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Crazy Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Length: 357 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Age Level: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and up

Calamity
Calamity
The third and final book in Brandon Sanderson's The Reckoners series. Hardcover | Kindle book

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–At age six, Jason's mentally ill father tried to bury him alive. Now 15, Jason is left alone to care for the man. They live in squalor, and the teen is in constant fear for his father's (and his own) safety. When he begins to act erratically at school, he's sent to group therapy. There he meets three other kids with screwed-up families. Though he begins to trust and love them, he keeps his father's illness a secret. When the truth comes out, his father is hospitalized and Jason is sent to foster care. He discovers, guiltily, what it's like to be a little normal. The chemistry among members of the group calls to mind John Barnes's extraordinary Tales of the Madman Underground (Viking, 2009), and these characters sparkle. Nolan writes with her usual combination of ease and gravitas. The action moves briskly, especially in light of the serious mood. Jason's voice, on its own, is natural–teens will sympathize easily. Unfortunately, he also narrates via an annoying and superfluous cast of imaginary friends, including Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith Show. Instead of edgy, this device comes off as gimmicky and disrupts an otherwise intelligent, moving story.Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Jason, 15, lives a precarious life with his mentally ill father, who thinks he is an Argonaut and wears ttinfoil ear guards as he prepares for imminent attack from the Furies. When Jason was 6, his father tried to bury him alive, and his nightmares of suffocation continue to haunt him. Now that his mother has died from a stroke, Jason struggles to care for his needy father alone and with few resources. To help him cope, he creates an imaginary audience that includes Crazy Glue, Sexy Lady, and sympathetic, nurturing Aunt Bee, of Mayberry fame. There’s a laugh track, too, and Jason directly addresses the reader. In less-capable hands, these narrative experiments could have fallen flat, but Nolan skillfully uses the story’s intriguing structure to maneuver the minefield that is Jason’s life. As Jason finds support in group therapy, social services intervention, and a foster family, the voices in his head recede, and he becomes less fearful that he, too, is going crazy. Nolan leavens this haunting but hopeful story with spot-on humor and a well-developed cast of characters, and she shows with moving clarity the emotional costs of mental illness, especially on teens forced to parent their own parents. Grades 7-10. --Cindy Dobrez

Product Details

  • File Size: 1001 KB
  • Print Length: 357 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 13, 2010)
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2010
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ZX7V1K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,857 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama. When I was 9 months old my family moved to New York where I spent most of my childhood and teen years. When I was a toddler, I had white blond hair that stood straight up on my head. My family called me "Hoot" back then because that and my big eyes made me look like an owl. I couldn't pronounce my first and middle names, which were Helen Harris, so I said "Hannah Hollis". My family shortened this to a variety of nicknames: Hahn, Han Holl, Han, Hannie, and Hannie Bucket, which my husband later shortened to Hannie B. The neighborhood kids also called me Hahn. It is now pronounced, Han, and it rhymes with man.

I was very active as a child--I loved to jump on beds, do somersaults, handstands and flips on and off of sofas, climb trees and do different tricks on the monkey bars at the playground. I also liked my own thoughts best. In kindergarten, I paid no attention to my teacher. She told my mother that she thought I had a hearing problem. My parents had my hearing tested. My ears were fine. When my mother told me what the teacher had said I replied that I heard my teacher all right, it's just that she kept interrupting all my good thoughts!

I've loved stories for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite memories is of my father telling me bedtime stories, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, B'rer Rabbit, and stories from the Bible such as my favorite, Joseph and his Coat of Many Colors. I loved to make up my own stories too. I didn't write them down until I was a little older, but I sure loved to make them up.

One of my favorites books as a child was "Harriet the Spy". I wanted to be a spy, so I started spying on my family, especially my older sister. It turned out I was a terrible spy because I kept getting caught, but I kept a spy notebook, just like Harriet. I quickly gave up on the spying, but writing thoughts and stories in a notebook has been a habit for me ever since.

When I was ten, I saw the movie "The Sound of Music" and I fell in love with it. Back then if you wanted to see a movie more than once you had to go to the theater. We didn't have videos. I only saw it once but I had the record album with all the music on it and I learned every word of it. I made up dances to go with it and gave a performance for my family. My brothers and sisters laughed at me. My parents and grandmother applauded and told me I was wonderful. For years after seeing that movie I would lie awake nights remembering the story of the Sound Of Music and making up my own stories to go with it. Lying awake nights making up stories instead of sleeping is a habit I still have, as my husband can tell you.

My elementary school years were tough--I hated school. I wanted to be at home with my mother. I used to feel sick to my stomach every morning and my mother would let me stay home sometimes. We moved to Kentucky when I was in the fifth grade. I stayed home a lot that year and I missed so much school I had to repeat the grade to make up all the work I had missed. After that I didn't get sick to my stomach anymore.

I didn't do well in school until the sixth grade. That's the year I was given my first creative writing assignment. I had been writing stories at home for years and of course keeping a journal filled with more stories and poems and all those important thoughts I had. My homeroom/English teacher was very impressed by my writing and this made me feel smart. I decided to do well in school after that, and I did. But what if that teacher hadn't encouraged me?

