by Linda Vigen Phillips


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Crazy by Linda Vigen Phillips

A compelling novel in verse about mental illness

Laura is a typical fifteen-year-old growing up in the 1960s, navigating her way through classes, friendships, and even a new romance. But she’s carrying around a secret: her mother is suffering from a mental illness. No one in Laura’s family will talk about her mother’s past hospitalizations or increasingly erratic behavior, and Laura is confused and frightened. Laura finds some refuge in art, but when her mother suffers a breakdown after taking painting back up again herself, even art ceases to provide much comfort.

Eloquent and compelling, this powerful novel-in-verse tackles complex themes in a way that will have readers rooting for Laura to find the courage to get the answers she needs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802854377
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/06/2014
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 871,574
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 1070L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Linda Vigen Phillips ( is a retired teacher. Crazy is her first novel. Linda lives in North Carolina.

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Crazy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MGYABookJunkie More than 1 year ago
Crazy is a novel in verse about a girl, Laura, growing up in the 1960s with a secret. Her mom's behavior confuses and frightens her, and she doesn't know where to turn. This close-up view of what it's like living with a mentally-ill loved one left me feeling uplifted with a much greater understanding of mental health issues. Though the story is set 50 years ago, it feels timeless. This is my first YA in verse. I'll admit I was a bit intimidated at first, but it's so beautifully done that I look forward to the author's next novel. In fact, I'd love to hear the author read Crazy.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Her mother, once an artist, hung one of her paintings on the kitchen wall for all to admire. Yet now, this once lively lady just rocks and stares, for at this time she has transformed herself into another human being. Her mother is the “crazy one”. Laura pushes her mother to resume painting and at her persistence, her mother picks up the brush and she is inspired momentarily. Then she’s gone, more lost to the world of the unknown then before, so lost she’s sent away and a burden is placed on Laura’s shoulders. Laura, an artist also, picks up her brush to escape the issues around her. The kids at school question Laura about her art and her mother, those two hot subjects forever on their lips. Written in verse, the sentence structure and the fragmented lines create a rhythm as you read this novel. There is this attention to the drama as you read the text line-by-line, highlighting the emotions and energy in the events being played out in Laura’s life. Pages quickly fly by with many great passages and phrases. You can’t stop the flow, the rhythm quickly becomes embedded within you and I had difficulty finding a place to stop and place my bookmark. Laura is frightened of her own future which is feels could be based on her families past; this fear creates an uprising within Laura. Laura’s opens with her feelings and she bold, she is just looking for the answers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Written for young adults, but appropriate for adults as well, this story resonates with all of us; we deal with mental illness in our families or know those who do. The book, written in verse, is a readable and touching narrative of growing up with 'craziness.' Well worth reading.