Crazy Lady! (Trophy Newbery)

Jane Leslie Conly
Increasingly alienated from his widowed father, Vernon joins his friends in ridiculing the neighborhood outcasts'Maxine, an alcoholic prone to outrageous behavior, and Ronald, her retarded son. But when a social service agency tries to put Ronald into a special home, Vernon fights against the move. 1994 Newbery Honor BookNotable Children's Books of 1994 (ALA)1994 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)1994 Young Adult Editors' Choices (BL)1994 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)Young Adult Choices for 1995 (IRA)


Reviewed: 2016-08-16

I really enjoyed reading Crazy Lady! The characters were creative and full of emotion. I thought the selection for the setting was well described and helped fit the narrative. The relationship between Vernon and Ronald was the biggest thing that stood out for me. Vernon really began to care and love Ronald, and Ronald could never really speak it, but you knew through his actions that he loved Vernon back. It was almost like a human-pet relationship, which makes the story seem even more sad. I loved the transformation of Vernon’s character into a more mature child and how he became a “protector” of Ronald.


Maxine was a total wild card with her unpredictable and alcoholic nature. She remained a mostly unlikeable character for me. I was very upset with her decision at the end of the book, even though it was the best case for Ronald since he’d have a comfortable living situation. It was all Maxine’s fault the decision had to be made in the first place. I think most young readers would agree with my sentiment about the characters.


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