Taylor is going crazy. At least, she thinks so when her mother places her in Saint Jude, a group home for teens with mental illnesses.
This novel, "Saint Jude," was listed in "The Big Book of Teen Reading Lists: 100 Great, Ready-to-Use Book Lists for Educators, Libra More
Taylor is going crazy. At least, she thinks so when her mother places her in Saint Jude, a group home for teens with mental illnesses. At Saint Jude, Taylor discovers a group of other teenage "crazies": Princess, Blaine, Isaac, and her soon-to-be best friend, Reno. This zany group specializes in quips and antics to avoid coming to terms with their problems, especially by frustrating Arnold "Big Daddy" Hopkins, the therapist and director. But the mood turns serious when tragedy strikes one of the group and "Big Daddy" is replaced by Dalton, who forces each of them to confront their futures with avant-garde techniques. One by one, they leave Saint Jude not with a "magic cure" but at least with the means to cope with life as an adult.
This novel, "Saint Jude," was listed in "The Big Book of Teen Reading Lists: 100 Great, Ready-to-Use Book Lists for Educators, Librarians, Parents, and Teens" by Nancy Keane.
Review from The School Library Journal:
"Taylor Drysdale, 18, suffers from bipolar disorder. During her senior year, she is reluctantly admitted to "Brick House," the outpatient program at St. Jude Hospital, where she meets other teens coping with mental illness. Together with the staff, they form a kind of family, and the teens learn to deal with conflicting attitudes and personalities. As the members prove themselves "worthy" and leave Brick House, they must confront their worst fear of all: surviving in the outside world where there are no counselors to cushion the blow. The novel focuses on the characters' interactions and on how, as Taylor comes to terms with her disorder and her family problems, she becomes ready to move out and move on. Similar to Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted (Vintage, 1994) and Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone (WSP, 1993), this is an excellent read with well-developed characters."
----Nicole M. Marcuccilli, Glenview Public Library, IL
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Review from Booklist:
"Taylor Drysdale is devastated when her mother commits her to St. Jude's Brick House, an outpatient program for teens with "problems." High-strung Taylor is convinced her divorced mother is just tired of dealing with her troubled daughter. Diagnosed as bipolar, Taylor hates her condition, fights depression, has setbacks. She also begins to question the methods used to treat patients and to wonder why most of the kids seem to be going nowhere in their treatments. Finally, Taylor finds a caring boyfriend who believes in her musical talent, and a sassy girlfriend who introduces her to the Castaways, a secret club for "crazies." Then a suicide changes everything at St. Jude, and Taylor must cope with real life once more. This odd yet moving story will have appeal for teens touched by adult books such as Girl Interrupted and One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, titles that also got inside the minds of the "crazies."
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Dawn Deanna Wilson is an award-winning North Carolina writer. Originally from Asheville, NC, her work has appeared in such publications as, "Writer's Digest," "Byline," "Builder/Architect Magazine" and the "Lutheran Journal." She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and her master's degree in English/ creative writing.
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