of a cruel school joke, has the last laugh. Petey wrestles with a girl in more ways than one. John wrestles with living in the shadow of his father. Lionel trolls deep within himself to try to forgive a friend who caused the boating accident that killed his family. Jack, emotionally challenged, is thrust into the perils of racial prejudice by his father, a fencing instructor. Louie, a football player, tackles the prejudice surrounding aids as he becomes friends with a dying man.more
Read all 34 reviews

Reviews

The short story narrative, “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune” by Chris Crutcher, is about a teenager named Angus who is going through high school with many feats. He shares the same name as a cow, has same sex parents, and is overweight. The reader follows Angus as he tells how he has been nominated for Senior Winter Ball King. He is most nervous about his King and Queen dance with his long time crush Melissa Lefevre. Angus tells flashbacks he remembers of Melissa from when they were little, and says he has liked her ever since.I really enjoyed this short story. It tells of a high school student who has not been handed an easy life. However, he does not focus on the negative but instead tells much of what he likes about himself. Angus does not dwell in his misfortunes but appreciates the talents he holds. A major theme of this story is that everyone has their own struggles. He learns that while Melissa is beautiful, she too struggles in her own way. Angus owns up to his outward appearance but appreciates his high IQ and athletic ability. He is able to take his life as it is and find contentment.As a teacher I would use this short story in the following ways:•It would be great to teach the class about different issues that young people experience. I think it is definitely important to teach young adolescents that they are not alone in problems they face. By using this short story, students are able to learn this lesson through the character of Angus.•I think you could also have students write about one lesson they learned from the book and to find an encouraging phrase that they feel relates to this story and why. In my opinion, this would be an encouraging exercise. This short story has a great message that needs to be recognized. The short story “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune” would be great to use with young adolescents. It is very well written and an easy read that has a great message. The theme of this story is to remember that everyone faces battles and to appreciate yourself for who you are. These are both things that adolescents and adults alike need to be reminded of. It is a great life lesson.more
One short story from this book, "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune," is a story about a teenage boy struggling to move past the hurtful bullying he receives due to his size and his parents' homosexuality. His reactions to bullying usually consist of beating the bully's face in, but he now wants to fight it in another way. Angus wants to turn the bully's ironic choosing Angus to be the Winter King of their high school dance into a triumphant moment of smooth moves. But, he has other motivation for this, which comes in the form of his Queen-to-be for the dance, who also happens to be his crush.The main themes in this story revolve around bullying and overcoming differences, especially in a high school setting. The main character, Angus is picked on quite a bit in his school, and throughout the story he talks about how he goes about combating it, through this the story discussed much about what a teen has to do to get through and over bullying. The fact that Angus is bigger than most of his classmates is enough to make him a target for jokes, but he also has to deal with jokes about his parents being homosexual, which is certainly a lot for one teenager to handle.The theme of accepting your differences along with others' differences goes along with this; Angus has to learn to just accept who he is and who his parents are.This short story was enjoyable and relatable. Bullying is a common occurrence and something that almost every high school student experiences at some point in their high school life, which is what makes stories like this great. I enjoyed the fact that the main character did not try to change himself, but instead, took his grandfather's advice and just said "screw 'em." It was cheesy at parts, but that is most likely due to me being an adult and having read a lot of stories. For a teenage student, this story would probably hit home in some way and not seem cheesy at all. Overall, it is an encouraging story, that presents the idea that a teenager can just live life as who they are and find people who accept them for it. I would use this story in a middle school classroom.more
Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories by Chris Crutcher"A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune"Crutcher's fiction short story is told in the first-person narrative by the main character-Angus Bethune. Angus's life is rather different from most of his high school peers. Both of his biological parents became homosexual after he was conceived. Angus is an enormous football player with major insecurities. Angus is presented with a very rare opportunity - he is elected Senior Winter Ball king, and the queen just happens to be the girl of his dreams, Melissa Lefevre. Although there are several reasons that make this dream come true a real life horror story, Melissa's boyfriend, 'Golden Rick Sanford' rigs the vote, making the entire election a joke. Basically, Angus's already awkward life could come crashing down or maybe, just maybe might sky-rocket after this night is finished. Lucky for Angus, Melissa is a great lead dancer, and Angus is about seven times bigger than Rick. I suggest reading the story to find out if Angus really did get the girl - or not.Although I love this story and the issues it addresses, there are SO many controversial