Lynch, Chris 1962-
Lynch, Chris 1962-
Born July 2, 1962, in Boston, MA; son of Edward (a bus driver) and Dorothy (a receptionist) Lynch; married Tina Coviello (a technical support manager), August 5, 1989; children: Sophia, Walker. Education: Suffolk University, B.A., 1983; Emerson University, M.A., 1991. Hobbies and other interests: Running.
Home—Ayrshire, Scotland. Agent—c/o Fran Lebowitz, Writers House, 21 West 26th St., New York, NY 10010.
Writer. Teacher of writing at Emerson University, 1995, and Vermont College, 1997—. Proofreader of financial reports, 1985-89. Conducted a writing workshop at Boston Public Library, summer, 1994.
Authors Guild, Author's League of America.
American Library Association (ALA) Best Book for Young Adults and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers citation, 1993, for Shadow Boxer, 1994, for Iceman and Gypsy Davey, and 1996, for Slot Machine; Best Book of the Year designation, School Library Journal, 1993, for Shadow Boxer; Blue Ribbon Award, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 1994, for Iceman and Gypsy Davey; Editors' Choice Award, Booklist, 1994, for Gypsy Davey; Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award finalist, Book of the Year award, Hungry Mind Review, and Young Adults' Choice citation, International Reading Association, 1997, all for Slot Machine; Michael L. Printz Honor Book, American Library Association, for Freewill; National Book Awards finalist, 2005, for Inexcusable.
Shadow Boxer, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.
Iceman, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
Gypsy Davey, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
Slot Machine, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.
Political Timber, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
Extreme Elvin, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.
Whitechurch, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.
Gold Dust, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.
Freewill, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.
All the Old Haunts (stories), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.
Who the Man, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.
The Gravedigger's Cottage HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.
Inexcusable, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2005.
Me, Dead Dad, and Alcatraz, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.
Sins of the Fathers, HarperTempest (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor of short stories to anthologies, including Ultimate Sports, edited by Donald Gallo, Delacorte, 1995, and Night Terrors, edited by Lois Duncan, Simon & Schuster, 1996. Contributor of stories and articles to periodicals, including Signal, School Library Journal, and Boston magazine.
Lynch's books have been translated into Taiwanese and Italian.
"BLUE-EYED SON" SERIES
Mick, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
Blood Relations, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
Dog Eat Dog, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
"HE-MAN WOMAN-HATERS CLUB" SERIES; FOR YOUNG READERS
Johnny Chesthair, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.
Babes in the Woods, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.
Scratch and the Sniffs, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 1997.
Ladies' Choice, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 1997.
The Wolf Gang, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.
Author Chris Lynch "is less concerned with constructing plot-driven narratives than in creating impressionist portraits of confused and misunderstood teenagers," wrote a Horn Book contributor in a review of the author's 2001 story collection, All the Old Haunts. Indeed, creating such portraits of confused and misunderstood teens is what Lynch's work is all about; these youths populate the pages of his fiction, from his ground-breaking novels Shadow Boxer and Iceman to his more recent Inexcusable and the books in Lynch's "Blue-Eyed Son" series.
Lynch writes tough and edgy streetwise fiction. Episodic and fast paced, his stories and novels question the male stereotypes of macho identity and inarticulate violence. His youthful characters are often athletes, wannabe athletes, or kids who have been churned up and spit out by the system. Outsiders, Lynch's protagonists desperately just want to be themselves. Using irony and a searing honesty that cuts through adolescent façades, Lynch's stories reveal what it means to be young and urban and male in America, warts and all.
If Lynch can speak so directly to young readers, it is because he has been there. "Growing up I listened way too much to the rules as they were handed down," he once recalled. Though his youth was a much more stable one than those of many of his fictional characters, he was no stranger to the urban melange that is the backdrop for most of his work. The fifth of seven children, he grew up in Jamaica Plains, a part of Boston that was once an Irish stronghold, but which had become largely Hispanic by the time of Lynch's youth. His father died when Lynch was five, and the family was then brought up by a single mother. "She did a good job of covering it up, but things were pretty lean back then," Lynch remembered. "We were definitely a free cheese family, though I never felt deprived as a kid." A somewhat reclusive child, Lynch attended Catholic schools through the primary and secondary levels.
