1. Bibliography: Crutcher, Chris (2003). King of the mild frontier: an ill-advised autobiography.
2. Genre and Awards:
In his autobiography, Chris Crutcher reveals how he came to be a banned book writer. His stories about growing up in a small town are so funny, yet tender. He tackles tough subjects like religion and death with a tenderness and vulnerability that make this one great book!
Of course, the main character is Chris Crutcher. However, his older brother is integral in the more funny moments of his awkward adolescence. His parents and his grandfather also make important contributions to the creation of a banned book writer.
Through often hilarious, yet touching vignettes about his journey growing from a five-year old boy to a fifty (something) year old man, Chris Crutcher reveals how he became the man he is today. He reveals a lot about how he is inspired to write his books, and what he thinks the meaning of life is.
6. Needs of adolescents:
Many adolescent boys would connect to an acne-prone, masturbating, sort of in the middle of the popularity scene, boy. Chris reveals some of the more embarrassing parts of his adolescence that most kids will connect with. He is honest about both being bullied and being a bully himself. He talks about religion honestly and openly. He also reveals painful things about his own family, that lead back to his main question, “…why do bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. It came from my inner editor, that part of me that forces the wordy writer in me to dump ninety percent of all modifiers: Ask both questions again, minus the adjectives. ‘Why do things happen to people?’ Just because” (Crutcher 166-167). Chris Crutcher’s book will connect with adolescents who love his book, and who maybe don’t like it so well. They can understand his writing process, and (especially in
This book would be an excellent read aloud book for a junior high or high school classes, with some possible editing needed. It would also be great for individual readers and small group discussions. It could lead to thinking about creating autobiographies, and sharing funny stories. It could also lead to important discussions about censorship, and why or why not Chris Crutcher should or should not be banned, and what censorship means.8. Appropriate
King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography would be great for junior high or high school students, and their parents.
9. Personal Reactions:
This book had me laughing out loud! I could identify with many of his escapades as ones from my family. His real look at religion was refreshing and honest. Chris Crutcher’s voice is honest and revealing. While I was reading, I was thinking about how a classroom in a small school would react to some of the chapters, and how much they would enjoy this book! One review I read about this book called it the best adolescent lit book for adults if they only knew about it. I think parents and kids would really enjoy this together. I highly recommend it!