issues that this tiny story raises. Angus opens the short story with these words, "Sometimes, when I stand bak and take a good look, I think my parents are ambassadors from hell" (Crutcher 7). Although I know parent-teenager relationships are extremely tense, Angus takes his up a notch with this initial claim. Later, the reader finds out that the cause of this huge amount of half love, half resistance/hate is that all four of his parents/step parents are homosexual. Although this is relevant issue in today's world, it is also a very controversial one to teach in schools. While I believe that this is an issue that needs to be addressed because so many teens deal with a lesbian friend or relative - and often, it is hidden out of fear or embarrassment, it must be approached gingerly. On the other side, parents from a small-town conservative background grimace at the idea of same sex relationships and the affect of them on students. In order to teach this book without being efficiently fired, it would be imperative to discuss the pros and cons of why it would be good (or bad) to teach the book. This is not the only controversial subject that is mentioned in Angus's story. Another thing that are implied is teenage drinking (19). This is another huge issue in teenagers today. This short story easily connects with young adult readers and the issues they must deal with on a regular basis. I think Crutcher writes very similarly to many classic authors who broke the mold during their time and talked about the hard stuff. The rebel daughter that would have rather been single than trapped in a relationship with someone she did not love like Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's [Pride and Prejudice], the neighbor who wanted the married beauty like Gatsby in Fitzgerald's [The Great Gatsby] - all of these represent controversial issues, and although they may not seem as disputable in today's classroom, they represent the first rebel writers. I think Crutcher really steps up and deals with prominent issues that many authors shy away from. I think that this book should be taught because of the issues (although extremely controversial) that it raises, including:-the fact that homosexuality is something that students are faced with in today's schools.-the problem of teenage drinking, although it is downplayed in this story, it is present in schools today.-the peer pressure to conform, in this case, to have a beautiful girlfriend.The reasons that I think the book should not be read are the same reasons why it should be. I think the story is 100% awesome. I think the topics are very morally controversial but also relevant, and it would be very important to evaluate the background and values of the kids in my class before I teach it.more
"Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories" by Chris Crutcher contains a short story entitled “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune.” Crutcher’s short story is a realistic fiction about a high school senior named Angus Bethune. Throughout the story the author leads the reader to believe that Angus lives in California.If you have ever wanted to know what it feels like to be named after an animal, Angus will tell you it is not comforting. Angus is a “fat kid” as he refers to himself several times throughout the story, but he does not let that stop him from bragging about how good he is in football or at punching someone’s lights out. The only downfall is that football and fighting are the only things that Angus brags about in his tale. If Angus is not being picked on because of his size, he is at home dealing with his homosexual biological parents. Angus does not seem to have much going for him, but tonight he is going to be the king and his queen is the girl of his dreams, Melissa Lefevre. Angus and Melissa have been elected Senior Winter Ball King and Queen; there are only two problems: Angus does not know how to dance and Melissa is dating one of the guys that pick on Angus. So, the question is can Angus overcome his fear and be the king of the dance floor while winning over Melissa’s affection, or will he miss his chance?I really enjoyed reading this short story; I thought it was well-written, and it contains good subject matter. This short story is all about overcoming adversities such as bullying, being an overweight teen, and having homosexual parents. By using this short story in a classroom, teachers will be able to show the effects of what bullying can do to a person’s self-esteem. Angus’s story can show that no matter how bad life seems as long as you persevere you can overcome whatever is weighing you down. It is a shocking short, but it is one that many teens face in their everyday lives; maybe not the same sex relationships but definitely the bullying and damaging of their self-esteem. Crutcher’s short story also reminds me of Sherman Alexie’s book “The Absolutely True Dairy of a Part-Time Indian.” Both authors reflect on the hardships that “different” youth experience throughout their adolescent lives. I believe that the larger issue that these stories bring to surface is personal acceptance. One has to accept oneself before others will or because sometimes nobody will, whichever the case we are all different and that is what makes us unique.Teaching ideas-Anti-bullying-Personal acceptance-Anti-judgingI would read this story again, and I have already talked about the story to several people outside of the classroom which I read it. I believe that bullying needs to be an issue that is no longer overlooked in schools; I know we say that it is not overlooked but in all actuality it is. Bullying has gone past just picking on a kid in the classroom or hallways, now it is happening on the internet and by phone. After reading this story, I believe that more students/people will be aware of the lifelong affect bullying can have on someone’s life.more
