NC Literary Hall of Fame












 Crazy by Linda Vigen Phillips

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
$9.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5437-7
October, 2014
Fiction (YA): Novel in verse / Historical / Literary
Available from your local bookstore or

"Phillips’ poetry coupled with her personal experiences truly make this a poignant read. It should be in the hands of anyone—teen and adult—who has ever felt powerless at the hands of mental illness."
School Library Journal

"Phillips' accessibly written chronicle will resonate with teens who understand the desire to protect themselves from their families' inner truths."

"Laura’s story is one that will resonate widely with contemporary readers as they seek avenues of support through their own struggles to remain sensitive to mothers who sometimes disappear, and almost always to some degree disappoint."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

I stopped by the canal,
swarming with hungry pelicans
and screeching gulls,
and I wondered
what it would feel like
not to sit and dangle my feet through the slats
but instead to climb up on the railing
and let myself just slip off and down
and down
and down.

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. She finds some solace in art, but when her mother, also an artist, suffers a breakdown, Laura fears that she will follow in her mother’s footsteps. Left without a refuge, can she find the courage to face what scares her most?

Eloquent and compelling, this novel-in-verse tackles complex themes in a way that will have readers rooting for Laura to find the courage to face her worst fears.

A Junior Library Guild Selection; New York Public Library Best Books for Teens 2014; Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) BFYA nomination 2015; and Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2015.

Linda Vigen Phillips has always loved reading and writing poetry. As a retired teacher she delights in having enough time to pursue these passions. Crazy, her debut book, is a YA novel in verse. Drawn from her own experiences growing up in Oregon, it tells the story of a teenage girl coming to terms with her mother’s mental illness. Linda hopes that the book will speak to teens or adults whose lives have been affected by a loved one facing similar challenges. She and her husband live in North Carolina where they ride vintage bicycles on greenways and make regular play dates with the grandkids.

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