for The Crazy Man
by Pamela Porter
“I was dragging around a lot of mad / when I opened the door / and made my way / into the kitchen.” Twelve-year-old Emaline speaks with an open, honest voice in this moving novel set on the Saskatchewan prairie in the mid–1960s. A gruesome farm accident has left Emaline seriously injured—her leg was mangled in the discing maching after she fell off of the tractor where she was riding behind her father. Wracked by guilt and at odds with farming, her father has now abandoned the family. Her mother has arranged for Angus, who lives at the nearby mental hospital, to stay with them and help with the planting and chores. Some of the neighbors and townspeople are furious at the thought of a crazy man living freely in their midst. Emaline quickly sees that Angus is more fearful than fearsome, with an abundance of patience and gentle in his ways. Emaline’s physical and emotional healing is sustained in part by the new relationships that came out of the tragedy—with Angus, with her teacher, and with Mei, a girl at school. Pamela Porter’s free verse novel may be spare in its number of words, but its language is rich and revealing. Emaline’s longing for her father can’t make him come back when he’s not ready. Her growing love for Angus can’t protect him from mean-spirited remarks and cruelty. But the ultimate truths revealed in all she so observantly describes are the power of love, and kindness, and of letting go of the things that you cannot change. (Ages 10–13)
CCBC Choices 2006 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006. Used with permission.
In this free-verse novel set in the Saskatchewan prairie of the 1960s, twelve-year-old Emaline faces personal and family trauma. After her father accidentally runs over her leg in a tractor accident, leaving her permanently disabled, he shoots her beloved dog, whom he blames for the accident. He then leaves Emaline and her mother to deal with the challenges of farming. Emaline’s mother hires Angus, a patient at a nearby mental hospital, to plant and take care of the crops. While the townspeople fear and persecute Angus, Emaline befriends him, and through their friendship she slowly begins to heal, physically and psychologically. 2005 Governor General’s, Literary Award for Children’s Literature, 2006 TD Canadian Book Award, 2006 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, 2006 Jane Addams Children’s Honor Book. chs
Bridges to Understanding: Envisioning the World through Children's Books. © USBBY, 2011. Used with permission.
After a freak farm accident, twelve-year-old Emaline, dealing with her disability and the abandonment of her father, finds salvation in Angus--a patient from the local mental hospital who has been hired to work in their fields. Reprint.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.