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3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,218 Ratings  ·  211 Reviews
Bo has been at war with his father for as long as he can remember. The rage he feels gives him the energy as a triathlete to press his body to the limit, but it also translates into angry outbursts toward his teachers.

Now dangerously close to expulsion from school, Bo has been assigned to Anger Management sessions with the school "truants." With an eclectic mix of hard-edg
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 5th 2004 by Greenwillow Books (first published April 14th 1995)
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Whale Talk by Chris CrutcherStaying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris CrutcherDeadline by Chris CrutcherIronman by Chris CrutcherChinese Handcuffs by Chris Crutcher
Chris Crutcher Novels
4th out of 12 books — 20 voters
Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer IacopelliCatching Jordan by Miranda KenneallyDairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert MurdockThe Off Season by Catherine Gilbert MurdockFront and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
YA Sport Novels
43rd out of 242 books — 319 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 14, 2007 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a dysfunctional family
Thanks to a professor in an adolescent lit class, I first picked up this marvelous book. Being a consummate couch potato, the sports that permeate Crutcher's novels was initially a turn-off. However, once I read this book, I was hooked. Chris Crutcher has a background in psychology and his depiction of kids in crisis is always insightful and often heartbreaking. He is a master of the problem novel.

Beau Brewster is a 17 year old boy who gets into a power struggle with a teacher who is very much l
Dec 13, 2014 Bethany rated it it was amazing
Ironman was a great book!

This book was quirky and humorous, especially Bo's letters to Larry King. I had been confused at first by the switching of first person to third person, but after I had gotten used to it, it had been very enjoyable! Though I am particularly not that much into sports, I found it quite interesting about Bo Brewster entering to be in a triathlon. His training sounds brutal, and I know that I'd never be in a thing quite like that! Bo's determination and motivation is pure an
Jun 20, 2013 Jackie rated it it was amazing
The narrator is an angry kid with an angry father. His nemesis is his English teacher and football coach, Mr. Redmond. He calls him an a-hole and is forced to attend anger management classes where he meets a girl he really respects. The others in the group become his crew, the leader his mentor, along with his swim coach. It's an inspiring story about family, loyalty, hard work, and integrity. There aren't any easy answers, and I think those are the best kinds of books. I cried at the end, and I ...more
In yet another sports centered novel of young men training toward a goal, Crutcher explores the often dysfunctional relationships between fathers and sons.

This novel is a good read on several levels. It's the story of an outstanding young man coming to terms with his anger. It's about gaining some perspective about what causes some bullies to behave as they do and it suggests some means of coping with the thousand little shocks that flesh is heir to.

I enjoyed seeing characters from other Crutc
Jared Lindley
May 11, 2011 Jared Lindley rated it it was amazing
I pretty much thought this was a great book, I could really relate to it. I could relate to this novel because it has to do with anger in school, and anger towards adults that dont respect you... Now I know the saying "Respect your elders" but it would be hard when you are getting picked on by this older person Mr. Redmond, who is Bo Brewsters teacher (Bo is the main character in this story too), and football coach. Redmond was picking on Bo because Bo decided he did not want to play football an ...more
Katie Letterman
Mar 14, 2015 Katie Letterman rated it liked it
Shelves: teachable-reads
Read for Teaching Middle School English.

Look, I'm not saying this is a literary masterpiece, but I do think it's a good story and has a lot of good messages. It's super angst-y, but in w more masculine fashion.

I like the way this book handles some rough subjects, even if the dialogue is, at times, reaching and a little bit terrible.

This would be a wonderful book to recommend to a boy (or girl) who "doesn't like to read."