This book contains the story "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune". Angus is an outcast. He always has been. People have learned that picking on him involves a risk--he admits to the reader that he is short-tempered, and has no scruples about punching the lights of anyone who dares to make fun of him. Despite his talent in sports (football) and apparent popularity (he has been elected Senior Winter Ball King), Angus still sees himself as a fat kid named after a type of cow, who has two sets of gay parents (his mother and father divorced and remarried same-sex partners). His insecurity is doubled by the fact that since he is the Senior Winter Ball King, he must dance a dance with the Senior Winter Ball Queen, Melissa Lefevre. Melissa is the most beautiful girl in school, the girl of Angus's dreams ("and only my dreams" he says). After being taunted by Melissa's date, Rick (a truly loathsome fellow), Angus dances with Melissa, and during their conversation she reveals to him that she has bulimia, an eating disorder. Angus realizes that he is not the only one who suffers from insecurity about himself, and realizes that even people whom the world see as beautiful are not satisfied with themselves. He ends up leaving the dance with Melissa, and backs down a jealous Rick before making his exit. He comes out of the experience with a better view of himself and realizes that there's no point in selling himself short just because he doesn't like the way he looks--because it's something that he can't change. It's who he is, and he can be proud of it.I love this story, mostly because the good guy actually gets the girl and the douchebag gets left out in the cold. For once.more
A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune is a short story by Chris Crutcher. The story is about a teenage boy named Angus Bethune. He is a high school student who deals with his weight issues and his parents being same sex couples. Though he speaks about these things as "not normal," his biggest problem is not knowing how to dance. In the story, Angus has won the crown of Senior Winter Ball King along side with his dream girl being the Senior Winter Ball Queen. Angus is more upset with embarrassing himself with Melissa Lefevre.Overall, this short story shows young adults how to be a strong individual, which is an extremely important attribute while growing up. There are so many kids in this world who believe they are living a "dysfunctional" life and have a "dysfunctional" family, and I think this book would bring them to the realization that everyone has the same thought.I really enjoyed this story and I really enjoyed the message that Chris Crutcher is trying to portray. This story shows Angus overcoming any sort of embarrassment he has towards his own life and it shows him growing into a young man. Chris Crutcher narrows down on issues like homosexuality, and I don't think many books or stories focus on how a teenager might deal with growing up in a world like that. I think many children are in a family like this and they could all use some sort of guidance on how to grow up and realize that their lives are okay. I think the book would be helpful to show students that you aren't the only one who has a different life and that it is possible to overcome any sort of obstacle that you think you might have. I would love to have this story in my classroom. I love the story and I love the way that it made me feel. I see this story making children feel sort of invincible to any obstacle. Overall, this story is fantastic and it brings forth some real life issues that I think young adults should be aware of. I know that if I can enjoy the story, that younger children might be able to do it as well. The only issue I could see with this story is that young adults might find humor in the issue that is dealt with. While the story was made to be humorous, they might make of the character a bit more than his enemies do in the story. You always have to deal with the kids that are a bit more playful. All in all, I see a moral in this story not to look at your life in such a negative way and to embrace yourself with all that you have.more
"A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune" is about a teenage boy who must overcome the issues of being overweight, living with parents who are same sex couples, and the ridicule that goes along with others who don't understand the environment he is raised in. Angus is involved in football and achieves good grades, but dealing with the jokes about his weight becomes too much at times. He has learned to walk away from the negativity, laugh with the bullies, and to throw punches when it becomes too hard to handle, but besides the support of his family members he has little friends to rely on. After a surprise win for the Winter Ball, his nerves are going crazy because he gets a few moments on the dance floor with his dream girl.This short story by Chris Crutcher, touches on the subjects of same sex marriage, teenage weight problems, and the bullying that happens when a person does not fit in with a certain group of people. This story can be used in a classroom to shine light on the difficulties of children, as well as adults, who have to deal with issues of bullying and the issues that they hide within themselves. Teachers should let their students know that bullying is never an option to express the way you feel about others and students need to know the dangers of bullying too. This story also lets students know the value of loving yourself no matter who you are or what your appearance may look like because even those who look like their lives are perfect in every way have flaws too. Let everyone know that they are accepted because no one ever knows what is going on underneath the perfect exterior.I believe that Chris Curtcher touches on real life situations that occur in our society. Issues of stereotypes, same sex relationships and the children who are raised in those households, and learning to love yourself for who you are when everyone else sees you as nothing but a joke. This short story is a good story for children of any age to read because they can visualize and understand the affects of bullying. Children would enjoy this story because they can relate to what is happening to Angus and make connections with it too. Compared to "The Ketchup Incident" by Shawn Penning, this is a happy story that ends the way that the reader hopes it does. "The Ketchup Incident" deals with bullying in a way that shows the consequences of pranks and the horrible outcomes that can come from it. "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune" is a great story for younger children, as well as older children, who are not ready for the graphic images that bullying can create, but older children should definitely pick up "The Ketchup Incident" and learn the harm that can come from "harmless" antics.Teaching connections-Have the students form literature circles and discuss the issues that are brought up in the story.