While his grammar school experience was what the author called "nurturing," high school was a different matter. "I hated high school—every minute. It was rigid, kind of a factory. An all-boys' football factory. Nothing like the arts was encouraged in any way." Though Lynch had participated in street hockey, football, and baseball as a younger kid, by high school he had stopped playing, rebelling against the football-factory ethic. "I'm not against all athletics," he stated. "Sports has a tremendous potential for channeling energy. But instead it mostly encourages the macho ethos and schools let athletes run wild. This carries through life, and results in Mike Tysons. People who were never told what they could not do."
High school was discouraging enough for Lynch that he dropped out in his junior year. Eventually he entered Boston University, where he studied political science. A news-writing course sparked his interest, and after transferring to Suffolk, he majored in journalism. After graduation, he spent six years working odd jobs painting houses, driving a moving van, and proofreading financial reports. In 1989 Lynch enrolled in a master's program in professional writing and publishing at Boston's Emerson University. Taking a children's writing class from Jack Gantos, he began what became his first published novel, Shadow Boxer. "We were supposed to write five pages on a childhood incident," Lynch recalled. "I had a vague idea of writing about some things my brother and I had done in our youth, but as soon as I sat down with it, I was off to the races. The stuff just poured out."
Shadow Boxer is a story of two brothers learning to deal with life after the death of their father, a journeyman boxer. Fourteen-year-old George becomes the man of the house after his father dies from all the years of battering he has endured in the ring. George's mother is bitter, hating the sport that cost her husband his life, but George's younger brother, Monty, wants to follow in his father's footsteps. Monty begins to train at the local gym with his uncle, and George sets about to discourage him from this path, exacerbating their sibling rivalry. Told in brief, episodic vignettes with urban slang, the novel reaches its climax when Monty is shown a video of one of the brutal beatings his father took in the ring.
Reviewing Shadow Boxer in Horn Book, Peter D. Sieruta wrote that Lynch captures, "with unflinching honesty," the working-class Boston neighborhood where George and Monty live. While Sieruta maintained that the episodic style weakens the plot, he noted that individual chapters "read like polished short stories and are stunning in their impact." Gary Young commented in Booklist that "this is a guy's book. It is also a tidy study of sibling rivalry." Other reviewers noted how the novel transcends the usual teen sports novel. Tom S. Hurlburt, writing in the School Library Journal, concluded that "Lynch has written a gritty, streetwise novel that is much more than a sports story." John R. Lord also commented upon Lynch's episodic style in Voice of Youth Advocates, calling the book "a series of character sketches." Because of his use of short, snappy paragraphs, Lynch's books seem to grow organically. More than one critic has also noted that such writing—brief, hard-hitting vignettes that reveal character—makes it easier for reluctant readers to get into the material.
Iceman is the story of a troubled youth for whom violence on the ice is his only release. Lynch's protagonist is fourteen-year-old Eric, a great hockey player with a reputation as a fine shooter and a strong defensive player with a penchant for hitting. Known as the "Iceman" due to his antics on the ice, Eric actually seems to enjoy hurting people. His only friends are his older brother Duane, whose act of trading his skates for a guitar impresses Eric, and the local embalmer, McLaughlin, who equally impresses Eric with his devotion to his work. The source of Eric's rage comes from his own dysfunctional family: his mother, a former nun who continually spouts verses from the Bible, and a father who only comes alive when Eric is doing damage on the ice. Slamming out his frustrations on the hockey rink, he is soon shunned by even his own teammates. McLaughlin, at first, gives him some comfort in his world of death, and Eric even considers a career in mortuary science until a shocking observation prompts the teen to face his problems.
Randy Brough, writing in the Voice of Youth Advocates, noted that Lynch's "novel of disaffected adolescence" is "as satisfying as a hard, clean hip check." Jack Forman, while commenting in the School Library Journal that the book would appeal to hockey enthusiasts, also pointed out that "this novel is clearly about much more and is no advertisement for the sport." Forman concluded that Iceman "will leave readers smiling and feeling good," while Stephanie Zvirin summed up the effect of the novel in Booklist: "This totally unpredictable novel … is an unsettling, complicated portrayal of growing up in a dysfunctional family" as well as "a thought-provoking book guaranteed to compel and touch a teenage audience."
