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Crazy Lady!

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,305 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
Increasingly alienated from his widowed father, Vernon joins his friends in ridiculing the neighborhood outcasts'Maxine, an alcoholic prone to outrageous behavior, and Ronald, her retarded son. But when a social service agency tries to put Ronald into a special home, Vernon fights against the move.

1994 Newbery Honor Book
Notable Children's Books of 1994 (ALA)
1994 Best Books
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 19th 1995 by HarperCollins (first published 1993)
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Apr 30, 2009 Katie rated it liked it
A good, fast, enjoyable children's book.

The Good:
--believable characters & character development
--doesn't talk down to its audience or gloss over people's faults
--doesn't bash working-class people; makes them behave the way people behave in real life

The Bad:
--wasn't sure whether the narrator was supposed to be a kid's voice or an adult's, especially since the narrator mentions that the story's action took place in 1981 (the book was written in the 90s)

The Ugly:
--the ending.

The ending was a d
Jan 14, 2008 Dawn rated it really liked it
I am reading books from the ALA’s most challenged list. I checked off all the books I have already read (although I plan to go back and read some) and now I am working through the part of the list I am interested in reading. I went through the list in my school library and grabbed this one. I finished it this morning and sobbed through the last two chapters.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why this one would be challenged. All I can discover is it is challenged for “offensive language”. Ca
Haley Curtis
Dec 02, 2015 Haley Curtis rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan DellaPenna
Sep 11, 2015 Ryan DellaPenna rated it really liked it
Crazy Lady was an interesting novel. It's about a young boy who is troubled in school, but does not have enough money at home with his single dad and 4 siblings to afford a tutor. He finds someone who will tutor him for free as long as he helps out her neighbor, the "Crazy Lady". Maxine the crazy lady is a drunk who has a son with special needs. The boy befriends the two despite the negative perception they both have from society, and helps them be looked at as people with problems they cannot c ...more
Taylor Skinner
Jan 08, 2016 Taylor Skinner rated it really liked it
Crazy lady is a book by Jane Leslie Conly about a boy named Vernon in 1981. Vernon doesn't do very well at school and if he gets another F he will fail his grade. Vernon gets a tutor from the help of Maxine, she gets him a retired teacher named Ms. Annie. Throughout the year that Ms. Annie is helping him, he becomes good friends with Maxine's son Ronald. Vernon helps Ronald have a sale to get money for new shoes and go to the Olympics. Vernon also helps Ronald in his Olympic events, and after th ...more
I thought that this was a good book that some children may be able to identify with. An boy ignored by his busy family and younger siblings, befriends the so-called crazy lady down the street. A touching story that is sure to be liked.
Rebecca McNutt
Nov 01, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, middle-grade
This book uses rather outdated terms and the sentences are choppy, but it's a good story when you drill it down.
Rosie Preciado
May 07, 2017 Rosie Preciado rated it liked it
Vernon Dibbs and his neighborhood friends enjoy agitating Maxine, well known for her angry outbursts and heavy drinking. Maxine’s eccentric behavior has earned her the name “Crazy Lady.” In spite of Maxine’s problems, she proves to be a devoted mother to her mentally disabled son, Ronald. Vernon wants nothing to do with either of them, until he is forced to help Maxine care for Ronald in exchange from receiving English tutoring from Maxine’s neighbor, Miss Annie. As he spends time with Maxine an ...more
Allen Henderson
Jun 20, 2017 Allen Henderson rated it it was ok
I thought this was going to be better than it was. The beginning was okay. It was pretty cool how Vernon developed a relationship with a child with special needs.
Nov 03, 2016 Adian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a great book but I think a could be alot better
Aug 08, 2014 Kari rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Corinne Wilson
Told from the presepective of Vernon, a city kid trapped in a family that is coping with his mothers' death, this is the story of a boy who learns to view everything around him differently. Vernon struggles in school, and all his siblings are too busy keeping the family together to help him. For a while, he gets into small-time mischief (shoplifting, vandalism, harassing the alcoholic and her disabled son down the street). Then he's forced to have an actual conversation with the alcoholic, who r ...more
Inoka Perera
Mar 03, 2015 Inoka Perera rated it really liked it
CRAZY LADY BY jane Leslie Conly is truly a realistic down-to -earth and fascinating story. It unfolds so many issues relating to social and psychological area of the young and old.This book reveals a hidden pathto all readers while bringing out a simple themetic arena. The book at first clearly reveals the complex problems of a youngster and the challenges brought forward to his familly due to his mother's death. Then the narrator, Vernon Dibbs is exposed to Miss.Annie who introduces Ronald and ...more
Sam Bendel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2009 Sunny added it
Crazy Lady by Jane Leslie Conly
1994 Newberry Honour Book
Rating: 7/10. Maybe I am just burning out on juvenile fiction, but that's how I felt at the time.

