This Family Is Driving Me Crazy: Ten Stories About Surviving Your Family

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You think your family's bad? What if your dad was a preacher at the mall? What if your sister made you dress like Little Lord Fauntleroy for her wedding? What if your grandfather was wanted by the law in three states? You'd be hard pressed to be in more embarrassing, tougher situations than these kids.

Ten hilarious, poignant, thoughtful stories about how our families drive us crazy, and how we love them anyway. Featuring some of today's most ...

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Overview

You think your family's bad? What if your dad was a preacher at the mall? What if your sister made you dress like Little Lord Fauntleroy for her wedding? What if your grandfather was wanted by the law in three states? You'd be hard pressed to be in more embarrassing, tougher situations than these kids.

Ten hilarious, poignant, thoughtful stories about how our families drive us crazy, and how we love them anyway. Featuring some of today's most talented authors:

Joan Bauer Jack Gantos Mel Glenn Gordon Korman David Lubar Walter Dean Myers Dian Curtis Regan John H. Ritter Nancy Springer Sharon Dennis Wyeth

This is the perfect gift for that special someone who drives you crazy!

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
The diversity of authors really provides something for everyone . . . a worthwhile purchase.
Blake Tenore
"Midnight Bus to Georgia," Walter Dean Myers's story of an African American family going to outlandish lengths to support one another—and keep each other out of jail—concludes this volume on a raucous high note. The entire collection of stories, told exclusively through voices of adolescent narrators, includes the adventures of an extreme-thrill-seeking family, a boy who learns to love writing via his eBay sales, two tales in the "my crazy sister is getting married" genre, a near-death-fantasy-baseball experience, an obsession with eating pork that "saves" the preacher, and two stories of the "fixing" of "broken" families. Young adolescents won't find any hard-hitting "problem stories" in this volume, but they will find some fun adventures with fortuitous turns and happy endings all around. The writing is serviceable, readable, and uncomplicated, and Myers's contribution, though not his strongest work, is definitely the "literary" highlight of this collection. Reviewer: Blake Tenore
Children's Literature - Jennie DeGenaro
Comprised of ten stories about teen-agers surviving their families and their feelings (along the bumpy "teen years" path), this will be considered a "good read" by its target audience. The editors selected stories that teenagers can relate with and will find hard to put down. Teen readers will have faced many of the problematic situations that the characters face. The stories cover many aspects of life from a sister's wedding to a grandfather's lack of scruples. One story explains how a teen-age girl changes for the better after feeling negative toward living with her brother and his pregnant wife while her parents are overseas. One story tells of a teen-age boy as he faces death. One entirely different story, titled "American Teen," explains that regardless of what part of the country we are from, we are still united by the human heart. This story contains short vignettes from thirty states that are humorous, poignant and keep readers so involved they will be sorry to see each short story end. This Family is Driving Me Crazy would be a fine gift for a teen-age relative and would be a welcome addition for any high school, junior college, or public library. Reviewer: Jennie DeGenaro
VOYA - Victoria Vogel
What teen does not have a family that drives him crazy? It is a common complaint of misunderstood adolescents everywhere. This collection of short stories by notable young adult authors entertainingly illustrates that sentiment in a variety of genres and styles. Most notable is American Teen, Mel Glenn's collection of free verse poetry from struggling teenagers across the country. The entries are rich with emotion that is conveyed briefly and beautifully. Also impressive is Jack Gantos's For the Love of Pork, about a teen with an overzealous preacher father who learns to be nice for a change. Gantos's gift for writing humor and creating quirky, interesting characters is certainly not lost on this one. John Ritter's Tunnel Vision is a heartening sports story about a youth who meets his long-dead relatives when he has a near-death experience after a baseball accident. It is sure to appeal to younger males who love baseball. Finally Walter Dean Myers ends the collection on a high note with Midnight Bus to Georgia, featuring a hilarious family of shady characters who are trying to save Grandpa Lee from going to jail for tax fraud. Among the many short story collections for teens out there, this one does not stand out as being essential, but it certainly is amusing, entertaining, and well-written. The subject matter is PG for the most part. There are negative overtones toward religion in Gantos's story and allusions to sex in one of Glenn's pieces, but no profanity or graphically depicted situations. The stories are diverse in their portrayal of a common teen problem, and therefore have the potential to appeal to a broad audience. Reviewer: Victoria Vogel
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—From the first story, Gordon Korman's "Wimp of Sparta," to the last, Walter Dean Myers's "Midnight Bus to Georgia," this compilation is sure to find a wide audience. Characters such as boy farmer Avery Alexander, who is ordered to dress in a mauve Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit for his sister's wedding in Nancy Springer's "The Most Mauve There Is," and Grandpa Lee in Myers's tale of a family of cons who are trying to get Grandpa out of trouble and out of New York, will generate hearty laughter. Other tales, such as Sharon Dennis Wyeth's "Another Chance," pull at the heartstrings more than hit the funny bone. And the poems in Mel Glenn's "American Teen" showcase readers' similarities across lines of gender and geography. But all of the stories deal with family in their loving, and sometimes not-so-loving, insanity. This book will be devoured by reluctant and avid readers alike.—Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL
Kirkus Reviews
With stories that are a mixture of humor and angst, the Weisses have collected some sterling examples of family problems, if not necessarily sterling writing. For the most part told in the first-person vernacular common to so much middle-school fiction and taking place in a largely undifferentiated present, the tales seek to plumb the relationships of kids to their families. Jack Gantos's selection is the most oddball, the David Lubar piece the funniest, Mel Glenn's section the most poignant and Gordon Korman's has the most surprising ending. None is very memorable, nor does the whole add up to more than the sum of its parts. For those who need relatively short and clean fare for classrooms, this does have the advantage of having something mildly appealing for almost everyone, but it lacks the punch that a more cohesive collection can deliver. Despite its promising premise, this is ultimately a bland disappointment. (Short stories. 12-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399250408
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/29/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss live in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. They are life long educators and the compilers of numerous anthologies.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 23, 2009

    Alternatingly hilarious and heartbreaking

    Great stories selected by great editors from great writers. This collection has something for everybody. Masterful writing on important issues about family!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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