Wednesday, February 10, 2010

THE CRAZY SCHOOL: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

"WINNER!...AND SOME BONUS ENTRIES HERE! and some of you may want to take advantage of what it says and has to offer as it is only for a limited time!!!!You may have missed it last night!
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GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE CRAZY SCHOOL

BY CORNELIA READ

ABOUT THE BOOK:

From the acclaimed author of A FIELD OF DARKNESS comes another compelling novel featuring the acerbic and memorable voice of ex-debutante Madeline Dare.

Madeline Dare has finally escaped rust-belt
Syracuse, New York, for the lush BerkshireMountains in Massachusetts. After her husband's job offer falls through, Maddie signs on as a teacher at the Santangelo Academy, a boarding school for disturbed teenagers. Behind the academy's ornate gates, she discovers a disturbing realm where students and teachers alike must submit to the founder's bizarre therapeutic regimen. From day one, Maddie feels uneasy about smooth-talking Dr. Santangelo but when she questions his methods, she's appalled to find that her fellow teachers would rather turn on each other than stand up for themselves, much less protect the students in their care. A chilling event confirms Maddie's worst suspicions, then hints at an even darker secret history, one that twines through the academy's very heart. Cut off from the outside world, Maddie must join forces with a small band of the school's most violently rebellious students-kids whose troubled grip on reality may well prove to be her only chance of salvation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Cornelia Read knows old-school WASP culture firsthand, having been born into the tenth (and last) generation of her mother's family to live on Oyster Bay's Centre Island. She was subsequently raised near Big Sur by divorced hippie-renegade parents. Her childhood mentors included Sufis, surfers, single moms, Black Panthers, Ansel Adams, draft dodgers, striking farmworkers, and Henry Miller's toughest ping-pong rival.

At fifteen, Read returned east, attending boarding school and college on full scholarship. While in New York, she did time as a debutante at the Junior Assemblies, worming her way back into the Social Register following her expulsion when a regrettable tantrum on the part of her mother's boyfriend's wife landed them all on "Page Six" of the New York Post.

Today, her Bostonian Great-Grandmother Fabyan's Society of Mayflower Descendants membership parchment is proudly displayed at the back of Read's tiny linen closet in Berkeley, California. She continues to rebel against familial tradition by staying married to a lovely sane man who is gainfully employed. They have twin daughters, the younger of whom has severe autism.

REVIEW:

Nestled in the lovely Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts is the prestigious Santangelo Academy that everyone is crazy about! Well, not quite! It is really a school for troubled teens so I wouldn't say anyone is hoping to be admitted. When Madeline Dare's husband's job doesn't work out, she has to take a job and finds one as a teacher at Santangelo Academy. The school does seem like it would not be the happiest place to work but it is a job. Founded by David Santangelo, it doesn't take Madeline long to figure out that something is just not right here..and she doesn't mean that it is because of the type of "problem" students the school attracts. Rather, she finds Dr. Santangelo to be more of the problem and he gives her a bad feeling whenever she is near him. In fact, some of the students she soon finds out may be the only ones who aren't a bit off. The rules and therapy sessions are tough on the students and the schedule it quite demanding, but not just for the students but for the teachers as well! If someone doesn't follow the rules, they are sent for punishment at a place known as "the farm".

When Madeline tries to question some of the procedures and the situation, she finds that she is in the minority of one as the other teachers actually turn on each other and will report another teacher in a heartbeat! In order for Madeline to survive at this job, she learns that it is easier to bond with some of the students. When two students get in trouble and the results are deadly, things get turned around and Madeline finds herself accused of being guilty and at fault.

Will Madeline just walk away from this? CAN she? How will she get out of this menacing place where she learns that even darker secrets exist? Told from Madeline's point of view author Cornelia Read does a wonderful job of drawing the reader in and causing some of us to even jump at shadows! The many plot twists keep the reader constantly guessing and never sure of what will happen next. With Ms. Read's excellent descriptive narrative, the reader will totally become immersed in the story as if the school were a real place and they were in it. I suggest reading with the lights on! This is the first book I have read that Cornelia Read has written but I hope it won't be the last!

When reading THE CRAZY SCHOOL with a book club or group, it is a good idea to read and discuss questions to help guide the discussion.
Here is THE CRAZY SCHOOL's READING GROUP GUIDE:


1. Maddie is the only Santangelo Academy teacher who lives off campus. How does this affect her views of what is “normal”?

2. Wiesner tells Maddie she is “too whacked to maintain appropriate boundaries” and has issues with authority. Do you agree? Does anyone at Santangelo maintain “appropriate” boundaries?