-Have students write down connections that they made to the characters and if they have ever encountered the same issues as they did.I would read this story again. Like Crutcher, I believe that these issues need to be addressed and sometimes reading about others going through these problems makes others aware of the matter. This story deals with real subjects and issues that people live with and go through on a daily basis. While the reader gets Angus's point of view, the emotions and pain that he feels is felt by the audience too. He has had a lot to deal with growing up, in his home life and his school life. Angus wants to be a normal teenage boy. He sees the girl he wants to be with and knows that they flow in different circles and he is aware that he isn't the fit athletic guy that any girl wants to be with. The reader feels sorry for him, but by the end of the dance the reader can feel satisfied that it has gone the way it should. The way he has been treated previously by others, leads the audience to cheer for him and become happy with the confidence he finds on the dance floor.more
In "A Brief Moment in the LIfe of Angus Bethune, a boy named Angus relates his hesitancies and nervousness in being elected the King of the winter ball at his high school. In classic 80s movie fashion, the hot popular girl turns out to have a not so perfect and put together life. Before the dance, Angus deals with whether to go to the dance or not etc and decides to take his grandfather's advice to Angus about people who make fun of him and says "Screw em'" and goes to the dance anyways. For this particular short story it would be relevant to talk about eating disorders. Especially since it is something that is becoming more and more pervasive in our society. Another teaching point might be to talk about public humiliation and how that is a very prevalent theme in literature, including Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry when Lillian Jean humiliates Cassie. You could even do a comparison between the two situations. Another teaching point could be to have the students write an essay in response to the story that could tell when the student was maybe humiliated and if they could relate to how Angus felt during the story. I did enjoy this short story although I am not particularly a fan of cuss words. However I do think the words used in the story are mild enough to be used for classroom instructional purposes. I liked that his parents were homosexual as children with same-sex parents is also becoming more prevalent. This short story certainly opens a lot of avenues to teach about the consequences of bullying and how important it is to be accepting and loving. The whole eating disorder thing is also good because I think that is one thing that girls are particularly silent about despite its populairty and I think that self-image is a huge thing for students to begin to understand during the middle school and high school years.more
“A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune” is a short story about a young man who is a senior in high school. He is a very large man who equates his name with that of an appropriately named cow. Both sets of his parents are gay and that, along with his weight, makes him the source of a lot of ridicule in school. And then, for once in his life, he gets to have his moment. He is chosen for prom king and gets to dance with the prettiest girl in school, Melissa. There is only one problem, he cannot dance. Melissa, however, eases his worries by instructing him to just follow her movements. While dancing he learns that she is bulimic which, in his eyes, makes her a normal girl who is nothing to be afraid of. In the end, Melissa asks Angus to leave the dance with her after they share a few dances.One theme that seemed to present itself often in this book was insecurity. Both Angus and Melissa were insecure with their bodies. It did not matter that Angus was large and Melissa was small, they both had problems with that aspect about themselves. The story really teaches the reader that no one believes themselves to be perfect. Everyone has something that they do not like about themselves. Also, the story reveals that everyone should accept themselves for who they are, not who their parents are or what they look like. This book would be great for children around 6th grade to read because many of the issues appearing in the book are situations that most children around that age can relate to.I personally very much enjoyed the story about Angus Bethune. It was funny and entertaining, while at the same time, it conveyed the positive message that kids should accept who they are because, in the end, that is not really what matters. Even though Angus was not the most handsome guy in the school, he still got the girl in the end because she liked who he was on the inside. I would recommend this short story to most anyone, especially teenagers going through the same ordeals.more
