Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY by Karen Harrington

Sure Signs of CrazyWhen people learn who Sarah Nelson's mother is, Sarah and her father have to move.  That means Sarah is used to being the new kid at school, making new friends, and living in rental houses.  Sarah understands the reason for the many moves, but it doesn't mean she has to like it.

She doesn't know the details of what happened very well because she was only two at the time.  What she does know is that her mother went crazy and tried to drown Sarah and her twin brother Simon.  Sarah survived, but Simon did not.  There was a trial, actually two trials Sarah will remind you.  One trial ended with a guilty verdict for her mother who was sent to a mental facility.  The other trial was for Sarah's father who was found not guilty on charges of endangering his children.  When news gets out about the family's identity, it is just easier to move than deal with the consequences.

There are only a few weeks left of Sarah's sixth grade year.  She has two worries about the approaching summer.  1) Like every other summer, she will be sent to stay with her grandparents because her father has to work and doesn't like to leave her home alone.  2) If she survives the summer with her grandparents, Sarah dreads the fact that she will be in seventh grade because she knows she will be required to complete the Family Tree Project assigned to all seventh graders in Garland, Texas.  How will she be able to hide the truth about her mother then?

One thing that gives Sarah some comfort is the challenge her teacher gives the class on the last day.  In an effort to keep the students writing over the summer, Mr. Wistler suggests that everyone write something, either a story, a book of poetry, or something.  Sarah begins writing letters to her favorite character in her favorite book - Atticus Finch.  She has read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD multiple times and even highlighted the passages she loves.  She believes Atticus is the perfect father, and since her father drinks too much and doesn't even remember her birthday, she turns to Atticus when she needs to confide in someone.

As readers follow Sarah's summer adventures, they will enjoy her spunk, appreciate her dedication, and learn her family's secrets.  Author Karen Harrington words and images are sure to leave a lasting impression.

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