by Chris Crutcher
YP FIC CRUTCHER
When Ben Wolf finds out that he has a terminal illness, he decides to use the time that he has left to LIVE! He joins the football team, goes on a date with the girl of his dreams, and stands up to his overbearing Civics Teacher. Smart as a whip, Ben finds that every day has something new to teach him, and that even though his time is short, he can still make life count.
Ben challenges the adults around him all the while calmly accepting his own fate. Ben is Mr. Fix-it for all the people in his life, including his super cool younger brother (Big Wolf), his bi-polar mom, and the town drunk. He finds that he can't fix everything though. Hey-Soos, a dream visitor, helps Ben by asking the right questions. A surprise twist of fate makes Ben realize that he has a lot to be thankful for.
Ben's acceptance of his own death wasn't too believable, even with the few moments of mourning thrown in. I kept wondering if Ben took after his mom even more than he knew. I still really enjoyed the book though. The football scenes were intense. With the action narrated in the first person point of view, I felt like I was in the game too--a scary thought! Dallas Suzuki was also very believable to me: tough exterior, vulnerable interior. Ben's big younger brother, Cody, was not so believable, but he was thoroughly likable. What I liked about the book is that through deciding to live, Ben helped those around him to live once he was gone.