Book Review: Sure Signs of Crazy, by Karen Harrington

sure_signs_coverHave you ever walked into the living room, and your parents were watching the news?  Maybe they’re watching a trial. Maybe it’s about something really serious, like a mother killing (or almost killing) their child. It’s scary, but it happens. So what if that child survived, and that child was a girl? What if that child was a twin, and the other twin (which is a boy) didn’t survive? Have you ever thought about this? This is the basis for Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington.

Twelve-year-old Sarah Nelson is very different. Her classmates like Harry Potter, and she likes Atticus Finch. She loves words and books. Her best friend is a plant, and her mom tried to drown her when Sarah when was two. She’s never known her mother since her mother has been in a mental institution since then. Her dad gets drunk a lot, and they move each time somebody recognizes who they are and who her mom is, so Sarah has never truly felt at home…

…until one summer. One summer when she didn’t get shoved to her grandparents’ house for three months. One summer when she got her first real crush. One summer when her English teacher made a difference beforehand. And one summer when she discovered something broken can heal.

I feel like I shouldn’t give away a lot of this book, so I’ll give my personal view of it without any spoilers.

Now I’m not typically an emotional person, so I can’t say I cried and laughed out loud, but I can say I did cry and laugh on the inside. This book is so real it feels like Sarah just “walked out of the book,” as she says about Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I feel Karen (May I call her Karen? Yeah, I think I will.) did an amazing job with this book. I could feel Sarah’s pain and anger and happiness and all of her other emotions. A well done book! It also got me interested in To Kill A Mockingbird, which definitely will be my next book.

 P.S. Although this book is said to be for ages 9 and up, I feel it’s more for 11ish and up. 

-Danielle L., 6th grade

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