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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Crazy Lady! (Trophy Newbery) Paperback – January 19, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: Trophy Newbery
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 2nd Printing edition (January 19, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064405710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064405713
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9-- Vernon's father is too busy holding his large family together to notice the boy's academic failures, and his siblings are either too young or too preoccupied with their own affairs to help. So, Vernon finds himself hanging out on his Baltimore street corner, quietly desperate about school but powerless to resolve his problems. He and the other neighborhood boys like to taunt Maxine and Roland, an alcoholic and her retarded son. When Vernon supports the woman's argument with their grocer one day, he's embarrassed both by his previous behavior and her kind remarks about his dead mother. He blurts out his troubles and she introduces him to Miss Annie, a retired teacher, who tutors him but asks as repayment that he help Maxine and Roland. With Vernon's assistance, the boy is able to participate in the Special Olympics. When Maxine appears, drunk and abusive, it is the final straw for Roland's teacher and the welfare authorities, and he is removed from his mother's neglectful custody. Giving up his needy friend unlocks Vernon's unrealized anger at his mother for dying and leaving him, but he finds solace in his father, who has been there for him all along. Vernon's story is an interesting and involving one that reveals the enormous capacity of teens for both cruelty and compassion. Its truth reveals that each of us has felt the pain of exclusion and the liberation of acceptance and love. Like Virginia Euwer Wolff's Probably Still Nick Swansen (Holt, 1988) and Dennis Covington's Lizard (Delacorte, 1991), this book provides a much needed insight into the lives of adolescents with special needs. --Alice Casey Smith, Lakewood Public Library, NJ
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Grade 5-9-Crazy Lady by Jane Conly (HarperCollins, 1993) is a gem of a story about outsiders, loss, friendship and growth. It deserves the thoughtful and perceptive performance that Ed Begley, Jr. gives as he narrates the story of Vernon, Maxine, Ronald and their neighborhood. Begley's voice has just the right amount of wonder, insecurity, and pathos as he shares Vernon's observations, self-accusations, and occasional outrage. He changes his voice only slightly to portray the weary wisdom of Vernon's father, and the almost hysterical anxiety of Maxine when she is on a "binge," but he clearly differentiates between characters and enhances Conly's characterizations. The only jarring note is the music that occasionally appears to emphasize a mood, be it a carnival or an anticipated conflict. Begley's reading is so effective that the music appears more as a distraction than an enhancement. Readers who loved the story will be moved by this version and feel the pain of the characters perhaps even more intensely than before. Those who missed the book should be directed to this audiobook.
Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Washington, DC
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Whereas the story has merit, this is not fit reading for 9-12years olds.
Patricia Baggett
There is much more to be had from this book in the way of well-drawn characters and settings and the theme of acceptance.
Gwyneth Calvetti
I've read this book time and time again and find it to be not only entertaining and interesting but a bit humorous.
"huckle_berry_88"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Gobert on April 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Vernon Dobbs is a struggling student having a bad school year. He has gone in for help. He just can't seem to get the hang of reading. He has had no one to turn to since his mother passed away from a stroke three years earlier. His mother had an uncanny ability to help those around her. His father tries, but is just too busy taking care of the family.
Vernon and his friends have nothing better to do than torment the eccentric neighborhood Crazy Lady, Maxine and her son Ronald who is mentally disabled. One chance meeting, with Maxine, outside the local grocery store will change many of Vernon's perceptions on life. Maxine introduces Vernon to her friend Mrs. Annie a retired schoolteacher. From Mrs. Annie he will learn that not everything in life is black or white. In exchange for tutoring, Vernon agrees to do odd jobs for Maxine. Vernon learns that Maxine's "craziness" is in reality alcoholism. Maxine's outrageous behaviors are accurately depicted through clothes and language. Vernon goes from the role of tormentor to that of protector as the story progresses. Conley creates a vivid impression of what life is really like in the section of town in which Vernon lives. It comes through in the attitudes of the grocer who tries to cheat people out a few cents on a regular basis, knowing that the people will not complain too much because they charge at his store. She also portrays a community where people band together supporting and helping each other. The book only gives one small glimpse that Vernon's problem may be a hereditary learning disability. The story addresses peer pressure, alcoholism, and people perceptions of other people with disabilities. Vernon finds out that you cannot control or assume responsibility for anyone's actions but your own. He finds out that his father has been there for him all the time and Vernon discovers that triumph and tragedy often go hand in hand.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
I thought it was okay because the charatcters were just okay. I used to think that all alchoholics were really bad people but now I know that some of them are really nice. Sometimes I think that mentally changlled people are mean but now I know that they are also nice people. Sometimes they can be mean and hateful but now I know that they are nice. I thought that Ronald changed Vernon in some way. So now I really like Vernon better than at the end than at the beginning.So it teaches you to not judge a book by its cover or a person either.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
I did not like certain parts in this book. I don't think Maxine being drunk so much is a good thing. Vernon is nice though. Ronald is also nice. It showed me not to judge people by the way they look before knowing them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a heart warming story that tells of a boy named Vernon going from childhood to adulthood. At first he does not care about his school-work and then he starts to fail English. He asks his friends and his older sister to help tutor him but it is no use. Then a neighbor, Maxine Flooter, called the Crazy Lady, offers an old freind. He starts to go to her house for tutoring and his grades get better. Then since he can not pay cash Miss Annie wants him to start helping in Maxine's yard. Maxine is a drunk and her yard is a mess.She has a son named Ronald that is autistic.Vernon can't say no and has to help her. He does it real quick so his friends won't find out. Then Ms. Marlow, Ronald's teacher, finds out about Maxine being a drunk. She starts snooping around and asks Maxine if Ronald wanted to compete in the special Olympics. They decide to and problems arise. To find out if these problems are solved read this heart warming story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jessica L. Hebert on May 11, 2006
Format: Library Binding
Crazy Lady by Jane Leslie Conly is a wonderful story of friendship and differences. The story takes place in a neighborhood of working class America. Young thirteen year old Vernon is dealing with the loss of his mother, struggling in school, and just being an adolescent in the world today. There is also `crazy lady' Maxine who is dealing with raising her mentally handicap son and coping with her drinking problem daily. Eventually the lives of Vernon and Maxine collide due to certain circumstances. Vernon and Maxine develop a friendship over time which changes both their lives. Vernon begins to look at the world around him while learning he has the power to help others. Vernon also learns he shouldn't judge people before getting to know them. Maxine, on the other hand, learns that making the right decisions in life can be trying at times.
Jane Leslie Conly's book portrays the lives of real people in real life situations. The characters in this story come to life through the interesting storyline. This book is a great read and a great book to share with others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was okay but I did learn a lot of things from it. I learned that mentally challenged kids are really not dumb like everybody thinks. They have their mind and own thoughts. All alchoholics are not bad either. Most people drink because they are stressed or because they are sad or something.I learned that you can never judge a person by what they look like. One person might dress with no clothes matching one another, but they could still have a great personality. I really liked the character Ronald because if he was real there could be a lot learned from him. Vernon was a good character because he was the one that liked him when no one else payed attention.
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