2000 Margaret A. Edwards Award Winner

chris crutcher Chris Crutcher, author of "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes" (1994) and other popular young adult books, was named the 2000 recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring lifetime contribution in writing for teens.

The award, sponsored by School Library Journal, is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Crutcher will receive $2,000 at the YALSA Awards Luncheon (formerly the Margaret A. Edwards Awards Luncheon) during the ALA Annual Conference, July 6-12, in Chicago.

In addition to "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes," Crutcher is being cited for "Athletic Shorts" (1991), "Chinese Handcuffs" (1989), "The Crazy Horse Electric Game" (1987), "Stotan!"(1986) and "Running Loose" (1983). All the books were edited by Susan Hirschman and published by Greenwillow. They are available in paperback from Bantam Doubleday Dell.

A six-time ALA Award winner, Crutcher writes novels that revolve around school, sports, friends and family. "His stories bring to life the contemporary teen world, including its darker side," said Joan Atkinson, Edwards Award Committee chair.

"Sarah Byrnes suffers facial deformity caused by her father's deliberate cruelty. Jennifer Lawless dreads the nights her stepfather forces his sexual advances on her. Louis Banks mourns the tragic and senseless death of his talented, understanding sweetheart/friend. Crutcher's themes include the power of friendships and connections to others and the necessity of taking responsibility for one's own life," Atkinson said.

"Crutcher takes teenagers seriously and cares about them. Readable, humorous, immediate and unforgettable, Crutcher's stories give hope to young adults struggling with the eternal questions of who they are and where they belong."

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Crutcher was raised in an Air Force family in Cascade, Idaho. His bachelor's degree in psychology/sociology ultimately led him to a teaching job in California and directorship of a K-12 alternative school for inner-city kids. After 10 years he moved to Spokane, Wash., where he now resides, to work as a child and family therapist. Crutcher began writing at age 35.

Members of the Edwards Award Committee are: Joan L Atkinson, chair, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Stephen Crowley, Putnam County Library System, Palatka, Fla.; Diana Tixier Herald, library consultant, Grand Junction, Colo.; Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, D.C.; and Judy Sasges, Sno-Isle Regional Library, Lynnwood, Wash.

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