SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY is the story of a momentous summer in the life of Sarah Nelson. She has just finished sixth grade and turned twelve. Her best friend Lisa has gone away to camp and Sarah has finally convinced her father that she is old enough not to be sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer vacation. Sarah and her father have lived many places in Texas and are currently in Garland. Each time they are spotted, they have moved.
Sarah’s mother is infamous because she tried to kill Sarah and successfully killed Sarah’s twin brother Simon when they were two year old. Since then, she has been in a mental asylum and Sarah has only seen her twice. Sarah’s father also went to trial regarding the incident but was acquitted. Whenever reporters find and harass them, they move on.
Sarah spends the summer taking care of Plant and writing letters to Atticus Finch in her journal. Her favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird and she has adopted Atticus as the mentor and father she wishes she had. Her own father is an alcoholic and Sarah spends a lot of time in the role of caregiver.
Sarah has an articulate voice and a fascination with words while still have the world view of a twelve-year-old. She is a faithful observer of those around her but her observations are colored by lack of context because of her lack of maturity. She grows up a lot this summer. She has her first crush (on a very nice young man), confronts her father, and helps an elderly neighbor deal with the loss of her husband.
Pair this one with To Kill a Mockingbird. It would also be a great book to use for a classroom literature study.