In Gypsy Davey, Lynch tells the story of a brain-damaged youth and an uncaring family, as well as of the tenement neighborhood surrounding the boy: cheap bars and drug dealers. Out of this bleak atmosphere, Lynch weaves a tale of hope as young Davey tries to break the cycle of parental neglect initiated by his parents and seemingly perpetuated by his older sister, Jo. Jo's dysfunctional marriage forms the centerpiece of this novel, and it is Davey's attempts to bring love to Jo's son, his own nephew, that is one of the few bright spots. W. Keith McCoy, writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, noted that, in spite of the dreary atmosphere of the novel, "Lynch provokes empathy for this family and its situation, and perhaps that is the only positive outcome in the book." Also focusing on the bleakness of the theme, especially as perceived by adults, Elizabeth Bush concluded in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books that "young adults will appreciate its honesty and fast pace" and that Lynch "paints characters who … ring true every time."
Slot Machine is something of a departure for Lynch. On the surface it is a boys-at-summer-camp comedy about an overweight youth who resists attempts at turning him into a jock. Thirteen-year-old Elvin Bishop is attending a Christian Brothers summer camp, with its heavy emphasis on sports as preparation for high school—the coaches literally ‘slot’ young athletes for upcoming sports. Friends with Mike, who seems to fit in anywhere, and Frank, who sells his soul to fit in, Elvin endures torment but steers a middle course and finally finds a niche for himself with the help of an arts instructor. According to Stephanie Zvirin, writing in Booklist, Slot Machine is a "funny, poignant coming-of-age story." While noting Lynch's ability to write broad, physical comedy as well as dark humor, Zvirin concluded that "this wry, thoughtful book speaks with wisdom and heart to the victim and outsider in us all." Maeve Visser Knoth, writing in Horn Book, also noted the use of humor and sarcasm in this "biting, sometimes hilarious novel," as well as the serious purpose in back of it all: "Lynch writes a damning commentary on the costs of conformity and the power gained by standing up for oneself."
Lynch reprises Elvin in Extreme Elvin, where the teen is starting his first year at a Catholic all-boys high school. A contributor for Publishers Weekly felt that "the wisecracking, irrepressible" Elvin is "just as funny—and perhaps even more likable" in this new installment. The same writer noted that Lynch's "pudgy hero has one scatological misadventure after the next," including gaining a terrible reputation for his eternal hemorrhoids and being tricked into believing he has caught a sexually transmitted disease from holding hands. In the end, Elvin—newly attracted to girls—goes against the grain, having learned a new lesson in this outing. Instead of chasing after the slim girl his buddies tell him to, he opts to date the rather plump one he is truly attracted to. "Witty and knowing, this novel will have readers hoping Lynch writes another Elvin Bishop story soon," concluded the Publishers Weekly reviewer.
Elvin returns in Me, Dead Dad, and Alcatraz, where Lynch's hero, now fourteen, struggles with his identity as a young man. In this third title of the series, Elvin meets his Uncle Alex, who he had been told was dead. Elvin later finds that his mother had lied about the relative's death in order to hide the truth: in reality, Uncle Alex had been serving a prison term for theft. Comedic stories unfold as Elvin's uncle attempts to become a father-figure for the fourteen-year-old boy, sparking disastrous events. School Library Journal critic Miranda Doyle commented that "most will identify with Elvin's outsider status and enjoy his hilarious missteps on the path to adulthood." Booklist reviewer Michael Cart called Elvin "the quintessential adolescent male—worried about sex, personal identity, and just about everything," and predicted that "readers … will enjoy this general cheerful look at themselves." Paula Rohrlick, writing in Kliatt, noted that Me, Dead Dad, and Alcatraz is a "funny and poignant novel, and Elvin's fans will definitely want to read it."
