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Crazy Lady! (1993)

por Jane Leslie Conly

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588640,687 (3.24)12
As he tries to come to terms with his mother's death, Vernon finds solace in his growing relationship with the neighborhood outcasts, an alcoholic and her retarded son.
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This would be a great book for reluctant readers. I understood it so differently as an adult, and the writing was so strong that I expected more from it that I needed to. That's a compliment, I promise. Poverty in this novel wasn't tragic. Neither was alcoholism. Single parenthood was treated realistically. I remember crying at this book as a kid. As an adult, I just felt sort of moody afterward. I congratulate the author on her success and hope this book continues to do well. ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 20, 2022 |
Vernon is a junior high student who spends his time hanging out with his friends on the street corner, stealing the occasional candy bar and making fun of the local crazy lady and her mentally disabled son when they walk by. He needs help to pass his English class, and his tutor - an old lady/retired English teacher who lives next door to the crazy lady - helps him to get to know Maxine (crazy lady) and her son, and soon he becomes close friends with Ronald (the son).

A good bully-turned-caring person story that stays clear of any saccharine flavoring and actually offers up a touching story with characters that ring true. Both Maxine and Vernon have complex layers, and the conflict of the story goes beyond the simple wicked-boy-turns-good. Overall, a solid middle school pick. ( )
  electrascaife | Jun 21, 2021 |
In the book Crazy Lady! Vernon starts hanging out with his neighborhood friends after he starts to get excluded by his widowed father. However, Vernon’s new friends are no good. All they enjoy doing is picking on the outcasts of the neighborhood, mainly being Maxine, the alcoholic with the outrageous behavior, and her son Ronald who is mentally ill. Social service hears of Ronald and his situation that he is in and they try to come and take him away from his mother. After all the ridicule and bullying, Vernon makes the right choice and try to fight against the move.

I can personally relate to this book because I remember as a child how hard it was to avoid the peer pressure of picking on the other students who weren’t in the right clique. However, at the back of my mind I always knew the right thing to do.

In the classroom, I would take this opportunity to do a lesson over self-esteem and bullying. I would have a discussion in the classroom of the causes and effects of bullying.
  Sierra.Kovacs | Oct 20, 2010 |
This is a touching story of a young man who loses his mother and doesn't really fit in anywhere. He tends to get trouble and eventually has to have a tutor for English because he cannot afford to pay for his tutor. The tutor lets him pay off his lessons by helping the "Crazy Lady". While helping her he befriends her mentally retarded son and learns acceptance and the lesson of helping others.

I really enjoyed this book. The title drew me in and intrigued me into reading it.

In a classroom setting I would use this book as a model about self worth and acceptance as well as individuals are all different some on the outside and some on the inside, but all worth love.
  langerer | Apr 21, 2010 |
This book is about a boy named Vernon. His father is too busy trying to hold his family together after his wife dies to notice the boy's academic failures and his siblings are either too young or preoccupied with their own problems to help out. Vernon ends up hanging out on the corner because he don't know how to solve his problems on his own. He and some of his friends constantly picks on this lady named Maxine and her retarded son Roland until one day Maxine made a kind remark about his dead mother. He tells Maxine about his troubles and she introduces him to a retired teacher named Miss Annie who agrees to help him but on one condition. He has to help Maxine and Roland. With Vernon's help, Roland is able to participate in the Specual Olympics. Because Maxine is always drunk and abusive, social services remove Roland from her custody and then that is when Vernon shows his unrealized anger at his mother for dying but he is grateful for his father who has been there for him all along.

This was a very interesting book. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to any teenager who is in a similar situation. I feel that it will help them cope with whatever they may be dealing with in their life.

I think that a way that I could incorporate this book into a classroom setting is by getting the students to discuss a situation that was similar to Vernon's and how they would cope with the situation. Of course, I would have to do this with a much older group of students.
  rita009 | Apr 20, 2010 |
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As he tries to come to terms with his mother's death, Vernon finds solace in his growing relationship with the neighborhood outcasts, an alcoholic and her retarded son.

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