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Who Killed Christopher Goodman?

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  444 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
Everybody likes Chris Goodman.

Sure, he’s kind of weird. He wears those crazy bell-bottoms and he really likes the word ennui and he shakes your hand when he meets you, but he’s the kind of guy who’s always up for a good time, always happy to lend a hand. Everybody likes Chris Goodman, which is why it’s so shocking when he’s murdered.

How could a thing like this happen?
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Candlewick Press
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Paige Fickbohm
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was given an ARC of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

This book was a very fast read for me. However, I was bored through most of it. I did enjoy the "revenge on Mr. Self-Righteous scene. But mostly, the format of this book was just too weird for me.

I also thought it was entirely too short. There was not enough time to get me to love these characters. They were very poorly developed. Except for Squib. Squib was my favorite.

I would have liked to learn more about The k
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set in Virgina in 1979, Who Killed Christopher Goodman by author Allan Wolf is a compelling and insightful YA novel based on a real murder in Wolf’s hometown when he was a teenager. Several teens discuss their encounters with another teen, Christopher Goodman, before his murder and their reactions afterwards.

The story is a fast easy read but, in this case, fast and easy in form does not mean lack of emotional impact. As we get to know each of these young people, it is impossible not to develop
Dani St-Onge (Literary Lion)

Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that Christopher Goodman is kind. Who would ever want to hurt him? The events leading up to his murder leave everyone in town feeling at least a little guilty. Told through vignettes and different points of view the story explores the lives Christopher was involved in and the moment when he was ripped out of them.

This book is not so
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
This was a total random pick for me. I'd never heard of it, but I'm a sucker for books with titles like this. Who Killed Christopher Goodman? Well, I instantly wanted to know!!

The thing is, we kind of KNEW who killed him right away. I was hoping for a mystery and what I got was more of a story of how bad things happen-- and the trajectory that puts a person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The book follows 6 teens (including the killer) through the events that lead up to Christopher's death.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf

Set in 1979 this is the story of (a teenage) boy named Christopher Goodman. A young man who was a bit different, yet very likable, friendly and kind. When Christopher is found murdered the whole school is shaken up, and left to wonder why.

A fast paced story told through alternating voices of those who knew Christopher. Details of the days leading up to this senseless crime. I got to feel what each person was thinking and feeling which drew (me) in mor
Sherry Guice
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has shown up on several "best" lists lately. I really liked it; funny and sad with multiple voices and multiple formats. It is based on a true story, set in 1979 and reminded me of being in high school. I do think that it would be fine for 8th graders.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A little difficult to follow all the different voices at first. But a good story raising interesting questions about responsibility.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5
Jaime Arkin
2.5 stars full review to come
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what to make of this book. The premise sounded good, and I was intrigued that it was based on a true crime. However, it was a rather pointless story. Like, I got nothing from it whatsoever. The viewpoints of several different voices was confusing. It was hard to keep everyone straight. I did not see why Hazel was even a part of this story. She was mundane and her viewpoint didn't add anything to the story at all.

I think I was also turned off by the whole taxidermy aspect. ::shudder
Joanne O'Sullivan
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A haunting story told in vignettes, short-story-episodes and script-like scenes, Who Killed Christopher Goodman? evokes the both the time period of the late 70s and the emotional highs and lows of that time in high school when friendship is everything. "Doc" and "Squib" have been long-time friends in the small Virginia town of Goldsburg, but their closeness is tested in the summer of 1979 in the weeks leading up to the town's annual Deadwood Days festival and their discovery of the body of Chris ...more
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it

I bought this before I even thought to read it for Mystery Month. The title caught my eye and when I read the summary, I was sold.


This book follows multiple first-person points of view of a group of six high school kids. We see how they interact with each other (who’s friends with who) and how they all meet Christopher Goodman. We don’t see through the eye of Christopher, but one of the points-of-view we see is the killer.

Upon reading the title and then reading the summary, I t
May 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is one of those books I'll probably forget about completely about before very long. It was an impulse pick up at the library, mostly due to that little note at the bottom "based on a true crime". That's one of my biggest buzzphrases. I freaking love true crime nonfiction (and fiction based off true crime too). I mean, I suppose this is a mystery novel- and it's advertised as such- but it seemed more like a contemporary than a straight-up mystery novel, since it's fairly obvious whodunit.

I s
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended for fans of mysteries of the past.

In the summer of 1979, someone shot and killed Christopher Goodman. The murder shocked the small town residents. Christopher was a little bit different than others in their community. He wore weird clothes, always shook everyone's hands, and had a different way of using words. But everyone agreed that Christopher was the nicest person you could ever meet. So who could have killed him?

Told in alternating points-of-view, this is the story of six teenag
abby paige
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
I'm torn on this book. For the first 90% or so I really disliked it- the format was weird and inconsistent, the story didn't seem to be going anywhere, none of the characters were fleshed out beyond a few archetypical traits, and the dialogue was unnatural and unconvincing (no one really talks like that).
However, the ending of the novel was decent, and brought in a small shred of meaning to the story. This novel is not a thrilling story of murder, it is at its core a story about guilt, and read
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was really good I loved the way it was written and the style it was written in. I thought this was one of the best reads I've ever read and I would highly recommend this to any one who asked. This book was funny, scary, and interesting all at the same time. If I was stranded on an island and I could only pick 3 books I can now say this would be one of them. I will admit the beginning of the book was a little boring and slow but about 60 pages into the book things got really g ...more
When I was in high school many years ago, I came to the band room for practice only to find an empty chair in the room and people crying. One of the band members had died in a car wreck the night before. He was older, was not a friend, but he was the first young person connected to me to die in a tragic way. I still remember that time, how the shock of it colored the rest of our year together. This book connects me to that time, and although my tragedy was not the shock of someone committing mur ...more
Suzanne Dix
Thirty-seven years after the murder of a fellow high school classmate, Wolf tells a fictionalized version of the events leading up to the fateful Saturday night in small town Virginia in 1979. The story is told from alternating points of view of six characters, five who are friends with Christopher and one who turns out to be his killer. Christopher is a good and kind person, someone everyone likes, and his death is not only shocking to his friends but to the entire town. How could something lik ...more
Savannah Breckenridge
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Goldsburg, Virgina, in 1979, is your typical college town. Small, quaint, and turned into a near ghost town during the summer holidays. Goldsburg is the type of place that only has one movie theater, where the teenagers go hang out at McCoy Falls on the New River, and the locals leave their car doors unlocked; a trusting place. Not the type of place where the local “nice guy” gets murdered, but that’s exactly what happens to Christopher Goodman. Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf is n ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Wolf, Allan Who Killed Christopher Goodman? 269 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2017. $16.99 Language – R (86 swears, 3 “f”), Mature Content – PG; Violence – PG;

