Monday, June 11, 2007

Pg. 69: "It's Kind of A Funny Story"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Ned Vizzini's It's Kind of A Funny Story.

About the book, from the publisher:
Like many smart, ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner seeks entry into Manhattan’s most prestigious school, Executive Pre-Professional High School. With single-minded determination, he works night and day to ace the entrance exam and gets in. That’s when everything starts to unravel.

Once Craig starts his new school, he realizes he’s just one of many brilliant kids, and he isn’t even brilliant, he’s average. As Craig starts getting so-so grades, he sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. He begins to have trouble eating, sleeping, and thinking -- that’s when he tells his parents he’s depressed. He goes on medication and talks to therapists, but things keep getting worse, until one night Craig feels so low that he seriously considers suicide.

But instead, Craig calls a hotline. The counselor tells him to get to the nearest hospital, and before he knows it, he’s signed, sealed, and delivered into one of Brooklyn’s finest psychiatric units.

Craig’s new roommate is an Egyptian schoolteacher who refuses to get out of bed. His neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, and a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors. But somehow in this motley crew, Craig finds real friends and kindred spirits who give him strength.

This is a remarkably moving and authentic picture of the physicality, the despair, and even the hilarity, of depression.
Among the praise for It's Kind of A Funny Story:
"This is an important book."
--New York Times Book Review

"This book offers hope in a package that readers will find enticing, and that’s the gift it offers."
--Booklist, starred review

"...highly readable and ultimately upbeat.... The author clearly has not lost his knack for conveying the textures of teenage life."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Craig's well-paced narrative, carefully and insightfully detailing his confusing slide and his desperate efforts to get well, is filled with humor and pathos."
--School Library Journal, starred review

"…the wise witty narrator and sensitive handling of a hot topic should win over older teens-- and their parents."
--People Magazine
Visit Ned Vizzini's website, his MySpace page, and the It's Kind of a Funny Story MySpace page; read an excerpt from It's Kind of a Funny Story.

The Page 69 Test: It's Kind of A Funny Story.

--Marshal Zeringue