This is a short story about a kid dealt a miserable hand, or so he thinks. He is overweight, unattractive, named "Angus" (like the cow), and his parents are both gay. He has four parents that love him though, and has always been told to stay true to himself. The night of the story is the night of his highschool's Winter Ball. He has been voted on court by what he can only assume is a big prank. He accepts, taking the advice of his grandfather, not wanting to draw any attention to himself. The queen is this popular girl he's been in love with forever. He's afraid to be alone with her on the dance floor. Not because he expects anything to happen, it's just that he can't dance and she's so perfect. What will he do?I think this story would be great to teach because of it's honesty. He comes out and tells you all of his problems. For me, at least, it made me open up and feel like this was a real character. I think children could become turned off by the typical, all-American boy heroes if they felt no connection. Angus, however is an outcast with anger, family, self-image and weight issues. His honesty could help some children deal with their problems, or see that they aren't as big as they think. I fear that the gay parents would be a problem in teaching this. Especially in the school district where I graduated. I just don't see parents or even the students being comfortable with such a work yet. Maybe by the time I am actually teaching though. I really did like the story. I felt for Angus and I was rooting for him by the end of it. I feel like the queen was very relatable too, not that I've ever had an eating disorder, but just the whole "having it together" projection. I love that she was comfortable around him and opened up. It would have killed me if she would have been rude to him during his special moment, even though it was what we all half expected, right?more
In A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune, which is a short story from Athletic Shorts, Angus Bethune talks about how different he is from the moment he was born. Angus Bethune was a big kid. Not only was he big, but his parents divorced from their heterosexual relationship to both become homosexuals. Anyways, so the real problem Angus has is that he is going to be crowned the King at the dance they are having and he is going to get to dance with the one girl he has had a crush on since he was younger. But, Angus does not know how to dance. When he gets to the dance the girl is there and her boyfriend is a jerk and treats her bad. Angus stands up to the boyfirend and goes and stands with the girl, Melissa. He finds out Melissa is bulemic and realizes she is not a goddess. He then dances with her at the dance.One connection that i could make to the class is not to bully people. We need to look at how the boyfriend treated Angus just because of his parents or because of how he looked. That is not right and students need to know that treating people badly based on their looks is wrong. Another connection can be the bulemia. this is an eating disorder and it is bad for their bodies. But I think I would tie it in with telling the students not to be ashamed of how they look. I absolutely loved this short story. I thought It was funny and very entertaining! I was not having a very good day and when I read this, I just smiled! I thought it was great that Angus stood up for his parents. I also thought it was great that Angus did not look at Melissa as a goddess anymore, because he knew that she once had problems as well. Overall this book was fantastic!more
Angus Bethune is a teenage boy, but not just any teenage boy. He is dealing with not only having the name of a cow, and being the butt of a lot of other kids jokes, but also having parents that are both in same sex marriages. Recently, Angus has been elected as the Winter Ball King. For one night he will get to share a dance with the girl of his dreams, Melissa Lefevre. Will he be the joke of the night? Or will he find out that he isn't the only one who feels less than perfect?All kids feel left out at some point in their life. Teaching this certain text would allow students to compare themselves to the story and make them feel better about themselves and realize that even the prettiest, most popular kids feel down sometimes. I also think a connection could be made between the story and the issue of bullying. This would give the teacher a chance to really point out the issues of bullying and how many people actually are bullied in school for things as simple as appearance.I loved this short story. I thought it was very easy to relate to in every way. It reminded me of when I was in high school and people like Angus and Melissa both got teased for different reasons. I definitely think this story should be shared with high school students, so they can see that there really are people out there dealing with things such as same sex parents and bullying.more
"A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune" is a story of a high school boy, Angus, who has a crazy, messed up life. From dealing with being an outcast because of his larger size to dealing with his weird parental situation, Angus has a lot to deal with. This short story describes his night of truimph at a school dance when he realized everyone is not as perfect as they seem.I do not think this story is fit for young children, but I think it is a good story for young teenagers in ninth or tenth grade. One way I could teach this is to show my students that just because someone looks different doesn't mean they are. They still need to be treated like everyone as human beings and as equals. I also could use this story as a lesson on drinking, and how it can harm yourself and the others around you.Overall, I liked this story. I thought it was witty, and that Angus was a great, relatable character. I think this story also many very good messages about treating others how you would want to be treated. However, I think this story had a few too many curse words to be read with younger children.more