3. Maddie claims she hates Mindy because she is so shallow. What does this assessment reveal about Maddie herself? How does the generally negative nature of Maddie’s worldview affect the outcome of this particular narrative?


4. Maddie wants to believe that Santangelo can “fix” her. What is broken in her life?


5. The school uses a lot of phrases such as “firing yourself ” and “doing a turnin.”
Many groups use language to create a shared sense of identity. When can this be beneficial, and when can this be dangerous?

6. What are the author’s views on therapy, as expressed by Maddie? Do you agree with her?


7. Why does Maddie stay on as a teacher at Santangelo? Is it only about the paycheck for her?


8. While he never appears in the novel, Maddie’s father is discussed twice during the course of the story. What impact do you think his mental illness has had on her development and on her issues with “authority”?


9. What might be different about this novel if Dean had a steady job? What do you think of his attitude about drug testing—is he standing up for individual rights, or should he put down the bong and get over himself already?


10. Could Maddie have been a more effective advocate for her students if she’d played by the
Santangelo rules? What would this have meant for Fay and Mooney, specifically? Should she have “done a turnin” with regard to their secret?

11. What impact has the advent of psychotherapeutic drugs such as Prozac had on the public
perception of “talk therapy”?

12. Has the influence of such psychiatric authorities as Freud and Jung been diminished or enhanced by advances in our understanding of neurochemistry over the last two decades? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?


13. How do you think Maddie will respond when she hears about the events of the final chapter? Did what happened change your perception of Wiesner and Sitzman?


14. Is the final word of the book, uttered by Sitzman, significant? Does its use here tie in with the
discussion of campus prohibitions against it in chapter one? How would the novel be impacted if there were no profanity used by any of its characters?

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO VALERIE AND THE HACHETTE
BOOK GROUP, I HAVE 5 COPIES OF THIS
EXCITING BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!


***U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
***NO P. O. BOXES
***INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
***ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON IF YOU BELONG TO A BOOK CLUB, WOULD LIKE TO, OR ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR BOOK CLUB

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT WHY YOU THINK THIS WOULD BE A GOOD BOOK FOR A BOOK CLUB TO READ

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT IF YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG AND TELL HOW AND WHERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW

ALL ENTRIES ARE DUE
BY
6 PM, EST, MARCH 1

GOOD LUCK TO ALL!
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106 comments:

Sue said...

I'm in a book club. There are twelve of us and we meet monthly at one of our homes where the hostess makes dinner based on the book (if possible). I love it! Thanks for the giveaway.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

scottsgal said...

I'm part of a small neighborhood book club that meets once a month, there are 6 of us
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

I think the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a good book club book
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

I'm a follwer via blogger and google reader
msboatgal at aol.com

Simply Stacie said...

I am not in a book club. I think it would be fun to be in one though.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Simply Stacie said...

Email subscriber and follower

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

bermudaonion said...

I am in a book club, and we meet via Skype once a month. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

I subscribe to your RSS feed in Google Reader. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Bethie said...

I used to run a book club a few years ago. There were about eight of us and we used to meet monthly. We had a great time. But then people got busy and it kind of fizzled.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

+1 This would be a good book for a book club because there are so many things to talk about. I found that books where things weren't so black and white worked best.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

+1 I follow on Google Greind connnect.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

dor said...

I do not belong to a book club but read so many book blogs that I am always in the loop of what's out there. I love that.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

dor said...

I follow on google friend...dor
and networked blogs...Doreen

dorcontest at gmail dot com

skkorman said...

I'm not in a "formal" book club but I am an avid reader and discuss books with friends and family members, and sometimes with the authors themselves via email communications.

sheila
skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

skkorman said...

This would be a good choice for a book club because the topic is intriguing and most probably would engender many different ideas and opinions.

Sheila
skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Tea said...

+1 I think it's always interesting to read about children and teens with special needs. It's also interesting to read about how difficult it is to remain strong before powerful people, people in authority. I would love to read this book.

teakettle58atyahoodotcom

tea said...

+1 I don't belong to a book club. I would love to be in a book club. Sharing books is always so much fun. I always get more when the book is discussed with other people.

traveler said...

I am not part of a bookclub but this book would be great for discussion. thanks for this lovely giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Tea said...

I follow you on Google feed and by Twitter. Maybe facebook???

Tea said...

I tweeted bookinbingo from my teacozy1

Renee said...

Used to be in a bookclub but haven't had time since moving to AL

Renee said...

I'm a follower on Google

reneesuz82(at)msn.com

Debbie said...

I was in a book club but we went from reading great fiction to reading new age, touchy feely books so I dropped out:) I miss it.
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

Debbie said...

Troubled teens, secrets, conflicts. What's not to love about that in a book club?
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

Debbie said...

