Running Loose

by Chris Crutcher

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Running Loose Louie Banks is a high school senior with everything going for him – athleticism, brains, a girlfriend, close friends, and loving parents. When he refuses to be a part of an illegal hit on an opposing African-American football player, his racist coach kicks him off the team and he is ridiculed by his classmates. Although supported through this tough time by his best friend, his girlfriend Becky, and his parents, Louie's world is soon upended by an unspeakable tragedy. When he comes to understand that life has its own set of rules, he at last comes of age.

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Enrichment Activities
Internet Resources
Books by Chris Crutcher

Enrichment Activities

  • Create a Journal
    Students can create a journal or diary of Louie's adventures. Entries can be written for each chapter based on what students feel Louie was going through at the time.

  • Design a Timeline
    Have students fill out a timeline, or create their own timeline; mapping out the events in Running Loose. Students should title all events and write a brief description of each incident.

  • Projects and Cross-Curricular Activities
    After students have read Running Loose, challenge them with projects like writing a scene that predicts the end of the story if Becky hadn't died, or creating a diagram that represents the story's conflicts.

  • Short-Essay Questions
    A list of more than ten thought-provoking questions to have your students write about. Examples include: How did Becky's death affect Louie? Compare Carter and Boomer. Describe Louie's relationship with his parents.

  • Taking a Stand
    When Louie Banks stood up to his coach about the cheap hit, he stood up for his principles. Ask students to think of a time when they stood up for a principle. If they can't think of one, ask them to think about a time when they wish they had, or a situation in which they would like to. Then, have them complete the Taking a Stand worksheet.

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