While Lynch's inspiration for his books usually comes from his own life or from life around him in Boston, Political Timber was inspired by newspaper accounts of a teenager who ran for mayor of his small town. What resulted is a novel about high-school senior Gordon Foley, who runs for mayor at the insistence of his grandfather, an old-time politician who is now serving time for fraud. While young Gordon thinks it is all great fun, his grandfather is actually using the teen as a political puppet. Less bleak than much of Lynch's fiction, Political Timber is also unique in that it is specifically written for teens. Reviewing the novel in Horn Book, Elizabeth S. Watson called it "fresh, funny, and at times devastatingly frank," and felt that this book "is a great read that offers some discussion fodder as well." A reviewer for Publishers Review thought that Lynch's "fast-paced and characteristically wry narrative" provides ample "hilarious jabs at politicking." "The outrageous story line works delightfully as a punchy, timely satire of the political scene," wrote Booklist critic Anne O'Malley.
In his "Blue-Eyed Son" novel trilogy, Lynch returns to the grittier mean streets of Boston to explore latent and sometimes overt racism. Lynch's microcosm involves fifteen-year-old Mick, who sees his predominately Irish neighborhood becoming racially mixed as blacks, Hispanics, and Asians move in. Mick unwittingly becomes a neighborhood hero when he throws an egg at a Cambodian woman during a St. Patrick's Day Parade. Though Mick hates that his friends and older brother Terry have planned to disrupt the parade by harassing gay and Cambodian marchers, he is forced into throwing the egg, an action caught on television. A hero in the local bar, he becomes an outcast at school. Only Toy, a mysterious sort of character, remains his friend, and soon Mick begins to break off ties with his close-knit Irish family and neighborhood and hangs out with Latinos instead. His drunken, oafish older brother has Mick beaten for such treachery, ending the first book of the trilogy, Mick.
Mick's story is carried forward in Blood Relations as he struggles to find himself, forming a brief liaison with beautiful Evelyn and finally ending up in the bed of Toy's mother. The series is concluded with Dog Eat Dog, in which the brothers face off for a final showdown and Mick's friend Toy comes out of the closet as a homosexual. "With realistic street language and an in-your-face writing style … Lynch immerses readers in Mick's world," Kelly Diller wrote in a review of Mick for the School Library Journal. According to Diller, Lynch has created a "noble anti-hero." Reviewing Blood Relations in the School Library Journal, Kellie Flynn commented that "this story moves quickly, Mick's seriocomic edginess is endearing, and the racism theme is compelling." However, Flynn also noted that the series concept makes the ending of the novel something of a let-down, a point Elizabeth Bush returned to in a Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books review of the three books: "When the finish finally arrives, the unrelenting brutalities of the earlier volumes will leave the audience virtually unshockable."
Stand-alone titles by Lynch include Whitechurch, Gold Dust, and Freewill. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called Whitechurch an "unsettling, coolly polished novel" that again demonstrates Lynch's "profound understanding of society's casualties, misfits and losers." Three teens—Pauly, Oakley, and Lilly—must learn to navigate treacherous shoals in their dilapidated New England town in Lynch's interconnecting short stories. Seemingly trapped in the dead-end environment of Whitechurch, each teen finds differing ways to break out of the stagnant environment. A reviewer for Horn Book felt that the "sharply evoked characters and their complex relationship are the novel's greatest strengths."
Reviewing Gold Dust, Michael McCullough noted in the School Library Journal that the "novel contains some of the best sports writing readers will ever find in a YA novel." Set in Boston during the 1975 school-busing integration controversy, Gold Dust features seventh grader Richard Moncrief, who dreams of transforming the new transfer student from Dominica into a first-rate baseball player. The two ultimately team up to become the adolescent equivalents of the "Gold Dust Twins" from the 1975 Boston Red Sox team: Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. However, Richard does not anticipate the fact that Napoleon Charlie Ellis, the transfer student, proves a difficult friend and his actions force the young white boy to deal with racial tensions in the city. Lauren Adams, writing in Horn Book, felt that "Lynch's provocative novel tells a piece of the city's history and the more intimate story of a transforming friendship." "This is a wonderful baseball book," declared Booklist contributor Debbie Carton, "but it's the awkward, intense friendship that drives the story." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly felt that the novel's denouement "is as honest as it is heartbreaking."
