Books by Chris Lynch

HIT COUNT by Chris Lynch
Released: May 19, 2015

"This intense, timely story provides incredible insight into the reasons why knowledge of football's potential danger is not enough to keep young players from taking the field. (Fiction. 14-18)"
A high school football player is relentless in his effort to become a ferocious linebacker, ignoring the damage his body may be experiencing. Read full book review >
KILLING TIME IN CRYSTAL CITY by Chris Lynch
Released: Jan. 27, 2015

"Ultimately, readers will wonder just who they've been getting to know and whether they really know him at all. (Thriller. 14-17)"
A meditation on belonging, choices and denial. Read full book review >
WALKING WOUNDED by Chris Lynch
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 28, 2014

"A powerful antidote to those who would glorify war. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
The fifth installment in Lynch's Vietnam series continues the story of four friends who entered the war together and have now been forever changed by it. Read full book review >
DEAD IN THE WATER by Chris Lynch
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Satisfied readers will look forward to the next volume in this worthy, low-key but piquant series. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
In this second volume of his series on World War II (The Right Fight, 2014), Lynch turns his raw-boned storytelling talents to the Pacific theater. Read full book review >
THE RIGHT FIGHT by Chris Lynch
Released: Jan. 7, 2014

"As he did with his four-volume Vietnam series, Lynch effectively takes readers back to the good war. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
All the sizzle, chaos, noise and scariness of war is clay in the hands of ace storyteller Lynch. Read full book review >
LITTLE BLUE LIES by Chris Lynch
Released: Jan. 7, 2014

"A worthwhile romp, if not quite a jackpot. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
A lovelorn teen messes with the mob in order to save his blue-collar girlfriend in this unusual comedy of social class. Read full book review >
PIECES by Chris Lynch
Released: March 5, 2013

"Exceptional. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
A teenage boy seeks connections with the people who received his beloved brother's donated organs in this darkly humorous novel by the author of Inexcusable (2005). Read full book review >
FREE-FIRE ZONE by Chris Lynch
Released: Nov. 1, 2012

"A fine portrayal of friends and war. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
The third installment of Lynch's Vietnam War series follows Rudi, one of four friends who enlisted at the same time and are now in separate branches of the military. Read full book review >
KILL SWITCH by Chris Lynch
Released: April 17, 2012

"Lynch's normally exciting work is apparently deep under cover on this mission. (Thriller. 13 & up)"
An Alzheimer's-fueled thriller fizzles. Read full book review >
SHARPSHOOTER by Chris Lynch
Released: April 1, 2012

"The best Vietnam War novels yet for this age range. (Fiction. 9-13)"
In the second installment of his Vietnam War series, Lynch follows 18-year-old Ivan Bucyk, one of four friends who pledged to go to war together once one was drafted. Read full book review >
CASUALTIES OF WAR by Chris Lynch
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"An excellent war saga that will leave readers feeling they have been through something monumental. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Lynch's Vietnam War series concludes with the final narrative of four friends caught in the chaos of war. Read full book review >
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE by Chris Lynch
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Morris is an innocent caught in the winds of war, and young readers will eagerly anticipate future installments in the series. (Historical fiction. 9-14)"
In his nightmares, high-school senior Morris sees "torn flesh and burned flesh and the end of everything we know, all dying there in the scorching jungle of Vietnam"; he and his friends die, and it's his fault. Read full book review >
ANGRY YOUNG MAN by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: Feb. 8, 2011

"While some may find the resolution too tidy and rushed, ultimately this is a unique thriller for older teens. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Robert's younger brother Alexander (Xan) has always been an oddball, but as they shift into adulthood, Robert increasingly worries about Xan's ability to function in the world in this intense, intelligent work of realistic fiction. Read full book review >
HOTHOUSE by Chris Lynch
ADVENTURE
Released: Aug. 24, 2010

"Nevertheless, this an affecting and insightful drama, if a trifle overdetermined. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
A concise exploration of manhood, heroism and the psychology of a small northern town in the aftermath of a fire that kills two firefighters. Read full book review >
CYBERIA by Chris Lynch
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"Additionally, the story doesn't resolve; it pauses, leaving the reader unsatisfied and curious for more. (Science fiction. 9-12)"
Lynch's latest, the first in a science-fiction series that can be described as a dystopian comedy, introduces protagonist Zane, who lives in a world where computer technology has all but eclipsed human relationships. Read full book review >
THE BIG GAME OF EVERYTHING by Chris Lynch
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"This uneven mixture of relationships and sports is a bogey for the usually reliable Lynch. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Twelve-year-old Onion Jock's grandfather made a fortune inventing a golf-course-cleaning contraption and now runs his own 13-hole course, his barber father rebels against the system by discouraging haircuts and his brother is a finance-obsessed pugilist. Read full book review >
SINS OF THE FATHERS by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"The adults, particularly Father Mullarkey and his supposedly sanctimonious colleague Father Shenanigan, Hector's 'counselor,' come off considerably less well. (Fiction. YA)"
Flanked by misfeasant and malfeasant priests, young buddies Andrew, Hector and the aptly named Skitz loyally stand shoulder to shoulder at the center of Lynch's typically funny, tragic, edgy Catholic School tale. Read full book review >
INEXCUSABLE by Chris Lynch
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

