Sure Signs of Crazy

Karen Harrington
Love can be a trouble word for some people. Crazy is also a trouble word.I should know.You've never met anyone exactly like twelve-year-old Sarah Nelson. While most of her friends obsess over Harry Potter, she spends her time writing letters to Atticus Finch. She collects trouble words in her diary. Her best friend is a plant. And she's never known her mother, who left when Sarah was two.Since then, Sarah and her dad have moved from one small Texas town to another, and not one has felt like home.Everything changes when Sarah launches an investigation into her family's Big Secret. She makes unexpected new friends and has her first real crush, and instead of a "typical boring Sarah Nelson summer," this one might just turn out to be extraordinary.


Reviewed: 2016-10-08

Sarah Nelson, the twelve year-old heroine of "Sure Signs of Crazy" has such a wonderfully authentic voice and plucky attitude that I adored her from the very beginning.  As she tackles the immediate challenges of a boring summer, a dreaded 7th grade project, and french kissing, she also delves into deeper issues, like her father's alcoholism, her mother's mental health, and her own fear that she may have inherited her parents' troubles.  She expresses her most honest feelings in letters she writes to her favorite fictional character, Atticus Finch, which endears her even more to folks like me who love to read.  She will appeal to young readers "on the outside", the ones who feel different or who don't always fit in, as well as those who love words and literature, and those who are, perhaps, struggling with their own personal demons.  It is an appropriate book for middle grade students, and would fit well in a text set with "Inside Out and Back Again", "Wunder", and "Star Girl."  It covers themes including coming of age, mental health, courage, and uniqueness.  My favorite quote is. "Before I put the book back in its place, I catch my reflection in a small space between the books.  I am an unread book, too.  I am waiting to know what happens to me."

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