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Running Loose

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,132 ratings  ·  286 reviews
Louie Banks has it made.He's got a starting spot on the football team, good friends, and a smart, beautiful girlfriend who loves him as much as he loves her.

Early in the fall, he sees all his ideas of fair play go up in smoke; by spring, what he cares about most has been destroyed. How can Louie keep going when he's lost everything?
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1983)
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YA Sport Novels
33rd out of 193 books — 274 voters
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8th out of 12 books — 19 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,744)
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Anthony
“Running Loose” by Chris Crutcher the story starts out about a football player, Louis. After the first game of the season he really liked this girl named Becky. Half why through the season the team still had not lost a game. But they still had a tough game ahead of them against Salmon River High School. Coach Lednecky told the team they had to injure the quarterback because that was the only way to win the game. Louis’s team’s fullback took a cheap shot at the quarterback that injured him. Louis ...more
Blake
Sep 30, 2014 Blake added it

“Running Loose,” by Chris Crutcher is about a high school senior football player named Louis. Louis attended Trout High School and had been working super hard all summer for his senior football season. After the first football game, he had his eye on Becky, who was the prettiest girl in the school. She asked him out on a date and he felt as if he was in a dream. A few games into the season, the team was undefeated and still had to face the toughest team of the season. The Salmon River High Schoo
...more
Louis Knecht
I thought that this book was extremely interesting and relateable. There were a lot of very interesting things that happened to the main character Louie. I think that the author did a terrific job on the whole story line of the book. It was a great book to read. I like how the author makes the book seem so real.

There were a lot of interesting events that happened in the plot. The main character Louie worked very hard all summer to make a starting position on the football team. When football sta
...more
Joe Schalkowski
I read the book “Running Loose” by Chris Crutcher. The book was very good and had a well laid out plot and storyline. The main character, Louis, basically had his senior year at Trout High School made until he makes a drastic decision that ends it all. Louis trained all summer to be able to start on the varsity football team. After the first game, he gets asked out on a date by the prettiest girl in his class, Becky. One of the teams in their conference was Salmon River. They had a new quarterba ...more
Dale
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Corey Schmidt
I read the book “Running Loose” by Chris Crutcher. It’s about a high schooler named Louis and what he goes through during his senior year. It starts out with Louis and his best friend Carter preparing for the upcoming football season. Halfway through the season Becky asks him on a date and they become a couple. Everything changes though when they play Salmon River and their new Quarterback, Washington. Halfway through the game Louis’s coach orders them to take out Washington on purpose. One of L ...more
Carl Koch
I read the book "Running Loose" by Chris Crutcher. I thought that the book was very well written because it always kept you interested. When the book starts, the main character Louie has it all together. He is on the football team, has a hot girlfriend, and everything is going smooth. It all starts to change though when he quits the football team because his coach tells him to hurt one of the black kids. Then to make it all worse, his girlfriend dies in a tragic accident. The author makes a poin ...more
Logan Erdmann
I absolutely loved this book. I would recommend it to high schoolers, escpecially those interested in sports. Louie is a high school senior that made it his goal to start on the football team in the fall. He reaches his goal and even gets the prettiest girl in high school to go out with him. Louie can't help but feel good about all that he has going for him. Then it all comes crashing down on him, and Louie must decide how to deal with his new found problems. Overall this book was great and show ...more
Jessica
CATEGORY: REQUIRED

Running Loose is a coming-of-age story about Louie Banks. Starting his senior year of high school, Louie has a spot on the varsity football team, a popular girlfriend, and a good job. However, when Louie’s coach makes a racist remark against another team’s star player, Louie feels he cannot continue to play football. Throughout the school year, huge events change Louie’s life and force him to learn how to keep going. One interesting aspect of the novel is Louie’s relationship w
...more
Annalee
REQUIRED
In the beginning of Running Loose, Louis Banks is starting his senior year. After working all summer, he got starting position on his high school football game. Louis has been interested in Becky, a pretty and smart girl at his school. He begins dating her, and for a little while life is perfect. Then, the football team goes up against the biggest rivals and the team was instructed to injure and take down their quarterback, an african american. Louis ends up quitting the football team du
...more
Nicole
REQUIRED READING

