Katie's Reviews > Crazy Lady!

Crazy Lady! by Jane Leslie Conly
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Apr 30, 2009

liked it
Read in April, 2009

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 disappointment. I wanted to know what happened afterward; the author hints at it, but I wanted to know more. I wanted an epilogue or something.

It was interesting reading the kids' reviews on Amazon. Some of the kids mentioned the cussing and didn't like it, and I have to wonder how sheltered these kids are. Kids do cuss on occasion, especially kids growing up in rough areas. I thought that and most of the dialogue was spot-on. The kids were also troubled by Maxine's drinking. Again, I can only wonder if these kids have never been around alcoholics...ever. I'd love to go back in time and give this book to my students who lived in the third ward in Houston. I bet they wouldn't find the situations described in the book strange at all.

It reminded me a little bit of the Langston Hughes short story, "Thank You, Ma'am" which my kids from the ghetto LOVED. They really connected with that story. If I ever teach again, especially middle school, I'll let the kids read this.
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Sally I think that the ending was perfect. Teaching us how important it is to adapt to change and how sometimes the right and best decision is not always the right one. An ending like this definitely came as a surprise, but I liked how the characters grew and learned throughout the book.


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