"Keir's self-delusion, irresponsibility and sense of invincibility are dangerous, sending the important message to all teens, particularly high-school heroes and their would-be victims, that some things are inexcusable. (Fiction. YA)"
Lynch has hit a homerun with this provocative, important read about Keir, a self-proclaimed "good guy" headed for college on a football scholarship. Read full book review >
ME, DEAD DAD, & ALCATRAZ by Chris Lynch
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Offbeat yet oddly engaging, just like Elvin. (Fiction. YA)"
Elvin's back in another frenetic adventure in everyday living. Read full book review >
THE GRAVEDIGGER’S COTTAGE by Chris Lynch
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2004

"A little morbid, very loving, and dubiously hopeful at the end about Dad's mental state—and whether their newest pet might actually live. (Fiction. 10-14)"
An old gravedigger's cottage and its nearby beach are the setting for this mournful, slightly creepy family story. Read full book review >
WHO THE MAN by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 2002

"Sad, tender, and finally hopeful. (Fiction. 10-14)"
The bittersweet story of Earl's week of school suspension, told from inside his mind, is heavy with pain and love. Read full book review >
ALL THE OLD HAUNTS by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"This is Lynch's first solo collection, and fans of his edgy novels will find it lit with the same wry, raw view of adolescence. (Short stories. YA)"
In ten terse, sometimes elliptical short stories, Lynch puts teenagers through harrowing—if now and again savagely funny—experiences. Read full book review >
FREEWILL by Chris Lynch
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 31, 2001

"Intense, nightmarish storytelling: sometimes wildly funny, sometimes heartbreaking, entirely memorable. (Fiction. YA)"
More straight-to-the-gut fiction from the author of the "Blue Eyed Son" trilogy, written in second-person singular, present tense, and featuring a profoundly wounded teenager haunted by questions. Read full book review >
GOLD DUST by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: Aug. 31, 2000

"But maybe, just maybe, Richard is a bit more aware at the end that others have dreams, too. (Fiction. 11-13)"
The versatile author of Gypsy Davey (1994) and the Blue Eyed Son trilogy weaves a subtle, challenging study of star-crossed friendship. Read full book review >
EXTREME ELVIN by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: March 31, 1999

"Lynch opts to end on a downswing, with Elvin miserably hiding out in the garage licking his wounds, but readers will be breathless—not only from laughter and the story's headlong pace, but from the author's audacity in his choice of topics for comic inquiry. (Fiction. 12-15)"
PLB 0-06-028210-X Pudgy, frantic Elvin, introduced in Slot Machine (1995), takes a hilarious, roller-coaster plunge into Young Adulthood. Read full book review >
JOHNNY CHESTHAIR by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: April 30, 1997

"Lynch, fresh from the Blue-Eyed Son trilogy (Mick, 1996, etc.), sets out some distinctly non-PC characters and their beliefs; readers who like to feel superior to people they meet in books will—unfortunately—lap this up. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Still reeling from classmate Monica's knockout punch five years ago, eighth-grader Steven gathers three other nerdy misfits into the He-Man Women Haters Club, also the name of the series of which this unsubtle satire is the first entry. Read full book review >
POLITICAL TIMBER by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: Oct. 30, 1996

"The satire has a nip, but it's not as savage as Lynch's Blue-Eyed Son trilogy (Mick, 1996, etc.). (Fiction. 12-15)"
The prospect of a blissful senior year darkens for a teenager when he's swept into the local political arena. Read full book review >
MICK by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: March 31, 1996

"Stay tuned: Lynch continues this harsh, headlong tale in two other entries in the Blue-Eyed Son series: Blood Relations (ISBN 0-06- 025399-1) and the upcoming Dog Eat Dog. (Fiction. 12+)"
When the bars, brawls, and trash-talk he's grown up with start to wear on an Irish-American teenager, he learns that it's not that easy to walk away. Read full book review >
SLOT MACHINE by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: Oct. 30, 1995

"A change of pace for the author, this still features sports action both hilarious and horrifying (sometimes at once), a slightly larger-than-life cast, and penetrating observation of adults and young adults. (Fiction. 12+)"
Lynch (Gypsy Davey, 1994, etc.) lightens up in this story of three teenagers sent to camp at a seminary, ostensibly to prepare for high school. Read full book review >
GYPSY DAVEY by Chris Lynch
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 30, 1994

"A grim and penetrating look at the cycle of abuse. (Fiction. 12+)"
Slow-witted, 12-year-old Davey lived with his neglectful and sometimes abusive mother, Lois, and his older sister, Joanne, until Joanne moved out at 17 to get married. Read full book review >
ICEMAN by Chris Lynch
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 30, 1994

"Dad's subsequent mellowing doesn't quite compute; but that's a minor flaw in a powerfully written story that examines the role of inner rage in a troubled family where it makes it particularly difficult for the favored younger son to win autonomy. (Fiction. 12+)"
In his second novel, the author of Shadow Boxer (1993) again depicts two brothers grappling with a violence spawned by their father; again, the older (here, Duane, 17) has renounced a brutal sport (ice hockey) while the younger (Eric, 14) still pursues it. Read full book review >
SHADOW BOXER by Chris Lynch
Released: Oct. 30, 1993

"Brutal, a little too tidy, but memorable. (Fiction. 11-14)"
In the five years since their father's death from accumulated boxing injuries, 14-year-old George has earnestly taught his younger brother Monty how to fight—but not how to stop fighting; now, to his dismay (and his mother's), Monty is growing up in his dad's image, with "the heart of a lion and the head of a starfish,'' sneaking away to Uncle Archie's gym to train, going off on his own, coming home with the marks of street fights. Read full book review >