Christopher Goodman was different—not good or bad, he just stuck out among the other high school students. Christopher was kind, which makes the discovery of his dead body even more shocking by two boys who had seen Christopher just the night before. Who is responsible for killing a kid so genuinely nice?

The story of Christopher Goodman is very r
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Who Killed Christopher Goodman? was a pretty wild read. It was funny and thought provoking, even if it did start off a little slow. The biggest issue I had with it was that there were a lot of characters and it flipped between a ton of POV’s (6?) so it was a little confusing. It kinda reminded me of Thirteen Reasons Why, in that the book is not so much about the final act that killed Christopher Goodman as all the little acts that led up to it. It’s another one of those ripple effect books that ...more
A story told from many viewpoints about the murder of a 17 year old boy in 1979 Virginia. The story skips around in time and builds tension before detailing the tragic murder during a town festival. With most of the main character telling portions of the story from their perspective you get a good grip on the characterization and a unique look at the characterization of the victim as no part of the story is told from his perspective; his character is revealed by his interactions with others and ...more
Liz Friend
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
The story: Christopher Goodman is murdered one summer night, and although only one person pulled the trigger, many people share the guilt. If each one had done one small thing, the chain of events would have been interrupted and Christopher would have lived. And he was a nice kid. So they're all left to wonder--is there any kind of justice in the universe?

June Cleaver's ratings: Language R; Violence PG-13 (the killing is not graphically described); Sexual content PG; Nudity PG; Substance abuse P
Barbara M
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A murder mystery based on a true crime. Christopher Goodman was a good looking kind guy that everyone liked. We learn on the first page that he was murdered. The format is a little different than most mysteries - it's told from the perspective of six different teenagers who knew him. They provide their thoughts about him before and after his death.

The author, as a teenager, knew a well liked school mate who was murdered. The author and his friends suffered a lot of emotions and guilt after their
Mrs. Strudthoff
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Right from the beginning, the reader knows that Christopher Goodman is going to die; so it's natural to continue reading to figure out the clue of whodunit.

This novel makes that trip more interesting because it is told in "alternating voices"--first one character "writes" a chapter and then another character does so, etc. The author does a spectacular job of distinguishing the voice of each character so that the reader isn't asking "Okay, who is talking in this part now?"

Although Christopher doe
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
While the title implies a classic murder mystery, "Who Killed Christopher Goodman?" is not about discovering the person responsible for his death. Instead, the novel's multiple POVs include the murderer's but mostly all those who may have nudged circumstances one way or another that led to the sequence of events. It is more a rumination on the web of interaction we all have with each other, and readers who expect grisly plot twists will find themselves disappointed in a story that is relatively ...more
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, ya
While I didn't find this quite as powerful as The Watch That Ends the Night, it's still a very thoughtful book, the kind that hits you before you even fully realize it. (It's also the second YA novel I've read where the author is trying to deal with a past crime-based trauma; the other is Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls.) The mix of poetry and prose is engaging, and the fact that the one voice we never hear is Christopher's makes for a harder-hitting story - because even though it's about his mur ...more
Nicola Mansfield
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic! This was a straight read through for me. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It's written in one of my favourite styles: a narrative from six different voices telling the story from their own point of view, this includes the killer. This book isn't a mystery. We know who gets killed and who did the killing from the start but we know little else. Like the narrators, we piece the story together as they tell it. The book is ultimately about how these teens, each approx. 16- ...more
closer to 2.5. I enjoyed the idea, the premise, more than the actual story. And this is just a Me thing since it's November and I've been furiously working towards 50,000 words, but the entire time I was reading this book I couldn't help but feel like it was a NaNoWriMo novel. Every time the POV switches to another character, not only is their name listed, but also their label: farm girl, the runaway, etc. so the narrative bounced around from Squib Kaplan - The Genius to Hazel Turner - The Farm ...more
While training for cross country, two boys run across the dead body of one of their classmates. The school is shocked, but none are hit harder than five people, the majority of whom hadn't been friends a month prior to the tragedy. In a series of first-person accounts, they remember their interactions with Christopher Goodman.

I went into this expecting a mystery, but what I found was something much different. This was based on the author's experiences after a similar murder in his hometown, and
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Allan Wolf: educator-writer-musician extraordinaire. He has literally hundreds of poems committed to memory. He is a veteran traveler through all the diverse worlds of poetry--from poetry slams to public schools, salons to saloons. He turns classic poetry into acoustic tunes as the drummer for The Dead Poets band. He put the Oh! in poetry as the educational director for national touring company Po ...more
“Is it God? Did God set up the dominoes and wait for some human to flick the first one? Or is it the opposite way around? Did humans set them up so God could do the flicking?” 0 likes
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