83 pages 2 hours read

Ellen Hopkins


Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | YA | Published in 2004

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Authorial Context: The Real-Life Roots of Crank

Author Ellen Hopkins writes in the Foreword to her novel that Crank is loosely based on her older daughter’s addiction to crystal meth. Like Kristina, Hopkins’s daughter was an honors student when she started using drugs. Hopkins began writing the book to make sense of her daughter’s addiction and to understand her own part in it. The specific decision to write the book in the voice of Kristina, rather than the voice of her mother, was an attempt to explore Kristina’s psyche. In a note on her website, Hopkins says, “By writing the story from ‘my daughter’s’ perspective, I learned a lot, both about her, and about myself. But I also learned a lot about the nature of addiction, and the physiology of this particular substance” (“Crank.” Ellen Hopkins).

Hopkins roots Kristina’s story in realism, showing how addiction can strike any family. One of the striking aspects of Crank is that its protagonist is from a relatively privileged, middle-class background. Kristina is bright and talented and has a strong support system in the form of her mother, stepfather, siblings, and friends.

Related Titles

By Ellen Hopkins