Crash Coogan is a big jock. As long as he can remember, he has crashed through life, running over anyone or anything that stands in his way. So when the geeky pacifist kid Penn Webb moves onto his block, Crash immediately ridicules everything about him-including his friendship. Now a burly seventh grader, Crash scores spectacular touchdowns in each football game while Penn becomes a cheerleader. Crash saves money to buy the coolest pair of sneakers in the mall while Penn pickets a construction site to protest all shopping malls. How can Crash bully Penn when he seems oblivious to the derision and pranks Crash heaps on him? Jerry Spinelli has written more than 15 books for young readers. He won a Newbery Medal, and has played sports all his life. Skillfully, he brings us into Crash's world and lets us see through the eyes of a young bully struggling to develop ways of dealing with life other than brute force.
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by Jerry Spinelli
by Randy Powell
by Jean Craighead George
by Gary Paulsen
by Megan Whalen Turner
by Jackie French Koller
by S.E. Hinton
by Paul Zindel
by Barbara Brooks Wallace
by Mark Haddon
"John "Crash" Coogan doesn't know what to make of his new dorky neighbor, Penn Webb. Penn doesn't have a television or toys, and he wears secondhand clothes and doesn't eat meat. Years later in junior high, Crash still struggles to understand why Penn is so much happier than he, the football star with the best clothes. Jeff Woodman does a credible job making Crash and Penn sound completely different. You can hear the differences in their lifestyles, priorities, and even their coping mechanisms. Woodman also makes Crash, a bully with his own insecurities, a character whom listeners can sympathize with. By making the both main characters realistic, distinct, and likable, Woodman's narration keeps the story thoughtful without being moralizing. J.M.S. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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