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One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
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A group of misfits brought together by T.J. Jones (the J is redundant) to find their places in a school that has no place for them, the Cutter All Night Mermen struggle to carve out their own turf. T. J. is convinced that a varsity letter jacket -- unattainable for most, exclusive, revered, the symbol (as far as T.J. is concerned) of all that is screwed up at Cutter High -- will be an effective carving tool. He's right. He's also wrong.
Still, it's always the quest that counts. And the bus on which the Mermen travel to swim meets -- piloted by Icko, the permanent resident of All Night Fitness -- soon becomes the cocoon inside which they gradually allow themselves to talk, to fit, to bloom.
Chris Crutcher is in top form with a cast of characters -- adults, children, and teenagers -- fighting for dignity in a world where tragedy and comedy dance side by side, where a moment's inattention can bring lifelong heartache, and where true acceptance is the only prescription for what ails us.
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