I follow with google.
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

Lori Taube said...

There's a local book club that I've been meaning to join, I just haven't gotten around to it. I have a toddler, and am expecting our second boy in April, so although I've been maintaining my reading, attending meetings and such just isn't an option right now.. Hopefully soon!

clctaube @ yahoo.com

Lori Taube said...

I follow publicly via GFC, and subscribe via email

clctaube @ yahoo.com

Lori Taube said...

Tweet:
http://twitter.com/clctaube/status/8921465114

clctaube @ yahoo.com

Ann Diana Dinh, said...

I'm not part of a book club...but I surely would like to be! When I read a good book, I get really excited and it would definitely be nice to have a group of people to talk to about it and share my excitement.

behapppppppy(at)hotmail(dot)com

Ann Diana Dinh, said...

I follow via google.

behapppppppy(at)hotmail(dot)com

Ann Diana Dinh, said...

I think that this is a good book for a book club because it sounds very interesting so it would be an engaging conversation. It kind of sounds confusing so everyone could help each other understand and comprehend the book more.

behapppppppy(at)hotmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I am not in a book club and I really wouldn't be interested.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I think the plot twists would keep me interested

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

rss subscriber

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Shooting Stars Mag said...

1. I used to be part of an online book club but no longer.

2. This sounds like something that would need a lot of discussion which is great for a book club. Very suspensful and raises lots of questions.

3. I follow you via google friend connect.

-Lauren
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

I don't know if you entered the Holey Donuts giveaway or not, but if you could check out this post and do so for my blog, it would mean a TON for my family and you can enter for the book afterwards too if you wish (White Cat by Holly Black ARC)!:

http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/2010/02/giveaway-white-cat-arc-250-holey-donuts.html

Angie (By Book or By Crook) said...

I'm am in the most awesome book club that has been meeting for over 8 years now. The Bookies have become a great group of friends and we have made many wonderful bookish memories.

aksimmo at brainerd dot net

Angie (By Book or By Crook) said...

I am an email subscriber and a follower

aksimmo at brainerd dot net

enyl said...

My bookclub consists of 15 members ranging in age from 19 to 65 years old.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

I moderate teen book clubs. I think Crazy School would be a great way to foster discussions about appropiate boundaries and abuse of power.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

E-mailer subscriber.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

Google Friend Connect follower.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

g.g. said...

I am in a book club and we meet about every 5-6 weeks at one of the member's homes. I enjoy it.

anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

g.g. said...

I think this would be a good book club book because it would bring about lots of good discussion

anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

g.g. said...

I am a google friend connect and email subscriber


anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

bison61 said...

I am not in a book club but I think it would be fun

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Ashley said...

I'm in a book club.
bellasnovella@gmail.com

Ashley said...

I'm a follower through Blogger Connect

Beth said...

I've never belonged to a book club, although I think it would be fun.

Pam said...

I belong to a bookclub. We're a group of women who are all in the rehab/therapy field. It started about 11 years ago and at that time we all worked together. Since then, some have retired, moved onto other jobs, some new people have started. We meet once a month, rotating amongst all the hostesses and discuss the book over coffee and dessert. Once a year, we have a weekend long retreat at the cottage of one of the founding members. There, we drink wine, hike, play games and eventually talk about the book and come up with the book list and schedule for the next year.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

I follow through google reader

melacan at hotmail dot com

Jaime said...

no, I'm not a member of a book club
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Jaime said...

email subscriber
google follower
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I'd love to join a bookclub.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I think this would be a good book because it has a good theme and topic.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I'm a follower.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Carol M said...

I'm not in a book club. I like to just read what I want when I want and not to have to read a book the club picked. I don't like to spend a lot of time discussing a book. I want to get on to the next one and just relax and enjoy it or stop reading it if I don't like it.
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

It's a good book to read for those in a book club because there is a guide to help with the discussion.
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

I follow by email and GFC.
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

Tweet
http://twitter.com/CarolAnnM/status/9069798126
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Zia said...

I participate in the B&N First Look Book Club, but other than that, I don't participate in any other book clubs.

Zia
ziaria(at)gmail(dot)com

Zia said...

+1 I follow through Google Friend Connect

Zia
ziaria(at)gmail(dot)com

Sarah Osborne said...

I'm not in a book club...but I've always wanted to be!

sarahosborne12(at)gmail(dot)com

Sarah Osborne said...

I follow via GFC and google reader!

sarahosborne12(at)gmail(dot)com

Sarah Osborne said...

I think this would be a good book for a book club because there are SO many things to discuss...which allows for many contrasting opinions.

sarahosborne12(at)gmail(dot)com

Sarah Osborne said...

