by Chris Crutcher, 1989
Classification: YA Fiction
Age Level: 14+
Subjects: Suicide, high school sports, friendship, family
Reader’s Annotation: Dillon Hemingway’s world is changed forever when he witnesses his brother’s suicide.
Main Characters: Dillon Hemingway, a triathlete who aspires to be an Ironman
Preston Hemingway, Dillon’s brother who has committed suicide
Stacy Ryder, Preston’s girlfriend, friend of Dillon’s
Caulder Hemingway, Dillon & Preston’s father
Jen Lawless (aka J. Maddy), star basketball player, friend of Dillon’s
T.B. Martin, Jen’s stepfather
Coach Kathy Sherman, women’s basketball coach, teacher & mentor to Dillon
Summary: Only a short while ago, Dillon Hemingway was dreaming of competing in a triathlon. Now, in the aftermath of his brother’s suicide, Dillon is coping with his own grief and confusion, his parents’ separation, and his friends’ secrets. Dillon begins writing letters to his brother Preston as a way of sorting out his feelings and he relies on the steady support of Coach Kathy Sherman. As more and more secrets are revealed, Dillon is faced with difficult decisions involving safety, trust and the law. Between a sinister biker gang and an unscrupulous lawyer, Dillon must think clearly and act fast to help those he cares about.
Controversial content: violence, sexual abuse, killing of an animal, gang rape