Freewill—partly inspired by the Columbine school shooting and partly by the tragedy of teen suicide—is something of a departure dramatically; it is written in the form of a mystery, and utilizes second-person narration. Having lost his father and stepmother in a seeming accident, Will is sent to a special school where a sudden rash of suicides forces the reader to wonder if Will is not responsible. One of Will's wood carvings is found at the scene of each of these suicides, making the police suspicious of the boy and also attracting a weird group of hangers-on to Will. Finally, Will's grandfather helps to unravel the mystery of what is really going on. Describing his narrative technique to an interviewer on the Bloomsbury Web site, Lynch stated: "As much as possible I wanted the reader to do what I was doing, which was to live the life inside Will's head along with him. It would seem the most natural way to do this would be the way I usually write, in first person. But almost immediately I sensed that by removing Will from himself by a degree, we could better appreciate the simultaneous inside/out experience of detachment." Dubbed an "unsettling narrative" by Horn Book reviewer Adams, Freewill was described as a "dark, rich young-adult novel that offers something to think about as well as an intriguing story" by Booklist contributor Susan Dove Lempke.
In Who the Man Lynch creates a protagonist that is deeply misunderstood. Thirteen-year-old Earl is physically mature for his age and therefore is assumed to be older and more mature than his years. Because of his size, Earl is constantly teased by his classmates, and his frustration results in fist fights and, ultimately, Earl's suspension from school. Readers soon realize that Earl's problems do not end at school; at home Earl silently watches the disintegration of his parent's marriage and witnesses his father attempt an extra-marital affair. Booklist contributor Ed Sullivan pointed out that "Lynch challenges readers to consider gender stereotypes … as he follows a young man's painful journey toward self-discovery." Similarly, a Publishers Weekly reviewer acknowledged Lynch for his "hypnotic voice," and concluded by noting that Who the Man is a "striking chronicle of a painful transition from boyhood to manhood."
The McLuckie family is the focal point of The Gravedigger's Cottage, a novel that centers on a family's losses and its attempt to recuperate. Described by School Library Journal reviewer Francesca Goldsmith as a "dark and clever fable," The Gravedigger's Cottage is narrated by the adolescent Sylvia and recounts the story of her father and her half-brother Walter. After the deaths of two mothers and several pets, the McLuckies attempt to change their fate by moving to a seaside cabin. Upon moving in to the cabin Sylvia and Walter witness the mysterious change of behavior in their father, who suddenly becomes obsessed with sealing their new home from unseen and imagined dangers. Kliatt contributor Michele Winship noted that "Lynch's story is dark and at times leaves the reader wondering what is real and what is not." In contrast, Horn Book writer Laurence Adams acknowledged The Gravedigger's Cottage as "a sweet, offbeat picture of three people looking after one another, making ready to give life another chance."
Booklist reviewer Gillian Engberg called Inexcusable a "bone-chilling … daring story [that] is told in the defensive voice of the accused rapist." High-school senior Keir Sarafian is a popular football player who is accused of rape. Lynch's readers initially enter the story believing Keir's narration of events, but their faith begins to erode as Kier begins to realize things about himself. Paula Rohrlick, in Kliatt, remarked that "Keir is a good example of an unreliable narrator, whose version of reality and sense of himself … are dangerously off base." In a Publishers Weekly review of Inexcusable, the critic noted that "Lynch makes it nearly impossible for readers to see the world in black-and-white terms. This book is guaranteed to prompt heated discussion."
Written for younger readers, Lynch's "He-Man Woman-Haters Club" novels employ the same broad humor as the "Elvin" books to poke fun at the stereotypes of younger adolescent boys. Lincoln—also known as Johnny Chesthair—decides to start a club in his uncle's garage, including in membership wimpy Jerome, wheelchair-bound Wolfgang, and huge Ling-Ling. Later members include a guitarist named Scratch and Cecil, who is "gentle and synaptically challenged," according to Booklist contributor Randy Meyer in a review of Scratch and the Sniffs. Each of the original members takes a turn narrating a book in the five-volume series, each title involving the humorous undoing of these would-be heroes. Reviewing The Wolf Gang, Shelle Rosenfeld concluded in Booklist that "Lynch's presentation of the boys' seesawing view of girls as enemies or attractions is dead-on, as is his portrayal of the ties of friendship that bind—and survive even the toughest tests in the end."
