VERY Brief & Brief Biographies
Who is Chris Crutcher?
Chris Crutcher, 66, is the author of fourteen books -- eleven novels, including his latest PERIOD 8, two short story collections and an autobiography. Prior to his work as an author, he taught school in Washington and California and acted as director of an Oakland alternative school for nearly a decade. That academic history coupled with 25 years as a child and family therapist specializing in abuse and neglect and 30 years as a Spokane Child Protection Team leader has infused his literary work with realism and emotional heft. His signature blend of tragedy and comedy have made him a favorite with teen and adult readers.
He is also one of the most frequently banned authors in North America -- a fact he considers an accomplishment, rather than a drawback.
A popular Voices from the Middle columnist for several years, and recent contributor at the Huffington Post, Crutcher has been awarded the NCTE's National Intellectual Freedom Award, the ALAN Award, the ALA's Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, and Writer magazine's Writers Who Make a Difference Award.
Chris Crutcher makes his home in Spokane, Washington.
Period 8 (2013)
Angry Management (2009)
The Sledding Hill (2005)
King of the Mild Frontier (2003)
Whale Talk (2001)
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes (1993)
Athletic Shorts (1991)
The Deep End (1991)
Chinese Handcuffs (1989)
Crazy Horse Electric Game (1987)
Running Loose (1983)
Born on July 17, 1946 in Dayton Ohio to a WWII bomber pilot and a homeaker, Crutcher grew up in Cascade, Idaho, a logging town north of Boise. He graduated from Eastern Washington State College -- now Eastern Washington University -- with a BA in psychology and sociology. He later earned his teaching credential and taught primary and secondary school in Washington State and California.
He admits he was a popular teacher, but not a good one. However, once offered the chance to direct a "last chance" alternative school in Oakland, CA, he thoughtfully served at-risk K-12 students for almost a decade before returning to the Pacific Northwest to write his first book.
RUNNING LOOSE was his debut novel for Greenwillow, published in the early 1980's. Nine other novels -- STOTAN!, CHINESE HANDCUFFS, THE CRAZY HORSE ELECTRIC GAME, THE DEEP END, STAYING FAT FOR SARAH BYRNES, IRONMAN, WHALE TALK, THE SLEDDING HILL, DEADLINE and PERIOD 8 -- as well as two short story collections -- ATHLETIC SHORTS and ANGRY MANAGEMENT-- and his autobiography, KING OF THE MILD FRONTIER -- followed. Other books, including more short stories and nonfiction as well as several motion picture projects are also in development.
Crutcher's fast-paced fiction -- heavily influenced by his vast experience as a child and family therapist and child protection advocate -- is known for its expert balance of comedy and tragedy, as well as its unflinching honesty and authentic voice.
He has been honored with dozens of awards and honors including the Writer Magazine's 2004 Writers Who Make A Difference Award, the ALA's 2000 Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, the NCTE's 1998 National Intellectual Freedom Award and the ALAN Award. And he takes great pride in landing on the ALA Freedom to Read Foundation's top ten banned books and authors lists, whenever it happens.
A popular columnist (Voices from the Middle, Family Energy Magazine, the Signal Journal, iParenting) and public speaker, Crutcher lectures at universities, conferences, libraries, schools and bookstores across the United States and around the world more than 200 days a year. He makes his home in Spokane, Washington.
By the time Chris Crutcher was born in Dayton, Ohio on July 17, 1946, his father John (also known as “Crutch”) had decided to leave his career in the United States Air Force behind. After piloting more than 30 successful B-17 bombing missions in World War II, Crutch was ready to settle down with his family in his wife Jewel’s hometown of Cascade, Idaho.