Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Tour #2: Crazy is Normal by Lloyd Lofthouse | Review♥

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Crazy is Normal
Lloyd Lofthouse
  • Publisher: Three Clover Press (June 14, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0986032859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986032851
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Available in: Print & ebook, 386 Pages
  • Buy it: Amazon  View: Goodreads

Synopsis: Multi award winning author, Lloyd Lofthouse kept a daily journal for one-full school year and that journal became the primary source of this teacher's memoir.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic"Readers who envision eager students lapping up learning led by a Tiger Teacher will be disappointed. Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don't want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them-and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult. Throughout this memoir, though, Lofthouse seems able to keep the hope alive that there's a future for each student that doesn't include jail-thanks in large part to his sixth period journalism class and its incredible editor, Amanda." - Bruce Reeves

I'm excited to be the last stop on the tour for Lloyd Lofthouse’s Crazy Is Normal
The author Lloyd Lofthouse has written a powerful memoir that can relate to many people, including myself. He's kept a daily journal which ultimately turned into his memoir. This book was raw and honest, it provides a realistic approach to the education systems and teachers. We need more classroom journals like this particular one. Crazy is Normal is a great way to share the settings of high schools.

  • Nogales High School is mainly known for vandalism and crime, especially since it's located in a gang community. I can only imagine how difficult it must be trying to teach and educate many kids that are at risk for failure, although, there are some achievers. This novel reminded me a bit of the movie Freedom Writers except it's the teachers journals here. This novel has journal entries, it's not revolved around a set plot or anything similar.  The writing is humorous yet passionate.  
  • The author is admirable for providing a realistic novel. It provides a perspective on the education system, which I find fascinating.  It does not just focus on solely teaching students, the concept is much more complex than that. I believe all parent's, students, educators, and those who have some interest in educational systems should read this book. It can bring out many emotions, and I really liked the honest journal entries. 
  • It's not meant to entertain anyone. It might seem like preaching, but it is much more than that. Lofthouse doesn't try to be a machoman or a hero, he was straightforward throughout the novel. It is a bit repetitive at times, but it's Lofthouse's life that he faced everyday, so I can't say much about that. It's his true story, and a documentary which I appreciate.
  • I liked the concept, it was very original. I love reading memoirs, and this is a good book to read. I would have liked to seen how the character's life improved later in the future if Llyod Lofthouse had done a follow up with the students. It would have been interesting to see an epilogue.  

Author Bio: Lloyd Lofthouse                             Little did Lloyd Lofthouse know in 1999, when he married Anchee Min, that he was beginning a journey of discovery. His first trip to The Middle Kingdom was on the honeymoon with his bride, who introduced him to China and Robert Hart (1835-1911), the main characters in Lloyd’s first two novels, My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. The next decade was a journey of discovery. 

Lloyd now lives near San Francisco with his wife–with a second home in Shanghai, China. Lloyd earned a BA in journalism in 1973 after fighting in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine. While working days as an English teacher, he enjoyed a second job as a maitre d’ in a multimillion-dollar nightclub. His short story, A Night at the ‘Well of Purity’ was named as a finalist for the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards.

Lloyd has won 15 awards for My Splendid Concubine and 5 awards for Running With the Enemy.

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*Disclosure: Thank you Virtual Author Book Tours and the author for the review copy.

Shukran for reading this! Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out & follow :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures.. 

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness.” —George R.R. Martin 


  1. Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed 'Crazy Is Normal'!

  2. Thank you for the great review, and it would be appreciated if you would post your review on Amazon.

    "I would have liked to seen how the character's life improved later in the future if Lloyd Lofthouse had done a follow up with the students. It would have been interesting to see an epilogue."

    One of the other reviewers who took part in this book tour made the same suggestion, and I left a long comment that was sort of an epilogue. I'll see if I can find it to copy and paste here. :o)

    1. Thank you & of course, will be posting it right away :)

  3. I watched the movie Dead Poets Society which is also focused on teaching and how different methods can really help reach students and inspire them to do more. I think this book sounds like a good one, and similar to that movie in a way. I am always looking for more books about education.

    1. Educational novels are really interesting, this was a unique book :)

  4. Short Epilogue for Crazy is Normal

    I've heard second hand that Amanda (not her real name of course), the student editor-in-chief, went to a prestigious university and eventually earned a law degree and practices law far from Nogales High School in another major city that I will not name---I respect her privacy.

    I recently had an e-mail from Nelson (again, not a real name), and he also went to college and works in the industry of his major. I'd have to hunt for that e-mail to find out what that field was because I forgot, but I think it has to do with marketing and public relations.

    A few years ago, I heard from Mildred (none of the names are real of course), and she graduated from college, became a public school teacher and teaches, I think, second grade, and she loves teaching that age. Until recently second grade was pretty much politics free but now the Arne Duncan and Bill Gates CCSS testing mania agenda is even going after preschool and kindergarten children and the feds and their corporate allies, who want to privatize the public schools and profit off those taxes, are brain storming how to fool the public---once again---and blame public school teachers, their teachers' unions and the public schools for kids not being college and career ready before they even start kindergarten.

    You might wonder how the corporate funded, fake, public school reform movement can profit off of children who aren't even age 5 yet, so I'll tell you. It's no secret that Obama plans to submit a bill to Congress in 2015, where he will ask Congress for $75 billion to fund a national early childhood education program for children as young as two or three, that will be linked to the unconstitutional mandatory CCSS agenda-that information is on the Website for the federal Department of Education, and I've written about it on my Crazy Normal blog asking why Obama didn't start with that program before he launched his Race to the Top and Common Core State Standards that were obviously designed to destroy the public schools and replace them with schools owned by private sector, for profit corporations.

    What's really interesting is that the private sector Charter schools that have replaced public schools that have been closed, by the thousand during the Obama presidency, are not held to the same demands and standards set by No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top or the Common Core Standards.

    In addition, two studies out of Stanford in recent years have reported that these for-profit, corporate Charter schools are mostly worse or are, at best, equal to the public schools they are replacing. The few Charters that Stanford found that were actually better than the local public schools that they are close to are still unionized, are run by teachers and not corporate management, and are still under the watchful eyes of the democratically elected school boards of those local school districts that authorized their existence.

    I kept in touch with Trung for several years but lost contact with him after I retired and moved away from the Southern California region. He started college but dropped out and launched his own business with a partner. The last time I talked to him at one of his frozen yogurt shops, he had bought out his partner and had maybe three or five shops spread around the region and planned to open more.

    After Megan graduated from Nogales HS, she started college away from Los Angeles, but not that far, and stayed in touch for a few years and then her life got in the way and I haven't heard from her since.

    1. Thank you for providing the epilogue, the story seems more complete now!


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