I'm about to put this on my Teachable Reads shelf, but yeah, probably wou
Jacob Lehman
Sep 30, 2011 Jacob Lehman rated it liked it
I rated the book three stars because I really thought it was a little slow. There were some boring parts where not much happend and I do not like that in a book because it is not fun for me to read. I also didn't like the ending of the book as I thought it was kind of left unclear. I did think that the book had some good themes about life. Like to never give up and keep trying and things like that. I'm not sure if I would read a book by the same author. I think it would depend on the general plo ...more
May 05, 2010 Winddancer rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
WOW. I don't know which I like better: Ironman or “Staying Fat.” I do know that I want to get my hands on every Chris Crutcher book ever written. Crutcher has a talent for writing honestly and often alarmingly accurately about the nature of human behavior. This book easily was one of my favorites, right up there with Speak, Ender's Game, and The Giver. I could relate to Bo as he was training; I used to swim and run, and I have two Siberians that take me and my husband for a walk daily. The one p ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Cherylann rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fav-authors
Chris Crutcher never disappoints. While I'm not a fan of books about sports, I am a fan of Crutcher. Sports become the backdrop for his novels, which are character driven more than anything else. Ironman focuses on the Bo Brewster, a high school senior, training for the Yukon Jack triathlon. The novel begins when Bo is sentenced to an anger management class. The novel explores Bo's explosive relationship with the his father, which is set against the triathlon. While some references are now dated ...more
Naomi Yaddof
Jun 24, 2015 Naomi Yaddof rated it really liked it
“Ironman” tells the story of a Bo, a teenager encumbered with anger issues stemming from his relationship with his unforgiving control freak father. Bo’s rage establishes a grudge filled relationship with Mr. Redmond, the football coach that kicked him off of the football team and reminds Bo of his father. Having reached the breaking point, Bo calls Mr. Redmond an inappropriate name and has to choose between suspension and the anger management classes. Bo chooses the anger management program. Th ...more
Amir Mapp
May 26, 2015 Amir Mapp rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Krista Stevens
May 01, 2015 Krista Stevens rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, boys, sports
Although this book was in 1995 (many outdated cultural references today's kids would never have heard of such as Larry King, Patty Duke, Jeffrey Dahmer, American Gladiators, etc.), this is still a great book for kids who have anger management issues, hate school, find school the best part of their day because of what's waiting them from home, play sports, or are bullied or bully. It's edgy and it's gritty and it's real, so be sure to read it before assigning it. Some sexual references. Strong an ...more
Nick C
Mar 28, 2014 Nick C rated it really liked it
This was a very good book to read it really caught my attenion. its was about a teen named Bo that grew up in high school which had anger problems. he never got along with anybody and was left alone. he would get into fights and trobule he thought it was cool. He rides his bike considering himself him self "bad" because hes moving fast away from everyone and taking another adventure. Bo is bi-polar also emotional that thinks hes ok on his own when clearly he needs help thats why hes in a anger m ...more
Logan Knight
Sep 25, 2015 Logan Knight rated it liked it

Originally I thought the Iron Man, by Chris Crutcher, was going to be about running, and teamwork, but I gave the book a try, by the second chapter I was hooked.

The main character is , Beau Brewster. Beau is only 17, he falls into many issues, one of them being his dad which is controlling, and never willing to listen to his son. He also has issues in school with one of his teachers that is very similar to his father. Beau is very competitive and tends to get into fights. Which a lot of childre
Austin Hill
May 06, 2011 Austin Hill rated it liked it
i thought it was alright, i would recommend it to book worms. maybe even for runners because it is very interesting for long distance runners. bo at first sounded boring but the book later progressed to be a decent book. the only reason i didnt like it was because i hate reading and it was long.

Alainee Calo
Aug 06, 2015 Alainee Calo rated it really liked it
Ironman is a young adult novel about Bo Brewster, a teenager with anger issues stemming from his negative relationship with his father, Lucas Brewster. Lucas and Bo engage in a power struggle throughout the book, fighting for control, dominance, and power over each other. Bo channels his anger to push himself to become an "Ironman," but he struggles to control his temper when confronted by authority figures, such as his teacher Redmond, who seeks to motivate him through humiliation in front of h ...more
Kelsey O'Brien
May 31, 2014 Kelsey O'Brien rated it liked it
Bo is an athlete who is very driven when it comes to sports. Unfortunately he also has a temper and after lashing out at a teacher he has been suspended for the third time. He is given a choice: home schooling with Ms. Conroy or taking an ager management class. He opts for the anger management class and must attend regularly with the other trouble makers of the school.

To channel his rage, Bo decides to particpate in an Ironman competition: swimming, bicycling and running. The story is told throu
I think I'm in love with Chris Crutcher! He writes YA books, that explain to me about those kids who grow up with a disfunctional family. I hope his work will give me the empathy I need when working with middle school kids this school year.
Aug 04, 2015 Jordyn rated it liked it
It's a pretty quick read, kind of interesting. I think it's a good teaching book. it covers a lot of issues that many kids may be dealing with and ought to be discussed.
May 01, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
Crutcher nails it again! His understanding of young adults struggling with the things that happen to them while they are growing up shines through. Boreguard Brewster, Bo, is caught in a power struggle w/ his dad & his a**hole English teacher/ex-footbal coach. Reprimanded to Anger Management group therapy, Bo meets Shelly, a very buff babe he's noticed at workouts. Bo is training for a triathlon and Shelly wants to be a lady Gladiator. The Anger Management group become Bo's Stoton (stoic/spa ...more
Blake Pope
Nov 09, 2014 Blake Pope rated it liked it
Shelves: books-9-16
Ironman was a pretty okay book. I didn't hate it, but the story is rather cookie cutter. For being a Young Adult novel there is a rather large influence that parents and teachers play. I gave the book three stars because I love how it was written. Half of the time, the main character is writing a detailed record of his training to Larry King and the rest of the time it is narrated.


