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4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,484 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
It's the last swimming season for Walker, Nortie, Lion, and Jeff, and their coach is building their self-discipline in a grueling four-hour-a-day test of stamina designed to bring them to the outer edge of their capabilities.

As it turns out, Stotan Week is also the week in which secrets are revealed, and the four friends must draw upon their new strengths for an enduranc

Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 1986)
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Caleb Newkirk
Mar 21, 2014 Caleb Newkirk rated it really liked it
This was a fantastic book. It had everything I was looking for in a book. It threw in a good amount of romance and comedy to balance out the book. Besides the little romance the book was serious and focused on the drive of people. The whole idea of the book is to push yourself so far you almost zone out and can push your body to places it has never been. This book doesn’t just help you learn to push yourself to those limits while working out but in life in general it could help you fight through ...more
Mar 20, 2015 BRANDON SCHEER rated it really liked it
This was a great book. I liked it because it was mature and realistic. It had events that aren’t just happy and ending happy. Some ended bad or not how you expected it.

The plot of this book was about four boys on a swim team. The coach of the swim team, Max, was a master of karate and jiu jitsu. He also was very wise. A Stotan was a cross between a Stoic and a Spartan. A Stoic was a person who can deal with pain or hardship without showing feelings or complaining. A Spartan was an ancient Greek
Corey Schmidt
I read the book “Stotan!” by Chris Crutcher. I thought it was a very good book. It was well written and had a very good message in it. It also went through many other things that teens go through such as friendships and love. It was a very moving book about four guys on a swim team that trained their hardest to win events and eventually try and go to state. Their swim coach, Max, invites them to do a Stotan week to test their abilities. The book takes a turn for the worst when Jeff finds out he ...more
Carl Koch
Oct 25, 2013 Carl Koch rated it really liked it
I read the book “Stotan!” by Chris Crutcher. I thought that the book was very well written and had a fantastic plot. Four best friends try their hardest to go to state, but learn valuable life lessons along the way. They learn this lesson because as the boys get closer to state, Jeff develops a rare blood disease that keeps him from competing at the state swim meet. The book had an inspirational message that was made clear near the end of the book in a drastic turn of events. The message is to l ...more
Louis Knecht
Jan 09, 2015 Louis Knecht rated it really liked it
I thought that the book “Stotan!” was very good. I like how the author had so many things happen to the main character, Walker. I thought that was very interesting. Overall, I think it was a well thought out good book.

In the plot a lot of events happened. Walker was a very good swimmer and on the swim team. The swim team had a week in Christmas vacation called Stotan week. In that week the team went through a lot of very hard workouts that pushed them as far as they could go. They survived and w
Jul 07, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
I wasn't quite ready to leave Chris Crutcher's books when I finished Whale Talk. So I picked this one up. It's an earlier book, and it also features a swim team. I didn't like it as well, but then, a book I didn't like as well by Chris Crutcher is usually better than by a lot of other YA authors. This one started out a little slow, and at first I thought it was going to be a bit too simplistic, but it wasn't. I really loved the relationship between the four boys who populate this book, and if I ...more
Susan Katz
Feb 10, 2009 Susan Katz rated it it was amazing
For me, this book defies all the odds. I'm a person who couldn't be less interested in sports, but the bond of being swimming teammates is, for this quartet of young men, engrossing, convincing, and the perfect way to tell this story. I also find it wonderful that a book which touches on such painful topics as physical abuse, suicide, the loss of both parents in an accident, and fatal illness is told in such a humorous, believable, normal-kid voice. In some ways this makes the grief even more un ...more
Apr 03, 2010 Patti rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers who like books about friendships and also swimmers
Another excellent book by Chris Crutcher. I think one of the things I like best about his books are the friendships. In this case, it's a small swim team who are also great friends; they know when to ask questions, ask for help, and when to leave each other alone.