When I was 13, my mother enrolled me in dance class. At first I felt like a big oaf--all the other kids were younger, or had been taking dance lessons for years, so I was behind. But I loved it, and I began to work at it all the time: stretching so I could do splits and high kicks and dancing around the house to music. Two years later I was invited to join the special master classes for the best students. All that hard work had paid off.

I loved dance--I continued lessons into high school, and then went to college and graduate school as a dance major. I went to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as an undergraduate, and went to Ohio State for my Masters degree.

So how did I end up as a writer?

I got married after Grad school and I soon realized that my dancing took up too much of the wrong time. When my husband was at work I was at home, and when he was home I was dancing. I didn't like that at all, even though my husband took a beginning ballet class just so he could spend time with me. I left dance and I decided to return to my first love, writing. Soon after that we adopted three children and I knew for sure that staying home and writing instead of dancing was the best decision for me.

As an adult I still love to spend time with my family and friends, and I love to read, run, hike, bike, swim, go to plays and concerts, travel, and of course, write.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like books that come to a happy ending and I would recommend this book for teenagers and I rated this high because it is just and awesome book
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By Angela on September 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Crazy is just what the titles leads you to believe it will be, absolutely crazy! Jason's mother dies, and he is left to care for his mentally ill father all on this own. He's keeping it to himself because he refuses to let his father be locked up. To keep it a secret, Jason's learned not to have any friends, so to keep himself company, he's invited an amusing cast of characters in his own head. There is "Fat Bald Guy With Mustache" who is funny and series, "Aunt Bea" (from Andy Griffith) who is the sweet grandmotherly type of influence, "Sexy Lady" who spends most of the book reassuring Jason how hot he is, and Crazy Glue who is the teenager who tends to push Jason to do things he doesn't want to.

This book was a lot of fun, and although it had the heavy topic of a father with a mental disorder, and a teen who ends up in foster care, it still moved along at a quick pace and never really felt to heavy or emotionally draining. The words really flowed through this story and I would find myself sitting down to read for just a few minutes and having to make myself put it down after a full hour has past.

Jason is a great lead character, strong, independent, and yet still has to learn that sometimes you can't take care of everything all on your own. The "group" of real kids that Jason meets in therapy were a great cast and so much fun. They were a ragtag crew that I would have liked to hang out with when I was in school.

It was very easy to relate with one or all of the characters in this book. Even if you didn't/don't have to deal with the same issues they do, the point is, we all have something going on in our lives that we sometimes need help getting through. Overall, this was a fast and very enjoyable read and I will be looking for more books by Han Nolan in the future.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Seasoned YA writer Han Nolan is back with a book tackling a tough topic (mental illness) with sensitivity and humor. Humor, you ask? The conceit she has happily stumbled upon takes a page out of drama-writing school as she gives "voice" to five characters the young protagonist, 15-year-old Jason, hears in his head. As the real-time action and dialogue unfold, these voices inject their own opinions like a modern Greek chorus, and Nolan uses their names followed by the colon, just as in a play script.

Jason lost his mother to a stroke and now is contending with a father who suffers from a swiftly-deteriorating mental illness. In a house with little food, heat, or cleanliness, the situation becomes dire and the "voices" become shrill. Jason, who invented the voices "for company" in 5th grade, knows them as Fat Bald Guy (FBG), Sexy Lady, Aunt Bee, Crazy Glue, and Laugh Track. Each has its own personality, by turns sarcastic, critical, supportive, nurturing, mocking, irrelevant, and funny. They help him get by as crisis follows crisis, and at times amuse the reader as well.

The narrative arc of the book follows attempts by Jason's high school friends -- Shelby, Pete, Haze, and school psychologist Dr. Gomez -- to help both Jason and his dad. Also in the mix are foster families, courts, and hospitals. But the real attraction is not so much the plot as the characterization. And, of course, the essential question: just who is crazy here and who gets to define what it looks like? Overall, this is a creative and compelling outing for Nolan which will appeal to readers interested in psychology, social workers, and teens under duress.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Young adult book about teen drama-check. Mental illness as the main focus-check. Been there, done that, right? Except this one is insanely (bad choice of words, I know) different. In this refreshingly unique novel the tables are turned and this time it’s a child who has to cope with his parent’s mental illness.

Jason can’t remember a time when his life wasn’t overshadowed by his dad’s odd behavior. Going as far back as age six when his dad tried to bury him alive “to protect him”, it’s always been a part of their lives. However, when Jason’s mom dies unexpectedly things begin to rapidly deteriorate. She was the one who always held things together, and without her their lives start to spin out of control. Money is tight, food is scarce, and their house is falling apart. Despite his best efforts to hold things together and keep their way of life a secret, his grades and behavior at school are being affected. When he’s sent to group therapy, he finds comfort in an unlikely group of friends who are living with family issues of their own. In a short span of time he’s forced to confront his own feelings of grief at his mother’s death, guilt at not being able to protect his dad, and fear that he, too, is losing his mind. He has to learn to accept help from others and to be a kid again after being the adult in his family for so long. There’s a hospitalization and a confrontation with social services before everything is finally resolved. Along the way, Jason is kept company by running commentary from a cast of characters he has created in his mind to help him cope with his dysfunctional life.

This was an amazing story from beginning to end. It could have been another run-of-the-mill story of teen angst and drama but Han Nolan inserts humor and emotion into every page.
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