Chris Crutcher, born in the small and isolated logging town of Cascade, Idaho, on July 17, 1946, graduated from the Eastern Washington State University in 1968 and, despite what he calls his unremarkable performance as a student, later excelled as a teacher for at-risk teens at the Kennewick Dropout School in Washington State. After spending the next ten years working with troubled youth, specifically as a mental-health therapist, Crutcher became reacquainted with old college friend and writer Terry Davis. After working with Davis on his novel Vision Quest, Crutcher embarked on a writing career of his own, publishing his first book, Running Loose, in 1983. The novel was named an ALA Best Book and led to a string of successful young adult novels, which earned Crutcher a reputation for telling stories that honestly portray the life struggles of adolescents and tackle tough issues.
Despite his lack of formal training in the art of writing, Crutcher would go on to pen six novels for young adults, as well as one adult novel, over the course of his career. While his writing eventually took precedence over his work as a therapist, Crutcher still works with the Child Protection Team in Spokane, which is an organization of mentalhealth professionals who handle the most difficult cases. Continuing his work with disadvantaged youth gives Crutcher material for his novels, and he draws upon real-life experiences for inspiration. In fact, his mother was...
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