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Running Loose

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,355 Ratings  ·  321 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
23rd out of 250 books — 334 voters
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8th out of 12 books — 20 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mar 05, 2015 BRANDON SCHEER rated it liked it
This was a pretty good book, although it was not my favorite book. I thought it was fairly relatable. I haven’t had anyone die that was very hard to cope with because they were all when I was younger, but it can give you ideas on how to deal with it when it does happen.

In this book there is a senior in high school who has a fairly rough past. He had done things he wishes he didn’t and that he regrets. He is in all the sports but isn’t a star in them. His favorite sport is football. In the begin
Josh B
Nov 11, 2015 Josh B rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 18, 2014 Anthony rated it it was amazing
“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
William Young
Mar 13, 2015 William Young rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Louis Knecht
Oct 29, 2014 Louis Knecht rated it it was amazing
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
Joe Schalkowski
Mar 13, 2014 Joe Schalkowski rated it really liked it
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
Feb 13, 2009 Dale rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Corey Schmidt
Dec 04, 2013 Corey Schmidt rated it really liked it
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
Jan 13, 2014 Carl Koch rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 16, 2013 Logan Erdmann rated it it was amazing
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
Colin Bernoteit
Feb 02, 2016 Colin Bernoteit rated it it was amazing
Chris Crutcher’s purpose in writing Running Loose is to entertain. The purpose is to entertain because it is a fictional feel good sports story a highschool boy named Louie overcoming an ugly departure from football and experiencing a tragedy. This story is told in a first-person point of view. Running Loose is first-person because the main character, Louie, is the narrator and uses first-person pronouns like “I” or “me”, instead of third-person pronouns like “him” or “he”. An example of this is ...more
Dec 09, 2015 Cammie rated it did not like it
I had completely expected to love Running Loose because I had heard it was amazing from various people. I don’t think it was only my Young Adult Literature professor who so strongly recommended this book to me, but all the same, I really did feel like this book wasn’t particularly well-written. The events and characters seemed contrived and unrealistic. I did enjoy the overall story in which Louie Banks witnesses what is essentially the racially motivated attempted murder of a star
Apr 15, 2015 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
p.79 The thing I hate about life, so far, is that nothing's ever clear. Every time you got things figured out, somebody throws in a another kink.
p.189 I learned a lot this year, in spite of the fact that I was going to school.

Mr. Crutcher's first novel touches upon many of the hallmarks that make his work worth your time. The story is full of humor and wit, sports, and the confusion of being an adolescent. Within the story the main character, Louie, must come to terms with a shady football coach
Bariza Kennedy Sunday
Apr 12, 2015 Bariza Kennedy Sunday rated it it was amazing
If you lost everything you care about, how would you keep going? In Chris Crutcher’s book Running Loose, Louie has lost a lot but keeps on persevering through it and working hard to fulfill his dream of playing pro football. This book takes place in Idaho at the college Louie and his friends play football at. Louie is a nice guy who plays football. His best friend is Carter who is the quarterback of the team. Carter and Louie work together in football and in everyday life. Louie’s girlfriend is ...more
Dec 10, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: english-420

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
Dec 09, 2014 Annalee rated it really liked it
Shelves: eng-420
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
Oct 08, 2014 Nicole rated it it was ok
Shelves: engl-420

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
Yes Yessenheimer
Jun 08, 2014 Yes Yessenheimer rated it really liked it
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
Devyn C
Dec 10, 2015 Devyn C rated it really liked it
Running loose by Chris Crutcher was an amazing book with twists and turns around every corner. Chris Crutcher kept on my toes all throughout the book throw different emotions every which way. First it was love, then it was fear, and then it was sorrow. Running loose by Chris Crutcher would definitely be in my top 5 football books of all time. There was not one point in the book where I wanted to stop reading it! Every second of everyday my eyes were glued to the outstanding words of Chris Crutch ...more
Catherine Busalacchi
Crutcher’s Running Loose captivated me with its ongoing story and never wanting to put the book down.
The theme of this book would be intimacy between friends. The life lesson that this book illustrates is that hard work always pays off in the end. The author had a lot of style because he seemed to make the book come alive and you could relate to it. I liked the book’s writing style because it kept me on my toes and there was never a time I seemed uninterested. Louie Banks is the main character
Oct 11, 2014 Kelly rated it liked it

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
Alyssa Grenfell
Dec 08, 2015 Alyssa Grenfell rated it really liked it
Shelves: engl-420
This is an excellent book about a young man making tough decisions. In this book, the protagonist Louie seems to have everything going for him. He has a pretty girlfriend, he is one of the star football players, but soon everything changes as he goes through experiences with racism, sexuality, and eventually the death of his girlfriend in a car accident. Though this book may seem like a stereotypical sports book for boys, it actually contains a complex plot with many important themes and issues. ...more
Kayli Jorgensen
Oct 12, 2015 Kayli Jorgensen rated it liked it
Shelves: eng-420

This book had more substance than most other sports books put together, and I enjoyed it. It follows Louie, a high school senior in a small town in Idaho who is finally a starter on the football team. However, the first few chapters contain the most sports action in the entire book as the main conflict occurs when Louie quits the team in protest of his coach's racism. The rest of the book follows Louie's attempts to stand up for his moral beliefs in the face of persecution from his coach
Mar 20, 2014 Devery rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-novels
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
Dec 10, 2014 Dallas Hadley rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-420
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
Apr 22, 2015 Justin rated it it was ok
This book is about Louis and his what started out as the best year of his life. He has the hottest girl in school, his best friend is the team quarterback, he has a starting spot on the football team, and has great parents what else do you need... to keep it that way. It was the best year of his life till it all fell apart. What dose he do now?

This is a very good book to read, but in all it was not one of my favorites because it has a lot of unnecessary swearing and profanity in it for my stand
Brandon Morgan
I recently read Running Loose by Chris Crutcher the setting takes place when he gets a starting position on the football team. the Main characters are Louie,Becky, and Ricky. I choose this book because i’m interested in sports and I thought the book was appealing to me.
The summary of the book is based Louie getting a starting position on the football and everything is going good for him and then a lot of bad things start happening to him. The best part about the book is when he makes the footbal
Kayla Morgan
Dec 09, 2015 Kayla Morgan rated it really liked it
Shelves: engl-420
**spoiler alert**

This book is about Louie, a football player. Louie and his friend were at tryouts when he got beat by a really fast guy named Boomer. However, he still made running back. The coach of the team thinks that it would be a good idea to take out the other team's best player so that they can win. Louie does not support this idea and quits the team. His girlfriend, Becky, then died in an accident. Louie, understandably, lost it. However, in the end he ends up joining the track team and
May 06, 2016 Marin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I originally thought I would not like this book but upon reading it, it changed my perspective. This book is about a young man facing hard decisions in his senior year of high school. It is set in a rural town in Idaho and so it hit a bit close to home. It reminded me a lot of my dad and the era he grew up in.
This book would be great to teach from because it hits on hard teenage issues but at the same time doesn't overstep the bounds of the maturity level of the readers. I think that it would i
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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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