The swim team isn't big enough to compete in all events, but they qualify for the state finals in individual categories. In addition to this good news, there is also the bad; one of the guys becomes ill, and another is dealing with abus
Sep 13, 2012 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
I have read this book many times in my life. It continues to be a favorite.
Taylor M
Feb 10, 2017 Taylor M rated it really liked it
I liked this book because you could relate to it so easily. You could relate to their challenges the characters faced even if you don't participate on a swim team. They realized that hard work pays off and it does no matter if it physically or mentally.
Roberta Weiner
Even though cultural references are outdated, this still reads as a strong YA book for older boys, especially athletes. Really serious themes, not for younger kids.
Dalton Dettbarn
This teaches the kids that there are going to be hardships throughout your life.
Brian Debano
Nov 03, 2013 Brian Debano rated it really liked it
“Stotan,” by Chris Crutcher, is a story that is narrated by a senior of Robert Frost High School named Walker. Walker is captain of a dying swim team program because there are only a total number of four swimmers on the team, all of which are seniors and will be graduating. These three other teammates happen to be Walker’s best friends and their names are Nortie, Lion, and Jeff. The four of them are naturally gifted swimmers, some of the best in the state; however, they realize that this will be ...more
Jun 05, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating A
Review I love Chris Crutcher. Let me say it again, I love him. I read another book of his that used the bonds of a swim team (albeit a much different swim team) as the backdrop to the lives of teenagers--relationships with each other, relationships with their families, and relationships with the world at large--and loved it too. The guy's pretty much money in the bank, in my book.

You know, going in, that this isn't going to be a book about swimming. Sure, there'll be a ton of swimming go
VANCE!!!!!!! Porter
Sep 25, 2014 VANCE!!!!!!! Porter rated it really liked it
I think the book was good. I like how the characters were scared in the start of the "STOTAN WEEK." It was like they were afraid that they would die during the workout, like they weren't strong enough or something. But I think it was sad that Nortie's dad beat him and his mom. I like that the main character, Walker, is always there for his friends. When Nortie freaks out because he hit that kid, Walker goes and finds him and calms him down and settles the mess.

It's the last year of swim team bec
Jan 22, 2012 Theresa rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
So I've clearly read this before- I've read all of CC's books by this time in my life- but it's next on the re-read list. I think that if I were discovering him now, there are some (like Chinese Handcuffs) that might scar me a little much with their descriptiveness, but as I've been on a re-reading kick with CC lately, I'm going for my favorites. So in the past few weeks, I've read Chinese Handcuffs, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, and Whale Talk again. It's always been comforting for me to re-rea ...more
Joe Schalkowski
Oct 25, 2013 Joe Schalkowski rated it it was amazing
I read the book “Stotan” by Chris Crutcher. The book is about four young men; Walker, Nortie, Jeff, and Lion. They are part of the senior class of 1984 through 1985 at Robert Frost High School in Washington state. All four of the young men are on the swim team for the last year it is going to be around. After they graduate the swim program is going to be shut down at Robert Frost High School so the boys are determined to go out with a bang. They cruise through the season smoothly, with only a co ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Jen rated it it was ok
I'm not sure I gave this book an unbiased chance. the reason I read it is that Ben is reading it in English at school and I wanted to read it with him. I had some reservations going in from other reviews I read on good reads. In the end, I wish they weren't reading this book at has a very disturbing domestic abuse scene that really bothered me, the language is bad, and there are a number of sexual references I could have lived without. I never would have read this book on my own and ...more
Feb 18, 2016 Brian rated it liked it
In writing this review I am trying to keep in mind that I am not its intended audience. If I were a teenage boy I would have loved this book. As an adult man I think it is okay, if a little boring.
“Stotan!” is a very dated text, especially when it comes to some minor subplots, particularly one concerning a student teacher dating a student (this could happen in 1985, when book was published) but is unfathomable, and illegal now. There is also a plotline that involves students and the Aryan Nation
Oct 18, 2012 124noah rated it really liked it
This is a great book about facing challenges physically and mentally. In the fist part of this book the four swimmers that make up Frost's swim team, Walker, Lion, Norton, and Jeff, sign up for Stotan Week. All these friends have been swimming together since back when they were little kids during the summer league. Walke ris the main character in this book and is trying to settle some scores this swimming season since he was a late developer. Lion is a black swimmer who has a strong passion for ...more
Feb 11, 2015 Brandi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern-day
I found this book in high school (so YEARS ago) and it became one of my favorite reads. In fact, a few years later, I ended up hunting down the book (couldn't find it in any of the local bookstores and one finally just had to order it for me) because I missed it.

