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Banned Book Review: Crazy Lady

February 1, 2006

63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly

Reason:  Challenged for offensive language.

When I finished this book, I was angry.  Not because the book itself made me angry, but because it is a damn fine book.  And people are banning it.

Crazy Lady is the story of Vernon, a troubled young man dealing with the death of his mother and the struggles of his large family to survive on the pitiful income of his father.  Vernon is struggling with school as well as life, but when he befriends the “crazy” woman down the street he begins to pull himself together.  He learns compassion as he befriends the mentally handicapped son of the woman, and strives to help the mother overcome her alcoholism.  Their neighborhood is by no means upscale, but the author doesn’t make the mistake of demonizing the poorer people.  In fact, Vernon is constantly reminded throughout the book of judging people without getting to know them.  This is no fairy tale setting, and the ending is no Happily Ever After.  Instead, it is real and powerful.   Recommended for grades 5-9.

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