Basically, this is a book about not judging others. The main charactor, Vernon, has recently lost his mother, and feels lost in a family of five kids. He is not as smart as his older brother, or as resourceful as his older sister, or as cute as his younger siblings. When his grades get dangerously low in English, he gets tutoring to avoid repeat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theresa Reifon
Format/Length: Chapter book; 180 pages

Newbery Honor Book Notable Children's Books of 1994
1994 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)
1994 Young Adult Editors' Choices (BL)
1994 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)
Young Adult Choices for 1995 (IRA)

Theme(s): Family relationships, Friendship, Meeting challenges, Survival, and Abandonment


Interesting story, but I did not get into the plot that much because the voice of the narrator. I also did not enjoy the ending- it l
Nov 16, 2012 Kaitlyn rated it really liked it
While I lived in Sioux City, there was a lady who had three kids, she was alone, she didn't have a wife. They lived in a shabby house. Her kids were always dirty. There was two boys and one girl. She worked all day, and all night. Everyone said that she was an unfit mother. I remember one day when I was at the park across the street she was sitting on a bench watching her children play. Someone came up and told her that she needs to go back from where she came from. Also that her children were m ...more
Thomas Bell
I thought that the book was okay but not great.

It is about a boy who doesn't do too well in school and thinks he's stupid. There's this crazy lady who gets drunk and disorderly all the time and drags her severely mentally disabled kid around with her everywhere she goes. Well, he gets to know her a little better and through her gets a tutor to help him with school. Through the tutor he is able to get to know the crazy lady and her son better.

Turns out he ends up really learning to love the son a
Joseph Lee
Dec 02, 2015 Joseph Lee rated it it was amazing
Crazy Lady by Jane Leslie Conly is a story about Vernon, teen, helpful but can get into trouble very easily and Maxine, a lady that dresses in a funky way. It all takes place in a small neighborhood in the afternoon. When Vernon and his friends go walking down the street, they see Maxine walking with Ronald. As Maxine sees the boys she starts to yell at them to get off of the sidewalk. Vernon and his friends have been making fun of Maxine and Ronald because they both are different from Vernon an ...more
Emily Carroll
Jan 08, 2016 Emily Carroll rated it really liked it
The main characters of the story are Maxine, roger , Vernon . The setting of the story is Vernon don't like Maxine and him and his friends pick on Maxine which is a older lady. It happened during the day and it happened at Maxine's house and on the sidewalk. The conflict of the story is Vernon don't like Maxine so him and his friends pick on her. Venon started to spend time with Maxine and Roger at Maxine's house. The end of the story Maxine stopped drinking and started being nice.
I think that
Nov 14, 2012 Jill rated it it was ok
Shelves: newbery-honor
"Mom could make you feel special even if you had a face like a garbage-can lid. She hugged you on the outside and the inside, too. I'm the one in the family who was bad in school. I tried, but when the report cards came out, it was always the same: mine was the worst. I failed third grade and barely slid by the next year. Mom never blamed me. She said, "Some kids, like Tony, find it easy to learn, and that's good. But he ones I admire most are the ones who keep on trying, even when it's hard. Th ...more
Liberty Mickelson
Dec 02, 2015 Liberty Mickelson rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Namba
Aug 04, 2014 Melissa Namba rated it it was amazing
Shelves: newbery-honor
I loved this book. I can see how some narrow minded people might hate it, because it does require a heart. Vernon is a great character and I think he is easy to relate to. He really isn't exceptional at anything and even at the end of the book, after months of tutoring, he still only gets a B- in English, and he is very happy about it.

The characters are easy to love. I think it is great that the author portrays Maxine as she does, especially when she is drunk. To those who have an alcoholic in t
Jul 22, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book is about a young boy who grudgingly befriends an alcoholic mother and her mentally disabled son, Ronald. The story is pretty endearing and through the young boys good works he turns a lot of things around for Ronald. It was a pretty good read, but tended to ramble on to things not really concerning the main story (like the conflict in the young boy's family which isn't really developed). The ending is good though and I really liked it. The author of this book interestingly enough is th ...more
Deston W
The main characters in this story are are Vernon, a teenage boy, Ronald, a special needs boy, and Maxine who is the mother Ronald. They all live in a small city on the out scurts of Baltimore, Maryland. The time period of this book is the 1980’s. Vernon is struggling in school so he finds a tutor, but this tutor doesn't just ask Vernon to do homework she asks him to help Maxine and Ronald around the house! At first Vernon wasn't very fond of it but after awhile Ronald warmed up to him. The clima ...more
I think this was supposed to be a brief look at how one person can change another person's life for the better - but it didn't pull it off. I thought the characters were shallow and I didn't see the main character as having a fully-fleshed out personality. I didn't like him or care what he did with his life. The ending was really what got me riled up. I hated the ending. It just dropped you like a hot potato and left you in the sun to rot. I have no clue why the author thought that would be a go ...more
Maxwell Walker
Nov 15, 2015 Maxwell Walker rated it it was amazing
This is a great book that everyone can enjoy that contains a great plot and great character development.This book is about a boy named Vernon that dousn't do so good in school and he lives with his four siblings and his single dad,but down the street there is a single mom named Maxine or named by kids "Crazy Lady" that is a drunk that lives with her son named Ronald that is retarded.Over time Vernon and Ronald become friends that leads to a strong friendship.Vernon has even started a block party ...more
Sep 25, 2010 Krista rated it liked it
Shelves: controversial
There are several elements of the book that could be considered controversial. The language would be a primary aspect since profanity is used throughout the text. In addition, the character with special needs is often referred to as being “retarded.” Another potentially controversial element is the role of the alcoholic mother, Maxine. Her drunken incidents are frequently intertwined with the plot.

I would select this book for a middle or high school library. While it does have language that som
Zalia Carnal
Dec 02, 2015 Zalia Carnal rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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