In his story collection All the Old Haunts Lynch creates a mix of ten tales describing family ties, man-woman relationships, and friendship, among other themes. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that the author "once again excels in describing family bonds," and concluded that "there's something here for everyone." Angela J. Reynolds, writing in the School Library Journal, also praised the "fresh twist" Lynch puts on old themes, concluding that "teens who enjoy deftly crafted tales with more than a hint of the dark side will appreciate this sophisticated prose." A contributor for Kirkus Reviews also commented positively on Lynch's short fiction, stating that "fans of [Lynch's] edgy novels will find [All the Old Haunts] lit with the same wry, raw view of adolescence."
Sins of the Fathers is another of Lynch's novels set in a working-class Boston neighborhood. The work concerns Andrew, Skitz, and Hector, a trio of friends who have attended Catholic school together since childhood. Their seemingly unbreakable bonds are tested, however, when Skitz is placed on probation for vandalism and Hector becomes more and more withdrawn. Andrew, the book's narrator, suspects that Hector may be the victim of abuse by one of the priests, and he turns for help to Father Mullarkey, a brash, dynamic newcomer. "The evocation of parish life and parochial-school experience is pitch perfect, as are the boys' ribald camaraderie and sports obsession," observed School Library Journal contributor Carolyn Lehman, and a contributor in Kirkus Reviews noted that readers will "appreciate the complex, push-me-pull-you bonds that link the three teens." Despite its serious subject matter, Sins of the Fathers is "a fast, enjoyable, and moving read, related with rare wit and candor," noted Paula Rohrlick in Kliatt.
As a writer, Lynch avoids studying a story's "why's too closely" while writing, as he told an interviewer for Teenreads.com. "I want to tell realistic stories, which I think come with their own messages built into them without my having to preach. Specifically, the issue of substance abuse—like violence, or racism—is a fact of our lives, and the only way I can contribute anything is merely to chronicle the facts of lives as I see them."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Children's Literature Review, Volume 58, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2000.
St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Booklist, December 15, 1993, Gary Young, review of Shadow Boxer, p. 747; February 1, 1994, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Iceman, p. 1001; October 1, 1994, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Gypsy Davey, p. 318; September 1, 1995, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Slot Machine, p. 74; October 15, 1996, Anne O'Malley, review of Political Timber, p. 414l; February 15, 1997, Randy Meyer, reviews of Johnny Chesthair and Babes in the Woods, p. 1023; April 15, 1997, Randy Meyer, review of Scratch and the Sniffs, pp. 1429-1430; December 15, 1997, Michael Cart, review of Ladies' Choice, p. 697; August, 1998, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of The Wolf Gang, pp. 2006-2007; February 1, 1999, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Extreme Elvin, p. 969; September 1, 2000, Debbie Carton, review of Gold Dust, p. 116; May 15, 2001, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Freewill, p. 1745; September 1, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of Gold Dust, p. 101; November 15, 2002, Ed Sullivan, review of Who the Man, p. 588; May 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of The Gravedigger's Cottage, p. 1495; September 1, 2005, Michael Cart, review of Me, Dead Dad, and Alcatraz, p. 111; September 15, 2005, Gillian Engberg, review of Inexcusable, p. 55; August 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Sins of the Fathers, p. 66.
Booklinks, May, 2006, Rebecca Hogue Wojahn, reviews of Iceman, p. 47, Inexcusable, p. 48, and Shadow Boxer, p. 50.
