Crowe, Chris Death Coming Up the Hill, 202 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. $16.99 Content: Language: PG-13 (12 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG.
Ashe is seventeen and America is in the middle of Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement. His own life mirrors the unrest and war of America because his parents are on the brink of divorce. He has realized that his parents don’t love each other since he was a kid, but his parents’ differing political views causes a permanent rift in their fragile family. Ashe meets a new hippie girl and they confide in each other their fears and hopes.
This book is fantastic. It is written in haiku and the simple and poetic telling of Ashe’s story and awareness of the unrest in America draw deep feelings as you read. I wish I was still teaching so I could share this story with my students. The mature content and violence is cheating on a spouse and the assassinations of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy—none of which is explained graphically.
MS, HS-ESSENTIAL. Reviewer, C. Peterson.