Chris Crutcher did a fantastic job with the book. He gave voice to a 17 year old boy--he nailed it. Louie Banks is a football player who becomes outraged when his coach preaches bad play on an african american boy. Louie eventually chooses to leave the football team to stand up for what he believes to be right. This incident ruins his high school career. He claims that his life would have been over if it wasn't for a group of people who constantly stood by him: his parents, his f
...more
Yes Yessenheimer
Running Loose, by Chris Crutcher, is a novel dealing with themes of death, loss, and maturity. The main character, high school senior Louie Banks, basically had it all: a starting spot on the varsity football team, good friends, and a girlfriend, Becky, who loved him as much as he loved her. However, his life essentially falls apart once he quits the football team after an act of unsportsmanlike conduct that the coach supported and Becky dies in a car accident. With the help of his friends and f ...more
Kelly
Category: REQUIRED AUTHOR

Overall, I liked this book but I wasn't completely sold. First of all, the voice of the protagonist sounded a LOT younger than a senior in high school. When I first started reading this, I thought it was about a middle school high school team... until it explicitly said that it wasn't. It was an interesting read, and I liked the issues that it addressed-- racism, loss, administration dynamics. Louie Banks is on the football team and has worked really hard but ultimately
...more
Amy
Running Loose is a novel about a teenage boy named Louis. Louis makes it onto the football team and gets the perfect girlfriend, Becky. However, everything soon goes up in smoke. When he sees some unfairness and racism in his first game, he tries to fight against it and quits the team. His coach and principal fight against him trying to make his way back onto the team. Louis's girlfriend is also then killed in a car accident. The rest of the story follows Louis as he tries to put his life back t ...more
Devery
First of all, the cover is deceiving--it's really not about football so much as it is about coming of age. Something I found really interesting, however, were the gender stereotypes that were broken in this novel, and I'm not sure whether Crutcher did this on purpose or not. For example, in Louie's relationship with Becky, she makes the first move, she asks him out, she pays, he's the one that shares his feelings, she's the one that tries to seduce him, she's the confident one...and then here is ...more
Dallas Hadley
Category: REQUIRED

In this sports novel by Chris Crutcher, we follow a high-school athlete in his Senior year named Louie. Everything seems to be going well for Louie: He’s made the football team and has an awesome girlfriend. When his coach orders his team to injure a black athlete on the opposing team. Louie takes a stand and quits the team. His girlfriend dies and Louie is forced to try to negotiate the challenge of his life almost falling apart. He later joins the track team and works to ove
...more
Hayley Direda
CATEGORY: REQUIRED READING

This one follows the life of a young aspiring football player attending a high school in Idaho. He seems to have the world, at least an adolescent version of the world, at his fingertips. He is dating a cheerleader who is in love with him, he has a starting spot on the team, he's intelligent, and he has amazing friends; but when disaster strikes in a series of terrible events, Louie is forced to make some difficult decisions that not only impact his future, but mold his
...more
Shawnee Smith
Running Loose is the story of Louie Banks, a football player in a small town. It begins with what Louie believes to be the ideal life: he's in top shape thanks to the support of his friend Carter, he's got a girlfriend admired by most of the school body, and of course he's on the football team. Eventually, Louie is forced to make difficult decisions mainly between morality and the respect of the town's general population. It isn't made any easier with a fellow football player, Boomer, who is set ...more
Katie
REQUIRED

At first, Louie's life and what appears to be a sports novel is almost too good to be true. He's a senior starting on the football team and a cute girlfriend, what more could he want? After his football coach asks players to severely injure a black player on the opposing team during a close game, Louie walks off the field and the trouble in his life begins. Running Loose is a novel about his self-discovery, something that becomes even more important after his girlfriend, Becky, dies in a
...more
Eden
Louie plays football. He doesn't think he is the best player, but works hard. He has a wonderful girlfriend and things are going alright.

