Stotan!
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Stotan!

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,132 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Stotan: A cross between a Stoic and a SpartinIt'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 dr...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 1986)
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Community Reviews

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Caleb Newkirk
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
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
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
Shannon
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
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
Patti
Apr 06, 2010 Patti rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Elizabeth
I devised my own name for the category of book that Chris Crutcher writes: jock schlock. His characters are great; they leap off the pages and stampede through your house and raid the fridge (because they're athletes; they're always hungry). There aren't a lot of (any?) novels about swimmers and this is a rare, appreciated exception.

I like all his books but this one perhaps most of all; there is a fair amount of introspection that I appreciate. And Max is not at all his typical character.

I lik...more
Lindsey
I have read this book many times in my life. It continues to be a favorite.
Theresa
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
Jen
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 school....it 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
Patrick
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...more
Heather
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...more
Joe Schalkowski
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
Evan Teters
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
Brian Debano
“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
124noah
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
Samantha Tai
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...more
Christy
This is the first Chris Crutcher book I have ever read, and maybe its the comments from other people praising Crutcher's work that built up my anticipation, but I didn't find myself caring about this story line and characters until over halfway through the book. However, I swam through the last five chapters as though there was not tomorrow. :) It's a good YA read - especially if you know of reluctant male readers, but for me, I wanted to love the characters from chapter one on.
Darcy
Nov 12, 2011 Darcy rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Megan
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...more
Catherine
I looked forward to reading this book because I really enjoyed Whale Talk, but I made it to page 57, and I really hate this book so far. I try to give a book 75 pages, but I just can't do it on this one.

First off the characters are unlikeable and use slang and allusions that just don't carry into 2013 from 1986. I am tired of the potty talk - swearing would be easier to handle than what Crutcher is using.

The story is written in such a passive voice and is all over the place so far that I feel...more
Stevecrandell
Chris Crutcher’s novels are often overstuffed with drama, trauma, and unbearable pain. Stotan, however, keeps the action within manageable bounds. That’s a huge plus. There’s terminal illness, racist battles, child abuse, and a troubling case of teacher-student dating. But the strength of the characters is enough to keep the emergencies in perspective.

There’s a fair amount of teenage male posturing to the language, another Crutcher trait, but he significantly tones this down after the first few...more
Samir
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...more
Eric
Jun 01, 2008 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Hui Lin
Stotan Week! When I started reading this book, they already talk about Stotan Week. All I know is that it has something to do with swimming. As I read on, I found out that Stotan Week is a physical training for the swimming team to get ready for a freestyle race. During the training, not only did the team members got better, they also became more closer as friends. As the book progresses, someone close to all the team members died, and the team got stronger than they were before. I think this bo...more
April
Funny ... this seems like a paler Whale Talk, even though Stotan! was written first. There's still swimming, still abusive behavior, still ignorance and racism, still a bunch of guys learning to lean on each other.

I first read this for my YA Lit class, over ten years ago. Some of the references are a little dated now, but I think it still holds up. I think my students will relate well to it, particularly the "outsider" view; everybody feels like an outsider some time.

*teacher stuff*
Good for lit...more
Rich
This was one of the first young adult novels I ever read. It captivated me immediately. Crutcher mixed humor, drama, and sports with a deft hand that has me going back time and again to this volume.

Unfortunately, his more recent books have become increasingly shrill, attacking anyone with a conservative point of view. Because of books like this, I used to anxiously await each new Crutcher novel, but more and more I grimace when I see his books. He went from an insightful author with a true gift...more
Kevin
This story of a high school swim team going through major life issues while pushing themselves to the brink and beyond of their athletic endurance was inspiring for doing my half marathon.
YiShun
i don't know why i'm on a chris crutcher trip.
whatever it is, i'm enjoying it. i like the best of the four crutcher novels i've read so far. it rings true, the characters are believable and well thought out. i don't even have a problem with the fact that the narrator is somewhat fuzzy--at the end of the day, i know everything i need to know about him, and not a detail more. the fact that the narrator is so effectively an unobtrusive observer while he's so clearly a part of the clique that makes...more
Sarah Tilatitsky
AWESOME! Seriously! Chris Crutcher always make me cringe, laugh or almost cry in these books. He is one of the best writers I have ever read! I hope he doesn't quit writing books, because he can touch me heart to home. But, this book is about pushing people to the limit, and about accepting death. Pushing people to the limit is not meaning, push the mind. I mean push the body to a point of collapsing, or coma, and still live. It's really amazing, and, well, read it, but you'll get caught up in t...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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“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.” 21 likes
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