A Brief Moment in the LIfe Of Angus BethuneAngus just cannot catch a break. From his weight to his parental issues to just his name in general, he is all messed up. But, truthfully, this makes his character that much more lovable. When Angus is named Senior Winter Ball King by his classmates, which he believes is a joke, he finally gets to spend time with his dream girl and he realizes that nobody is perfect.I am not sure I would teach this story to elementary students. There are a few language and themes in this story that may be too much for their ears, but I would definitely teach this to seventh and eighth graders. We could look at the issue of body image and being comfortable with oneself and realizing that no one is as perfect as you may think they are. With as much bullying going on in schools today, it is important to try to do whatever you can to limit it.I enjoyed reading Angus Bethune. I am sure adolescents would be able to relate to his situation. While I am not personally involved in his situation with his parent, I have two friends that are in similar situations, so that made his more human to me. I would love to see what happens after the dance with Angus and Melissa, I just want them to grow old together!more
The story that I read from this book is entitled “A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune.” This short story by Chris Crutcher is about an over-weight teenager named Angus Bethune with a more than interesting home life. The story is narrated by Angus and gives a small insight into his life and his experiences growing up the way he has. Angus details how his grandpa has taught him to be himself without any reservations. He comes to a dilemma when he is voted the Winter Ball Kings (he thinks as a joke) and he gives his account as to how he deals with the situation. I feel that this would be a great test to read with an older literature class. One concern that I have with the story is how Angus deals with his anger and frustration early on by fighting. Another concern that I have would be the situation of his parents. I feel that some students and their parents might have reservations about reading a text at school with some of the themes in the book. Overall, I really liked this short story by Chris Crutcher. I liked how Angus was just himself. I also liked how he stood up for his family even though it’s much different than anything I can imagine. I loved how he dealt with the situation at the end and the ending of the story as a whole was really good!more
This story is about a boy named Angus who has a very untypical home life. HIs mom and dad divorced, and then they turned gay and lesbian. Angus is an overweight teenager and is often teased by kids at school. Although Angus is self-conscious, he has learned to stand up for himself and fight back. He is elected Christmas Ball King at his high school and gets to dance with the girl of his dreams, Melissa Lefevre. To his surprise, Melissa has a great time with Angus and wants to continue dancing with him.Three topics that would be good for discussion in this book include homosexuality, bullying, and bulemia. Many middle school and high school students struggle with all of these topics. These topics may not relate to someone personally, but almost every student knows a friends or family member that has been affected by those three topics. In today's society, more and more people are coming out about being gay and lesbian. Therefore, it is important for teachers to be knowledgeable about this topic, and for teachers to also allow students to express their feelings in a safe, classroom environment. Furthermore, bullying and eating disorders affect numerous people. During both middle and high school students are teased and even beat up for being overweight, smart, too thin, etc. Also, students feel so much pressure to look a certain way that many of them would go to any measure to carry on that persona. I feel that these topics would be great to read more about in other books. They are also great topics for class discussions because all three of them have such an impact on the lives of adolescents.I thoroughly enjoyed this short story because I could relate to it! I felt like this story was a very accurate description of the lives of many teenagers. I could really relate to Angus because I was teased some in elementary school. I didn't like school when I was younger. Therefore, seeing his struggles reminded me of my younger school days. Also, when Melissa Lefevre shared her secret with Angus, I felt that showed how everyone has problems and issues going on in his/her life. Some people may appear beautiful and have a "perfect life", but in reality, they are hurting and suffering like everyone else.more
"A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune" is about a high school senior named Angus. He is a self proclaimed "fat kid" with divorced parents who are now in same sex marriages. Angus has recently been elected as Senior winter Ball King at his high school and his queen is Melissa Lefervre, the "girl of his dreams." Angus is struggling with the idea of his dance with Melissa at the ball because he is a terrible dancer but he is looking forward to his short moment with her. Once at the dance, Melissa is suprisingly different than what Angus expects and their "moment" may last longer than he first thought. I think this story is best suited for high school juniors or seniors. I think any grade younger may have a hard time understanding some of the situations Angus is in and his sense of humor. I think this story would be fun to read for students and may introduce some students to same sex marriages/relationships and help them to have a better understanding of bullying and how it affects a person. I enjoyed reading this story. I thought Angus was hilarious and I laughed out loud quite a bit while reading it. I loved the description Angus gave of his dad and Alexander where he described their body differences as "It is as if minor gods were given exactly enough clay to make two human forms but divided it up in a remedial math class." (pg 16) Although Angus admits to having a short temper, I think he is a funny, smart guy who doesn't get enough credit. I was really happy with the ending and I think Melissa is smart for kicking Rick to the curb.more
