05. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Sure Signs Of Crazy by Karen Harrington, 288 pages, read by Angie, on 07/04/2013

When Sarah was two her mother tried to drown her and did drown her brother Simon. Now her mom is in a mental institution and her dad drinks. Sarah and her dad move around a lot; anytime the news does a story on her mom it is time to pack up and leave. They have been in Garland, Texas (the armpit of Texas) for a while and Sarah is just finishing up 6th grade. She spends her summer trying to figure out how to get out of the 7th grade Family Tree Project, writing letters to Atticus Finch, talking to her best friend Plant, who is a plant, and spending time with her neighbors, college students Finn and Charlotte. She is also on the lookout for any behavior that might indicate she has inherited the “crazy” gene from her mother. Her dad is mostly absent so Sarah is on her own a lot. She is very curious and obsessed with words; she has new favorite words every day. I really enjoyed how smart and spunky Sarah is. She has had to go through some terrible things, but she has persevered and even thrived a bit. She might write letters to a character in a book and talk to a plant, but it is all a substitute for her absent parents: crazy mom and drunk dad. But in the end Sarah takes charge of her life; she forces her father to pay attention to her and she confronts her feelings about her mom. I thought this was a wonderful middle grade novel and one I will definitely recommend. I received a copy of this book at 2013 ALA conference from Karen Harrington…thank you!

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