Books for Keeps, May, 2003, review of Who the Man, p. 29.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November, 1994, Elizabeth Bush, review of Gypsy Davey, p. 93; October, 1995, review of Slot Machine, p. 1023; April, 1996, Elizabeth Bush, reviews of Mick, Blood Relations, and Dog Eat Dog, p. 270; November, 1996, review of Political Timber, p. 105; February, 1999, review of Extreme Elvin, p. 208; April, 1999, review of Whitechurch, p. 286; November, 2000, review of Gold Dust, p. 111; March, 2001, review of Freewill, p. 270; October, 2001, review of All the Old Haunts, p. 67; January, 2003, review of Who the Man, p. 204; June, 2004, Deborah Stevenson, review of The Gravedigger's Cottage, p. 427; December, 2005, review of Inexcusable, p. 192; November, 2006, Deborah Stevenson, review of Sins of the Fathers, p. 135.
English Journal, November, 1994, Kenneth L. Donelson, review of Shadow Boxer, p. 101; November, 1995, Alleen Pace Nilsen, review of Iceman, p. 96.
Horn Book, May-June, 1994, Patty Campbell, "The Sand in the Oyster," pp. 358-362; November-December, 1995, Peter D. Sieruta, review of Shadow Boxer, pp. 745-746, and Maeve Visser Knoth, review of Slot Machine, pp. 746-747; September-October, 1996, Lauren Adams, reviews of Mick, Blood Relations, and Dog Eat Dog, pp. 72, 602-603; March-April, 1997, Elizabeth S. Watson, review of Political Timber, p. 201; May-June, 1997, Cathryn M. Mercier, reviews of Johnny Chesthair and Babes in the Woods, pp. 325-326; July-August, 1999, review of Whitechurch, p. 469; November-December, 2000, Lauren Adams, review of Gold Dust, p. 758; July-August, 2001, Lauren Adams, review of Freewill, p. 457; September-October, 2001, review of All the Old Haunts, p. 588; July-August, 2004, Laurence Adams, review of The Gravedigger's Cottage, p. 456; January-February, 2006, Betty Carter, review of Inexcusable, p. 83, and Christine M. Heppermann, review of Me, Dead Dad and Alcatraz, p. 84.
Horn Book Guide, fall, 2003, review of Who the Man, p. 385.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 1993, review of Shadow Boxer, p. 1464; February 1, 1994, review of Iceman, p. 146; November 15, 1994, review of Gypsy Davey, p. 1536; October 1, 1995, review of Slot Machine, p. 1433; December 15, 1995, review of Mick, p. 1772; November 15, 1996, review of Johnny Chesthair, p. 1671; December 15, 1998, review of Extreme Elvin, p. 1800; April 15, 1999, review of Whitechurch, p. 632; August 15, 2000, review of Gold Dust, p. 1199; January 15, 2001, review of Freewill, p. 113; October 15, 2001, review of All the Old Haunts, p. 1488; November 15, 2002, review of Who the Man, p. 1697; May 15, 2004, review of The Gravedigger's Cottage, p. 494; August 15, 2005, review of Me, Dead Dad, and Alcatraz, p. 918; October 15, 2005, review of Inexcusable, p. 1142; August 1, 2006, review of Sins of the Fathers, p. 791.
Kliatt, July, 2002, Michele Winship, review of Gold Dust, p. 21; January, 2003, review of Who the Man, p. 9, and Freewill, p. 16; May, 2004, Michele Winship, review of The Gravedigger's Cottage, p. 10; September, 2005, Paula Rohrlick, review of Me, Dead Dad, and Alcatraz, p. 10; November, 2005, Paula Rohrlick, review of Inexcusable, p. 8; September, 2006, Paula Rohrlick, review of Sins of the Fathers, p. 14.
Library Media Connection, April-May 2006, Sarah Applegate, review of Me, Dead Dad, and Alcatraz, p. 70; August-September, 2006, Charlotte Decker, review of Inexcusable, p. 75.
Magpies, November, 2003, review of Who the Man, p. 43.
New York Times Book Review, June 20, 1999, Elizabeth Devereaux, review of Extreme Elvin, p. 21; November 13, 2005, Ilene Cooper, "How the Boys Are," review of Inexcusable, p. 46.
