(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

The knowledge that Willie gains in The Crazy Horse Electric Game parallels real life. Even though the trials that Willie faces may be more severe than those most teenagers encounter, the way in which he handles them is realistic. This novel illustrates the difficult decisions and choices that young adults in today’s society must make, as well as the consequences those choices may bring.

Both the cover and the title of the book allude to baseball, and the main character achieves the goal dreamed of by every athlete. After Willie loses his identity as the golden boy athlete who has everything, he struggles to find himself in a society of which he no longer feels a part. This situation parallels the plight of many teenagers who struggle with the need to understand how they fit into the world and prove to themselves and others that they are people of value. Like Willie, most teenagers who take drugs, run away, skip school, or act as if nothing matters to them are wearing a mask designed to cover up the lack of control that they have over their lives. They assume that it is easier to hide their true feelings than to take the risk of being themselves. Reading about Willie’s life may help them understand this feeling. Young adults feel his pain and sense of confusion and uncertainty, allowing them to see a glimpse of themselves in someone else’s life.

Overcoming the loss of a loved one is difficult, and each member of Willie’s family...

(The entire section is 499 words.)