Walker and his friends prepare for a challenging swim meet and deal with personal struggles. Walker is a swimmer who has to compete in a swim meet before graduating high school and face his future. Walker is preparing for the Stotan swim meet with his friends and teammates Jeff, Lion, and Nortie. In the weeks leading up to the swim meet, they spend a lot of time practicing swimming, but they also have to deal with a lot of problems. Walker considers breaking up with his girlfriend Devnee because he has feelings for Elaine, who is also a swimmer. Nortie works at an after-school daycare, and one day he comes to Walker's house crying because he lost his temper when a boy at the daycare harassed a girl and called her a racist name. Nortie has a bad relationship with his abusive, racist father, and he is afraid of growing up to be like him. Nortie is White, and his father disapproves of Nortie's Black girlfriend Milika. Then Jeff tells his teammates that he has been diagnosed with leukemia, and his prognosis is poor. All of the boys are upset, but they take comfort in preparing for Stotan week and in the things and people they love. Nortie loves his girlfriend Milika and his mother, and Jeff loves his girlfriend Colleen. Lion's parents passed away years earlier, but Lion is a writer and illustrator, and he takes refuge in his creativity. At the end of the book, the boys take part in Stotan week, which is named after the words Stoic and Spartan, referring to groups of people renowned for their emotional and physical strength, respectively. Walker decides that he and Elaine will never be more than friends, but he still has mixed feelings about Devnee.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked this story because the characters are strong young men, and their friendship isn't stronger.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is where Nortie comes to Walker's house upset, and Walker gives him advice, because it shows that Nortie is trying to avoid his parents' mistakes, and it shows that Walker is a wise and considerate friend.
Opinion about the main character:
I like Walker because he really cares about his friends and he does not play with the emotions of the two girls who have feelings for him.
The final swimming season at Frost High School had been meticulously planned. The four boys were almost guaranteed to win the gold medal in the 400 freestyle relay at the States. But not everything always turns out exactly right and sometimes it can't be stopped. In Stotan!, by Chris Crutcher, four high school seniors learn about friendship, perseverance, love, life and even death.
Walker, Nortie, Lion and Jeff are high school seniors at Robert Frost High School. The four of them form the swim team at Frost. Their coach, Max Il Song, posts a mysterious sign-up sheet asking for volunteers for “Stotan Week”. Taking a risk, the friends join, only to find that most of their Christmas Break was going to be spent participating in a 4-hour a day, week long program that would test their physical and emotional strength. Through that week the boys began to see obvious changes. They became stronger, smarter and the friends grew closer together. Little did they know that other changes were occurring that they could not detect. Only weeks later would the teammates begin to understand those changes and see how they were helped by them.
This report prepared by Cassidy Bommer