One of the short stories is about a boy named Angus. Angus is overweight and both of his parents are remarried to homosexuals. He deals with a lot of ridicule. He is even named “King” at a school dance as a joke. The “Queen,” Melissa is the girl of his dreams. She seems perfect, but during their dance reveals that she is bulimic. In the other story, Junior was born with “water on the brain.” He undergoes life threatening surgery and survives. Because of his brain damage, his head is much larger than some and he also has seizures. He also deals with a lot of bullying, but has a best friend that will stand up for him.In both stories, the main character has a friend in the end. The friend is somebody that can understand or relate to the problems that he is facing. I would think that most young readers could connect with these stories. Not necessarily the same issues, but feeling as if he or she were “different.” It also shows how important it can be to have a friend. In my opinion, this book was average. I could have stopped reading it and not been interested in what happened next. I think these stories would be great for students in Junior High, especially the story about Angus. At this age, many students feel awkward and just need somebody to understand. I really appreciated Melissa being able to stand up to her “popular boyfriend” and be nice to Angus.more
In Chris Crutcher's short story, "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune," tells the story of Angus and the struggles he faces at home and school. Angus is an over-weight senior in high school, who feels he was cursed at birth when he was given the name "Angus." In addition to struggling to be over-weight, Angus has two sets of homosexual parents. At school he is constantly ridiculed for his stature and home life. However, Angus shares that he is also a smart student and strong athlete. Angus is finally accustomed to the life he is leading, when he gets elected Winter Ball King. He does not know how he got elected, but somehow the embarrassment will be worth it because he will get to share a dance with his long time crush, Melissa Lefevre. Only two obstacles stand in his way to making his dream of being with Melissa for a brief moment stand in his way: his temper and inability to dance.I think this is an attention grabbing text that presents many important themes for adolescent readers. A major theme is present at the end of the book where Melissa reveals her eating disorder to Angus. This reveals that everyone has problems. Often times, students think that the "pretty people" have life easier, and Melissa's confession proves that theory is false. People of all shapes and sizes have problems. Another important part of the text is the connection the reader makes to Angus. While not every student can relate to having two sets of homosexual parents, every student can relate to feeling awkward, uncomfortable, and insecure. Insecurities are a part of growing up, and any reader can relate to the feelings and struggles Angus has. I really enjoyed reading this short story. I feel that the characters were lovable and realistic. I loved the no-nonsense attitude Angus' grandfather had that gave him confidence to go through with the Winter Ball. I also extremely enjoyed the theme that everyone struggles with finding comfort in their own skin. I also really enjoyed Angus' character. I felt that although he had so much to overcome, he was a good person who stood up for his family and what he believed in. The characters are presented like real people with problems and insecurities. This presentation of the characters makes the story real and attractive to adolescent readers.more
The article “Angus Bethune” from the book Athletic Shorts is a quirky depiction of the struggles that come with being a teenager. Angus is the fat kid with the weird family and the weird name; however, along with these awkward traits, the reader discovers that Angus has many lovable qualities. Amidst these lovable qualities is Angus’s bravery which he makes good use of when he is named Winter Ball King and forced to share a dance with his long time crush, Melissa Lefevre. One problem – Angus can’t dance. This story will take you back to all of the awkwardness that makes high school unforgettable.I think this text is fun, relevant, and relatable for many adolescents. Although some of the situations, such as Angus’s family life, are extreme, young people can learn and mature from seeing Angus’s perspective on life. People can see that everyone from the funny guy to the popular girl have struggles. This text may give a newfound self-confidence to its readers. This passage may also encourage students to break away from their self-revolved thinking and consider the struggles that others may be facing. Ideally this article has the potential to show students their similarities and form a tight-knit community of adolescents.I adored the characters in this article and found them perfectly flawed as all teenagers are. Everyone can think back and remember those adolescent insecurities that haunted them. It is refreshing to see that quirky and weird aren’t bad things. They are normal. They are fun. This article renewed my insight on the lives of high school students.more