I blogged!
http://myfavoritegiveaways.blogspot.com/2010/02/crazy-school.html

sarahosborne12(at)gmail(dot)com

409cope said...

I don't belong to a bookclub but I would like to. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

409cope said...

I think this would be good for a bookclub because it has lots of angles and twists to discuss. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

409cope said...

I follow through google friend. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

Linda Henderson said...

I am not in a book club. I don't know that I would enjoy belonging to one because I don't know that I would like someone telling me what to read.

Linda Henderson said...

I think it would be a good book to read for a book club because it has a lot of points that would be interesting to discuss.

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I follow via Google.

seriousreader at live dot com

Wrighty said...

I've been very curious about this one! I often participate in the Barnes & Noble online book club and I also read books with my mom and sister-in-law.

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Wrighty said...

It sounds like this is kind of mysterious and has plenty of surprises. I'm sure it would make a lively discussion in a book club.

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Wrighty said...

I'm a devoted follower through Google Connect and have you on my blogroll.

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Wrighty said...

Added to my sidebar
www.wrightysreads.blogspot.com

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Teresa said...

I do not belong to a book club. I wish I did though, but with a baby and no extra cash for books I can't right now :(
mstlee2000 @ hotmail.com

Teresa said...

I follow via facebook/rss feed
mstlee2000 @ hotmail.com

Amy said...

I used to belong to a great book club at a neighborhood bookstore but it disbanded when the young owner sold the store after having her first child. I would have tried to keep it going but then I moved. I really enjoy book clubs and hope to join one again someday!

Amy
Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Amy said...

This is a good book for a book club because there are a myriad of issues to discuss such as the ethical, moral and legal responsibilities of Dr. Santangelo; the other teacher's tendencies to turn on each other rather than criticize the doctor, and Maddie's options in the situation she ends up in just to name a few. The discussion that could develop around this book have the possibility of going on for hours there is so much material here! This is a great book club choice in my opinion.

Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Amy said...

I follow your blog via blogger dashboard and google reader as well as through google friend connect!

Amy
Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Lori said...

Yes I belong to a bookclub called Bookies.

Please enter me in the contest.
Thanks
dlsmith44@msn.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I am not part of a book club yet. Some day perhaps. :)

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I follow with google friend connect.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Rebecca Graham said...

I wish I was in a book club. We don't have one in my small town.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

Sean said...

please enter me
spynaert@gmail.com

Isi and Jas' mom said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/isaiahsmom21/status/9462379882
mstlee2000 @ hotmail.com

Karin said...

No... I do not belong to a book club.

karin56381 (at) gmail.com

Heather! said...

I don't currently belong to a book club. I recently moved to where I now live, and would love to find a book club to join, both for my love of reading and to meet new friends.

I used to be a teen librarian and had regular book discussions about new Young Adult titles. This definitely sounds like a book I'd have chosen for the group!

h4schaffer at gmail dot com

Heather! said...

I think this would be a fantastic book to read with a book club! Not only does it sound like a good story, and one that would be fun to discuss, it also alludes to some serious questions about psychiatric facilities, approaches and care. I think the discussion of these things would be very enlightening and would be an opportunity for some people to learn about things they may not know much about. It would also, hopefully, engender a bit more compassion and understanding for people with mental illnesses.

h4schaffer at gmail dot com

Heather! said...

I am your newest follower, though I recognize your blog, so I think I've been here before. I found you through a link from the Hachette Book Group. :)
h4schaffer at gmail dot com

Janel said...

I don't belong to a book club, but I have been thinking about a book club introduction event at my library.

jgbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

Janel said...

I follow through Google Friend Connect :)

jgbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

Benita said...

I'm not in a book club now, but it is a wonderful thing to to belong to.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I think this book suits book club reading because there's so much happening and lots of psychological introspection.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I follow via google friend connect.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

CherylS22 said...

I belong to a small book club that meets once a month. We read a variety of books & enjoy the time we spend together.

Thanks ~ megalon22 at yahoo dot com

CherylS22 said...

I think this would be a great book for a book club because there are many points for discussion in the book.

megalon22 at yahoo dot com

CherylS22 said...

I follow in GFC
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

ossmcalc said...

I do not belong to a book club at this time. It has been my experience that it turns out to be more of a social gathering than a discussion of the book. I would be interested in one if there could be a mixture of both.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

This would be a good book to study for a book group. I liked the suggested topics in the group study guide. They left lots of room for interpretation which could lead to some very interesting discussions.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I follow your blog via email and Google Reader.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/9818964865

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Nancye said...

I am not in a book club.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/9845029971

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow via Google Friend Connect and Networked Blogs and via email

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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