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Deadline    by Chris Crutcher order for
by Chris Crutcher
Order:  USA  Can
Greenwillow, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

At the beginning of his senior year, Ben Wolf is diagnosed with a terminal leukemia so aggressive that treatment would only prolong his life a matter of months.

He decides to keep his illness a secret and forgo medical intervention that is sure to have consequences that would cost him the time he has left to be a normal high school senior. At eighteen, he can make this decision against the advice of his doctor.

Ben wants to keep his last year on earth as normal as possible except that now he is prepared to take risks he would never have considered otherwise. Although he weighs only 123 pounds, he joins the football team. He asks out the girl of his dreams, is amazed when she agrees to date him, and takes on the school's pompous history teacher with information he's culled from books like Malcolm X and Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen. He starts a campaign to have his small town of Trout, Idaho, population 943, name a street after Malcolm X.

Throughout the story, Ben worries about his family and friends. Is he right in not telling them? Is he lying by omission?

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