A tale of high school romance without vampires? Acclaimed author Pete Hautman delivers.

Each day leading up to the April 14 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2012 Young People’s Literature Finalist:

The Big Crunch
Pete Hautman

Scholastic Press/Scholastic Inc.

Category Sponsor: Sit Investment Associates


June has mixed feelings, at best, about her parents’ decision to relocate the family to Minnesota. That changes when she meets classmate Wes and begins to fall in love for the very first time. But can the relationship endure when June’s parents decide to pick up and move again?

An excerpt from The Big Crunch:

The first time Wes saw June, he thought she was kind of funny-looking. She had these thick lips, a wide mouth, greenish-blue eyes that were a little too far apart, and her hair – a dark blond color – looked still wet from her morning shower. Wes thought she looked like a sea creature pretending to be human.

Book Trailer:
The Big Crunch is a story about real people falling in love. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever read before.”


Pete Hautman has written eight previous novel, including Godless, a National Book Award winner, and is the recipient of four Minnesota Book Awards. He calls Golden Valley home.


“This book will grow on you like none other.”
– Minnesota Book Awards judge

“Showing his range, Hautman writes a love story that’s affecting despite, or perhaps because of, its ordinariness.”
– Publisher’s Weekly

“A poignant and quiet tale in which the only special effect is love – refreshing”
– Kirkus Reviews


In this humorous yet enlightening interview on S.M.A.C.K. Your Inner Critic, Pete Hautman talks about his own inner critic (“His name is Alan”), his writing style, process, and inspirations.

Pete Hautman has won a National Book Award for his young adult novel, Godless, and while he loves the genre, he says it has its shortcomings. In this interview, he shares these views and talks about The Big Crunch with MPR correspondent Kerri Miller.

Pete Hautman’s Blog


Award winners will be announced at the 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Saint Paul Riverfront. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. New this year: a post-awards “Epilogue Celebration.” Tickets are available online or by calling 651-222-3242. Click here for more information.

Have you read The Big Crunch? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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