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The Crazy Man by Pamela Porter
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The Crazy Man (2005)

by Pamela Porter

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Written in free verse, a fictional story is told of a 12-year old girl in 1965 Saskatchewan who is injured in a tractor accident. Porter grabs the reader’s attention at the beginning of the story with the family dog’s body being placed in a burn pile. On top of the accidents, Emaline begins the journey of mourning her father’s and her dog’s deaths. The story teaches about mental illness, acceptance, perseverance, everyday heroes and the danger of making assumptions.
The book would make a good book club novel for intermediate students or as a read aloud with class discussions around anti-bullying.

Recommended for ages 10 and up. ( )
  lkwillia | Dec 1, 2012 |
Took a verse novel workshop with Pamela Porter who won a Governor General award for this book. Such a gentle, unassuming person. I didn't know much about writing a novel in verse. But it doesn't rhyme. I had negative associations with poetry, but this book reads so cleanly, with no wasted words, so vivid. I was so caught up in the story, not distracted by the words. Strong emotions. I was relieved it ends with hope. Otherwise, what's the point. ( )
1 vote yarkan | Dec 15, 2011 |
I like how the author veers from the structure of the traditional chapter book and chooses to write in free verse. This book could teach children a great deal about prejudice, stereotypes, and tolerance of others. Will reread again and again!
  crystalmorris | May 24, 2010 |
This novel, written in free verse, describes 12 year old Saskatchewan farm girl Emaline Bitterman's physical and emotional healing after an accident leaves her disabled and her father's guilt drives him away. The title,
A Crazy Man refers to the psychiatric patient released from hospital that comes towork on the farm when the father leaves, is mentally ill and the townspeople want to get rid of him.
  stornelli | May 1, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0888996950, Paperback)

It is 1965, and 12-year-old Emaline, living on a wheat farm, must deal with a family that is falling apart. When her dog, Prince, chases a hare into the path of the tractor, she chases after him, and her father accidentally runs over her leg, leaving her with a long convalescence and a permanent disability. Even worse, from Emaline’s point of view, is that in his grief and guilt, her father shoots Prince and leaves Emaline and her mother on their own.

Despite the neighbors’ disapproval, Emaline’s mother hires Angus, a patient from the local mental hospital, to work their fields. Angus is a red-haired giant whom the local children tease and call "the gorilla." Though the small town’s prejudice creates a cloud of suspicion around Angus that nearly results in tragedy, he just may hold the key to Emaline's coming to grips with her injury and the loss of her father.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Twelve-year-old Emaline Bitterman loves her home on the prairies. She loves helping her father in the fields and her dog, Prince. But farming in southern Saskatchewan in the mid 1960s is not easy. And then one day Emaline tries to stop Prince from chasing a hare into the path of the tractor her father is driving, and her leg is caught in the discer, leaving her with a permanent disability. In his grief and guilt her father shoots Prince and then leaves Emaline and her distraught mother on their own.… (more)

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