November 25, 2013

A Controversial Read: Crank

I know I told you last week that I'm making my way through a specific list of books being made into movies, but one of the strategic reading teachers at school handed me a book this week and told me I needed to read it. I had seen students read it before but never picked it up myself, but I devoured it in two afternoons.

The book is Crank by Ellen Hopkins. While it doesn't feel right to say that I "liked" this book, I did find it to be a powerful and honest portrayal of the downward spiral of drug addiction. On her website, Ellen Hopkins wrote that this book was loosely based on the the story of her eldest daughter, which makes it even more heart-breaking. The entire time I read the book, I was astounded at how quickly and completely Kristina's entire world was overtaken by the drug.

The SR teacher and I were debating for whom and if this book is appropriate for any of our students. The subject matter is definitely mature, but I also think it would be naive of us to think that none of our students will be faced with such temptations. I wasn't one a teen who experimented in much of anything at all, and a large part of that influence was knowing the negative impact of drugs and alcohol on members of my extended family. With that in mind, I feel like this book could be an effective "Don't even try drugs!" warning.

I would love to get my hands on the rest of this series and find out what happens to Kristina.

Finally, for those that are not familiar, here's the excerpt from Good reads:
In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the "monster," the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or "crank." Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne'er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: "there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree." Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won't, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.


  1. I read that several years ago and other books from this author. Definitely a tough read, but I couldn't put it down!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. I have this in my bookshelf waiting to be read. Powerful novel in verse, I'm sure.

  3. I have been thinking about reading this one for quite some time. I have it on the shelf and just keep passing it up. I will have to remedy that!