Publishers Weekly, August 23, 1993, review of Shadow Boxer, p. 73; September 12, 1994, review of Gypsy Davey, p. 127; March 11, 1996, review of Dog Eat Dog, p. 66; October 21, 1996, review of Political Timber, p. 84; December 9, 1996, review of Johnny Chesthair, p. 68; January 11, 1999, review of Extremely Elvin, p. 73; May 10, 1999, review of Whitechurch, p. 69; August 21, 2000, review of Gold Dust, p. 74; January 8, 2001, review of Extreme Elvin, p. 69; January 29, 2001, review of Freewill, p. 90; October 29, 2001, review of All the Old Haunts, p. 65; November 11, 2002, review of Who the Man, p. 65; December 15, 2003, review of Who the Man, p. 76; July 5, 2004, review of The Gravedigger's Cottage, p. 57; October 17, 2005, review of Inexcusable, p. 69.
School Librarian, autumn, 2003, review of Who the Man, p. 156; summer, 2004, Alison Hurst, review of Freewill, p. 102.
School Library Journal, September, 1993, Tom S. Hurlburt, review of Shadow Boxer, p. 252; March, 1994, Jack Forman, review of Iceman, p. 239; October, 1995, Tom S. Hurlburt, review of Slot Machine, p. 156; March, 1996, Kelly Diller, review of Mick, pp. 220-221, and Kellie Flynn, review of Blood Relations, p. 221; March, 1997, Cheryl Cufari, review of Babes in the Woods, p. 188; August, 1997, Ann M. Burlingame, review of Scratch and the Sniffs, p. 158; November, 1997, Adele Greenlee, review of Ladies' Choice, p. 120; June, 1998, Mary M. Hopf, review of The Wolf Gang, p. 148; October, 2000, Michael McCullough, review of Gold Dust, p. 164; March, 2001, Timothy Capeheart, review of Freewill, p. 252; November, 2001, Angela J. Reynolds, review of All the Old Haunts, p. 160; December, 2002, Todd Morning, review of Who the Man, p. 144; July, 2004, Francisca Goldsmith, review of The Gravedigger's Cottage, p. 108; September, 2005, Miranda Doyle, review of Me, Dead Dad, and Alcatraz, p. 207; November, 2005, Diane P. Tuccillo, review of Inexcusable, p. 140; May, 2006, Marilyn Taniguchi, review of Gold Dust, p. 61; September, 2006, Carolyn Lehman, review of Sins of the Fathers, p. 211.
Teacher Librarian, February, 2003, review of Slot Machine, p. 12; December, 2003, review of Extreme Elvin, p. 9; April, 2006, Kathleen Odean, "Football, Fire, and Fear," review of Inexcusable, p. 23.
Times Educational Supplement, September 15, 2006, Tony Bradman, "A Sad and Sorry Tale," review of Inexcusable, p. 34.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), July 1, 2001, review of Freewill, p. 2; February 5, 2006, Mary Harris Russell, "When Normal Is Different," review of Inexcusable, p. 7.
Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 1993, John R. Lord, review of Shadow Boxer, p. 295; April, 1994, Randy Brough, review of Iceman, p. 28; December, 1994, Keith W. McCoy, review of Gypsy Davey, p. 277; December, 1995, review of Slot Machine, p. 304; February, 1997, review of Political Timber, p. 329; December, 2000, review of Gold Dust, p. 352; June, 2001, reviews of Mick, Dog Eat Dog, and Blood Relations, p. 98; August, 2001, review of Freewill, p. 203; October, 2001, review of All the Old Haunts, p. 281; February, 2003, review of Who the Man, p. 478; June, 2004, Jennifer Hubert, review of The Gravedigger's Cottage, p. 132.
Washington Post Book World, January 1, 1995, reviews of Shadow Boxer, Iceman, and Gypsy Davey, p. 11; March 23, 2003, review of Who the Man, p. 11.
Bloomsbury Web site,http://www.bloomsbury.com/ (January 1, 2007), "Chris Lynch."
HarperCollins Web site,http://www.harperchildren.com/ (January 1, 2007), "Chris Lynch."
Teenreads.com,http://www.teenreads.com/ (February 18, 2002), interview with Chris Lynch.