Does your class usually include kids who are really into football at the start of the school year? Does it also usually include kids who think football is violent and a waste of time? In that case, you should definitely meet Crash and Penn.
Crash is a bullying middle school football star. Penn is an introverted transfer student. And another year of middle school is about to start. This is the situation in Jerry Spinelli’s novel, CRASH. It sounds like a sure recipe for disaster, but that’s what makes CRASH so fun to read, and perfect for the back-to-school season.
CRASH plays football and thinks Penn is the strangest kid he has ever met; Penn continues to do things in his own unconventional way. And somehow it all works out (just the way teachers hope it will with the mix of kids in each new year’s class).
Last fall I wrote a blog post about themes in CRASH. It includes questions about various themes in the story that could be used for reading responses or writing prompts. I also have this freebie, Crash Coogan’s Yearbook, in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, along with a novel study and an I Have . . . Who Has . . ? game for the novel. Check them out if you are thinking about teaching with this story.
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