This short story (in a book of short stories) chronicles the hardships of a massively-physiqued high school boy with two sets of homosexual parents. Angus, though large, is athletic and intelligent, and uses wit to internally overcome the demeaning slurs he has been faced with his entire life. We meet Angus as he is preparing to accept his role as Winter Ball King, alongside Queen Melissa Lefevre, whom he has adored a lifetime. During preparations for the upcoming dance he must attempt with her, the narrative brings forth flashbacks that offer an understanding of Angus’ character and attributes. By the end of the story, Angus overcomes not only the dance, but also personal barriers that previously stunted his development of self appreciation. He learns no one is perfect, and that his positive qualities are more than enough to be an outstanding individual.Angus uses an extensive number of metaphors, similes, hyperboles, and allusions. Wit and irony are easily found in his humorous personal narrative. Students should be encouraged to pick out their favorite uses of figurative language. They could also act out, illustrate, or discuss as a class the best forms of figurative language used, giving opinion on which ones they liked best. Ask them why Angus’ character’s wit makes us like him more as a protagonist. Also, have them circle all allusions and references to culture they can find (even if they don’t particularly understand or know them). How does using these allusions help relate to their age group? Discussion and activities should also focus on the character development of Angus. How did he change over the story? Write personal journals on change, and use a venn-diagram to determine what is different about Angus from the beginning of the narrative to the end.In the beginning of Angus’ narrative, I was shocked by the entrance of parental homosexuality into Young Adult literature; however, the protagonist soon stole my heart as I discovered how he coped with such and uncontrollable aspect of his life. Admiration abounded for Angus as I realized how well he grasped his own “flaws” in life, though I ached with the knowledge that his self awareness was not yet complete enough to ultimately accept his self identity. Angus was a character I would truly want to be friends with; his witty language, hyperboles, and downright side-splitting usages of references and metaphors had me rolling the entire time. Angus was telling this story straight to my face. Though I initially was turned off by his parents’ choices, the way he handled his situations drove straight to my heart an urgency to thrust this story into the hands of every 15 year old in America. Well done, “Angus.” You conquered high school.more
The title of this book is funny because of its double meaning. The book contains six short stories about athletes, and sports are mentioned, but the stories are really about the people. I think young athletes would enjoy it because the stories are about people like them, and they could probably relate to the descriptions of the sports. This is a great book for anyone, because the stories are about the relationships between the main characters who are athletes and their families and friends.It was a good book for me to read, because I am not an athlete, but I think I am better able now to respect people who are athletes, because they have lives besides their sports. The characters have to learn how to be respected and to respect others who are different from them. I could relate in a way to the white kid who went to a school with mostly black kids. I was really touched by the last story about learning to be a friend to someone with AIDS. Some of the characters in the stories come from novels that Chris Crutcher had written, so when I have get a chance I want to read his other books now!more
I read this late last night so I don't know if I'll be able to remember all the stories.1. Angus Bethune (wrong spelling, but you get the idea) - only original story. I think I saw this movie with Kathy Bates - completely changed but the skeleton of this idea was there. Maybe best story of the book. Fat boy with 2 sets of gay parents wants his moment in the sun. He was elected King of the Winter Ball and gets to dance with his dream girl, Melissa Lefebvre. He knows it was a joke, supposed to humiliate him, but he takes his shot. Enjoys it and manages to turn the tables on the snot who tried to set him up.2. Pin - story of Johnny, the boy from Crazy Horse Electric Game who tells those awful puns. He wrestles his father in a coming of age story. Dad's controlling and dislikes most everything about his son, especially what he can't control. Great story about dads and sons. Won't tell you how it turns out, but good story.3. Pin again - Petey Shropshirire, sidekick to Johnny of the above, has to wrestle a girl. It's humiliating because if he loses he was beat by a girl, if he wins, he beat a girl. Lose, Lose situation. He meets the girl and together they work out a way that neither of them loses face.4. Lonnie Banks Running Loose story about befriending a young homosexual man dying of AIDS and how it affects his friendship with his best friend.5. Gone Fishin' (?) - story about the death of Lionel Serbousek's Stotan! family and redemption.6. tells the story of Jack (Telephone Man) from Crazy Horse Electric Game from his point of view. How he is taught racism by his father, but through going to OMLC - One More Last Chance for kids who can't make it at a regular high school - and being rescued by an African-American student from being beat up, he learns that he doesn't have to believe the same racist stuff his dad does.I liked these stories. I was glad to see some of the old characters back again and hear their stories. The Johnny and Petey stories were the weak link here. Otherwise I liked the book.more
With themes such as acceptance, forgiveness, and grief, Crutcher uses sports to tell six coming of age stories. Five of the six stories are based on characters from other Crutcher books. The sixth is a reprint from a short story collection. Angus, the butt of a cruel school joke, has the last laugh. Petey wrestles with a girl in more ways than one. John wrestles with living in the shadow of his father. Lionel trolls deep within himself to try to forgive a friend who caused the boating accident that killed his family. Jack, emotionally challenged, is thrust into the perils of racial prejudice by his father, a fencing instructor. Louie, a football player, tackles the prejudice surrounding aids as he becomes friends with a dying man.more
Load more
scribd