May 10, 2007

Sliding Out of Control

Eddie Proffit is having one hell of a year, no mistake. First, his dad is killed in a freak accident at work. Eddie's ...seriously messed up by this, blown out of the water -- but at least he has his best friend, Billy Bartholomew, to lean on.

Then Billy, kicks a load of sheet rock leaning against a wall, and it falls on him... and breaks his neck.

Billy's pretty upset about this. He knows a second after he kicks that sheet rock that it was stupid, and now he's pretty dead, and his death is freaking Eddie out - to the point where he's just... stopped... speaking.

Eddie's Mom is going all weird and hanging out a lot at church, spouting the pastor, and having him sit at the head of the table, in Dad's old chair... And then there's the matter of the preacher. He's sure that Eddie would feel just a lot better if he admitted he's a sinner, and that God just had to let all these things happen in his life, just to get his attention...

Enter a top-rate English teacher who encourages her students to read a controversial book by Chris Crutcher... enter a book-banning incident, a riled up school board, and hundreds of students reading on the sly in the janitor's office, and you've got one hell of a school year going on.

But having a ghost on your side makes a lot of things work out better than you might have thought.

Completely engaging, thought-provoking, sad and funny, it's another fully packed -- and how! -- winner of a novel from the real Chris Crutcher, who briefly parts the curtain between fact and fiction and inserts himself into the storyline. The Sledding Hill will get your really thinking about intellectual freedom, and what it means to be really free to be yourself.

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