Jennifer's Reviews > January First: A Child's Descent into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her

January First by Michael Schofield
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's review
Apr 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: netgally-reviews
Read from April 22 to 24, 2012

January First is the captivating story of January Schofield, a child diagnosed with a severe case of schizophrenia at age 5. That in itself sets this story apart from others as it is very rare to read about a child that young living with this disease.

Jani experiences hallucinations from the time she is a baby. Believing she is highly intelligent and has an overactive imagination her parents, especially her father, do everything they can to engage and teach her. Once their son Bodhi is born, however, Jani begins to react with extreme violence to her brother and the search for answers as to what is really causing her behaviors begins in earnest.

This book is well written, agonizingly honest, terrifying and heartbreaking. Mr. Schofield's accounts of Jani's brutal physical attacks were painful to read, they were so intense. The lack of support from a large portion of the medical and educational communities was unbelievable. With everything stacked against them, the daily battles with Jani and with the system, the sheer exhaustion of living that way, how do Jani's parents go on fighting for their daughter? They just do, because as Mr. Schofield says "...without Jani nothing else matters to me".

I would definitely recommend this book, although it is not for the faint of heart.

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