Friday, June 02, 2006
The Crazy Man
As any of you interested in children's lit. will know, The Crazy Man by Pamela Porter won this year's GG in the children's lit. category. I'd read a few reviews and decided to give it a read. My copy from the library arrived just as we were to go on a road trip so I read it to my family as we were driving. All of us, ages 9 to 52, were captivated by the story of Emaline and "the crazy man", Angus. The story is told in a prose poem, which was intriguing to me and new to my children, but it really worked. My husband, who once worked at a "mental" (a terrible name, I know, but that sentiment was fairly common I believe) and grew up in a town that could very well have been the one in the novel, said it captured the essence of small prairie town life in the '50s wonderfully. Emaline, Angus, the mother, father, Mei, the neighbours (who think the presence of the "crazy man" next door is a threat to their safety), ... every character is very believable and you've just got to love a character "who can speak meadowlark" and "see colors around people." After that weekend, I bought the book. It is one I know I will come back to time and again.
The Crazy Man is published by Groundwood Books.
Cover illustration above by Karine Daisay