Study Guide

Crash Narrator Point of View

By Jerry Spinelli

Narrator Point of View

First Person (Central Narrator)

The first sentence of the book clears up any mystery surrounding who our narrator is. "My name is John," it says. "John Coogan" (1.1). Of course, you know by now that he goes by "Crash."

The narration is almost like a diary in that we hear about not just what happens to Crash, but also what he thinks and feels along the way. For example, when he starts to tell his family about his first football game of the year, he begins with bravado: "I was awesome today" (19.49). But then, when his dad admits that he forgot all about the game, Crash dials it back a bit.

When asked how he did, he replies, "Scored six TDs" (19.51). That's factual, but it's only three words, and they're strictly data. And Crash, more focused now on his parents' absence than his performance, follows up with internal thoughts that let us know how he's feeling:

I looked at the ceiling. I had never noticed how pure white was the fluorescent light. (19.52)

I took a deep breath. I wanted to leave. (19.55)

Crash doesn't directly tell us what emotions he's experiencing—that would go against his brash, jock persona. But still, as readers, we can get a lot of information if we put everything together, including how excited Crash is at the time of the game and how disappointed he is when he realizes the game wasn't even on his parents' radar.

Another thing to know about Crash as a narrator is that while he's conversational and honest, he's not exactly deep. He reports on his thoughts and feelings, but he doesn't really reflect on them. And that's intentional.

He's just a kid, after all, and the whole point is that kids often do stuff—you know, stuff like bullying—without thinking about it too hard.

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