It's the story of four guys-four friends, all on their high school swim team. Their coach tells them that he has a program for them to participate in over christmas break, if they want. A secret program that they won't find out about unt
Evan Teters
Jan 07, 2013 Evan Teters rated it really liked it
Being a swimmer in high school myself, the tale of the challenges four senior swimmers face during their last swim season was very enjoyable. As Walker, Nortie, Jeff, and Lion prepare for the final swim season of their high school career with a very challenging "Stotan week", they are unaware of the challenges ahead they could never be prepared for. The novel goes much deeper than 4 friends in high school, and that is a good thing. The story of these swimmers is well told and kept me wondering w ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Stotan! is a rich mix of controversial topics. The writing is consistently solid throughout the text. As usual, Mr. Crutcher hides none of the ugliness of life by placing it front and center in the story. Domestic and Child Abuse are central to the plot. The story line also takes on neo-Nazi's as a adjunct to the main thrust of the plot.

The flaws of the main character increase the attraction of the young man. The girl trouble that spins around the life of Walker adds an intriguing angle to the
Nov 12, 2011 Darcy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, ya
What seems to be a lark of their swim coach, giving up the mornings of 1 week's vacation ends up teaching these boys one of the most important lessons of their lives.

During their week of Stotan these 4 boys become closer than they were, which is saying something. By secluding themselves amidst the physical challenge the boys ended up sharing things about their lives they never have before. Both of these things helped the boys decide what is important and what is not.

As things turn to crap with t
Samantha Tai
Aug 18, 2011 Samantha Tai rated it liked it
Each book I read by Chris Crutcher is just better than the last! I couldn't put Stotan! down. In fact, I couldn't leave the beach until I finished it last Tuesday.

It's the last swimming season for Walker, Nortie, Lion and Jeff and their swimming coach has asked them to participate in a voluntary weeklong program of four-hour-a-day continual training that will test their self-discipline and swimming skills during their holiday break. This week also becomes a week of bonding between the four frie
Hannah Rae
Feb 05, 2016 Hannah Rae rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports-lit
I can't remember which novel I read first--Stotan! or Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes--but it was one of the two that got me hooked on Chris Crutcher. I picked them up because they had swimmers on the front and then I proceeded to read them back-to-back.

I loved both Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes and Stotan!, but the comraderie among Walker, Nortie, Jeff, and Lion in that latter title is the reason that I probably prefer Stotan! I also really appreciate the character of Max. A bit edgy, yes, but he's
I put this book off for a long time because I didn't know whether I wanted to take on another book with descriptions of intense physical endurance. (This is my fifth Chris Crutcher novel.) But once again, I appreciated the voice and personality of the narrator and the friendship among the four boys. There's enough humor to keep me going through the gut-wrenching horribleness that these kids live through. Perhaps the story is palatable because the narrator is the most together of all the kids, an ...more
Jan 27, 2013 Megan rated it liked it
I really like Chris Crutcher's hard hitting, reality based novels. They are intended for young adults, but keep in mind that means a mature young adult. I'm not so hip on the swimming background for his novels, but you write what you know, and he must know swimming.
The topics of domestic violence, parental abuse and benign neglect, suicide, teen relationships loss of parents and friends are covered here. I like the message of the importance of taking what comes and making the best of it, but I
May 29, 2008 Eric rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
This book is one of Chris Crutcher's novels. In this story, a group of swimmers in a high school team joins a physical training that tests your physical and mental endurance. This training was called 'Stotan week'. This was to get the swimmers to be ready for the 400 freestyle relay race. Not only did this week get them ready for the freestyle relay race, but it also brought forth change between the swimmers that became closer as friends. Then one day, the death of someone close to all of them m ...more
Jan 30, 2009 Samir rated it liked it
I just finished reading Stotan! and this book entertained me a lot. It was about 4 seniors in high school and their last week for their swimming season. But that is not all it is about it, it gets deeper than that.
What surprised me about this book is how Chris Crutcher makes the writing so relatable to the reader as the book progress you can something from what is going on with the characters, their may be no instant connection at first but there is one if you look deep enough. What I liked abo
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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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“Something about the joy and pain of that moment, something about the excruciating contrast, made me feel that no matter what happens now, my life has been worth it. What a ride.” 25 likes
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