This is a book that was considered quite controversial when first published, a little over 25 years ago. A number of schools banned the book because of language and content that was deemed inappropriate for kids. I happened upon it on my library’s website while looking for a downloadable audio-book, preferably one narrated by Frank Muller. (If you’ve ever listened to a book read aloud by Mr. Muller, you know what I mean. He has a voice that I could listen to all day!)
“Athletic Shorts” is actually a collection of six stories written for young adults, each one based around a high school athlete who is going through a crisis. Their struggles include: racism, friendship with someone dying of AIDS, anger toward the one who killed your family, anxiety over a wrestling match with a female contender, dealing with an abusive father, having gay parents when you are straight, obesity and bulimia.
Each story was so well-written that I could feel their agony at the situation they were in. I do have to say that my favorite story was the first one, “A Brief Moment In The Life Of Angus Bethune”. Angus was a fantastic character, and Frank Muller read his story with such enthusiasm that I found myself laughing hysterically in several places.
If you are a person easily offended, or are very conservative in what you will read, this book might not be for you. But if you want to see inside the mind of a young person, you might just try this book. I enjoyed it immensely.