This book does contain some PG-13 language. There are numerous examples of violence throughout the book. Th
Jan 22, 2016 Charles rated it it was amazing
I liked the book IRONMAN by Chris Crutcher. I liked this book because I like books that have intense chapters in them. This book has an intense first chapter. The main character does something wrong and gets in trouble, but it doesn't say what he did until the close of the book. Brewer is the main character. He is the one who is getting in trouble all the time. The plot is that he is a wild and crazy kid and needs help. I like the part were his dad tells him to be good at practice. Then like a h ...more
Nick Meyer
Apr 14, 2014 Nick Meyer rated it liked it
I gave this book a 3/5 stars because it had an alright story line but i did not like the main character. I did not like BO because it seemed liked he was seeking attention and if he did not get it he seemed to go home and get mad about it. Also thought it was a good part when his dad and him argued because it taught both of them to see the other side of there story and try to understand each other by the end of the book.I thought the anger management was good for BO because he learned important ...more
Mar 28, 2014 Laith rated it really liked it
I think this book was a really good book because it had different aspects in the book that can be and are used in real life situations. I found this book inspiring and motivating and any one who is interested in sports or athletics should definitely read this book because it has some sports in it like swimming, cycling and running. i would recommend this book for people who range in age from 10 and above. So yes, i liked this book and i would for sure recommend it to other people because its sim ...more
Alex C.
Nov 18, 2009 Alex C. rated it really liked it
The book Ironman offers a wide variety of excitement and suspense. Chris Cutcher, author of Ironman is a gripping novel that talks about a kid named Bo who longs to be a gladiator with his super strong girlfriend, Shelly. Ironman is a thrilling novel that explains real life situations and explains the hardships that life can bring. Bo has troubles at times controlling his anger, and gets himself put into Mr. Nak’s anger management group. This is where our story begins.
Bo goes to the same schoo
May 13, 2011 Seth rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Austin Reynolds
May 04, 2011 Austin Reynolds rated it it was amazing
Well, over the last couple weeks we have been reading the book Ironman, by Chris Crutcher. By looking at my star rating, you could guess that I loved this book. The book implemented conflict, trust, courage, and a bit of athletic struggle to be the best you can be. All of these parts make this book great.
It starts out as Bo Brewster writing to Larry King, famed talkshow host, letting Larry know that he is an up and coming athlete who is going to be famous for he Ironman completions. Later on h
Devin Clabough
May 10, 2011 Devin Clabough rated it it was amazing
i liked it but it was just some of the things that he went through that made me on the edge of linking what he would do to get into trouble. His dad wanted him to open and shut the door quietly 23 times and he refused so the consequences that he got was he would come home and go straight to his room without any question or words about it. Bo's dad made him miss christmas becuase he had to stay in his room. he maybe stayed in his room for months.
other than the bad things he learned alot from go
Robyn Kerr
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jimmy Blundell
May 20, 2011 Jimmy Blundell rated it liked it
I recently finished reading the book "Ironman", and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The book started off pretty slow and I almost wanted to put it down within the first few chapters, but about a third of the way through, it picked up the pace, and I ended up feeling glad that I stuck with it.
This book took place in a Spokane, Washington, and is about a boy named Bo Brewster. Bo Brewster is a troubled youth, often having problems with his father at home, and then his English teacher at school. Both l
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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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“Then hearing Elvis today made me think I didn't have a lot to bitch about, but when I said that to Mr. Nak after group, he said, "Don't get to thinkin' just because some other guy's sinkin' in horse manure, the stuff up around your neck is chocolate puddin'. A wound is a wound, young Brewster. Remember that. Don't diminish the pain of your own just because you see some other gut-shot cowboy bleedin' to death.” 7 likes
“See, Mr. Nak'll be talking about how anger comes creeping up, hoping you're not paying attention so it can trick you into something really embarrassing or degrading, and before you know it he's got you thinking about your life, or worse, talking about it. He keeps asking what seem like harmless questions, and it almost seems safe to answer them. Next thing you know you're ready to say something you thought you'd never tell anybody.” 3 likes
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