Period 8, or what is commonly known as lunch, is a time where students can keep it real. Under the faithful guidance of Mr. Logsdon, or Mr. Logs, Period 8 is a time for students to share what they are really feeling and dissect the confusing and oftentimes oppressive world. Students in Period 8 are from all walks of life: some rich, some poor, some with stable home lives and others from broken homes. Period 8 is supposed to be a safe place regardless of what may be happening in students’ lives, but sometimes it’s impossible to keep the bad out.
"As far as I’m concerned, Chris Crutcher can do no wrong...Crutcher writes in a letter to his readers in the beginning of the book that he “put this one on steroids.” All I can say is buckle up and get ready for one wild ride."
Mr. Logs has seen his share of good and bad. After nearly 40 years in the business of educating kids, you see a lot of stuff. Which is why although retirement is beckoning, Mr. Logs wants to make sure that his current crop of Period 8 kids make it through the year. Thankfully, Mr. Logs can take to the pool or the ocean to swim, reflect and think. The water just has a way of relaxing him despite the current trouble that has managed to creep into Period 8.
Trouble officially started when Paulie confessed to Hannah that he had cheated on her, although it technically started much sooner than that. Naturally, Hannah was less than thrilled with Paulie’s behavior, but Paulie swore it wasn’t what it seemed. With Paulie in the doghouse, Arney decided to move in on Hannah, and if this high school love triangle seems like a mess, that wasn’t even really that main trouble. No, the bigger trouble was that around this same time, sweet, perfect and straight-A student Mary Wells had gone missing.
At first everyone blames Mary’s disappearance on her overbearing father. There were rumors floating around that he was super strict and controlling in every way. Just when the students and Mr. Logs start to worry that something terrible happened to Mary, she returns and claims she just needed some time off and that everything is okay. It soon becomes apparent, though, that everything is not okay. Both Paulie and Hannah had a mysterious run-in with Mary before she disappeared, and she doesn’t seem the same since coming back. Mr. Logs is determined to get to the bottom of what happened, but nothing, not even his 40 years of experience, can prepare him for the truth.
As far as I’m concerned, Chris Crutcher can do no wrong. PERIOD 8 is another great addition to the Crutcher collection that includes the classic elements of strong characters that are broken and real just like you and me, situations and circumstances that any teenager can relate to, sports as a way of letting off some steam and an adult guide that you wish you had in your life. Crutcher writes in a letter to his readers in the beginning of the book that he “put this one on steroids.” All I can say is buckle up and get ready for one wild ride.
Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on April 12, 2013