But when Louie stands up for what he thinks is wrong, his football career is over. And if that wasn't enough, what he loves the most is taken from him.

I'm not really into sports and so I don't really read books about sports, except for a few. But this book isn't just about sports, it's just not about being a teenager, or even just about standing against discrim
...more
Jace
REQUIRED TEXT

Louie Banks lives in a small town where everyone knows each other. The story begins with Louie being on the football team, having great parents, and a perfect girlfriend. However, his near perfect live begin to unravel when he stands up for an African-American football player from another school who was purposely injured by one of Louie's teammate. While I came into this novel believing that it was solely a "sports novel," it explored many different concepts and the trials that Loui
...more
Allanah
CATEGORY: REQUIRED

Running Loose is about a teenage boy who has everything, a girlfriend and a spot on the football team that will hopefully get him a scholarship for college. And while everything is going great, one other football team is challenging their undefeated status. In order to win, their coach encourages them to injure the other team's star player. Louis tries to argue with his coach but is thrown onto the field anyway. His other teammates go ahead and injure the star player and Louis
...more
Taylor Payne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Madison
REQUIRED
Louie Banks is from a small town in Idaho where football is a big deal, especially back in the 1980s. During his senior year, he finally gets to start on the team and he trained all summer to be really good. The Monday before one of their games, their coach tells them that there is a black kid on the other team and to "take him out" so they can keep their winning season. Boomer, an bully jock on the team, pulls a dirty play and no one calls a foul. Louie quits the team because he feels t
...more
Becky Tucker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margo
Genre: Sports Literature/Death of a friend

When Louie decides to try out for the football team he works harder than anyone else over the summer to be the best. Suddenly his life is going somewhere and he gets the girl of his dreams, Becky. Eveything is wonderful until Becky is killed in a car crash. Louie is incapable of expressing his devastation and his violent actions get him kicked off the football team. The track coach takes him under his wing and helps him get his life back together through
...more
Johanna
***REQUIRED***
This books follows a high school boy who navigates the challenges of going to high school in a small Idaho town. The boy, Louie, deals with two main challenges: standing up against racism and coping with the death of a loved one. Louie finds peace and wisdom by drawing on his mentors (his bar tending boss, his parents, and his running coach) and running his heart out.

This book would be appropriate for seventh and eighth graders. Students older than tenth grade might find the writin
...more
Ofa Fotu
This book is really good. It has a lot of realistic teenage voice. it has themes of ...taking a stand...love...remembering...healing...forgiveness...giving your all (having a lot of heart. It follows the senior high school year of your more or less average kid in highschool in - in a rural town in Idaho. The main character is likable and does stupid things in the nature that kids will do (who am I fooling...that I STILL do...) and it is just a really fun, heartfelt read. I think it would apply w ...more
Allie Randall
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristen
Nov 20, 2009 Kristen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teens 16 and up, as well as adults
Genre/Category: Sports/Coming of Age

I never thought I could be so affected by a sports novel! In fact, I don’t think I have ever read a book about sports in which I even became attached to the characters—unless you count the quidditch games in Harry Potter. It wasn’t until I had read several chapters that I realized it, but Running Loose drew me in so deeply that it was hard for me to get myself back into reality each time I had to stop reading.

The story is about Louie, a high school senior in
...more
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Chris Crutcher's writing is controversial, and has been frequently challenged and even banned by individuals who want to censor his books by removing them from libraries and classrooms. Running Loose and Athletic Shorts were on the ALA's top 100 list of most frequently challenged books for 1990-2000. His books generally feature teens coping with serious problems, including abusive parents, racial ...more
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