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The Resource Suicide notes : a novel, Michael Thomas Ford

Suicide notes : a novel, Michael Thomas Ford

Label
Suicide notes : a novel
Title
Suicide notes
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Michael Thomas Ford
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Brimming with sarcasm, fifteen-year-old Jeff describes his stay in a psychiatric ward after attempting to commit suicide
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
Rainbow List, 2009.
Review
  • Gr. 10-12 After Jeff, 15, wakes up in a psychiatric ward, he won't talk about why he slit his wrists. He lies to the therapist (whom he names "Cat Poop") and refuses to relate to the other teens in group therapy. He feels that he is not nutty like them, his parents are fine, nothing is bothering him, and he is "normal"; he just had one bad day. The therapy talk sometimes gets to be too much, but there is rising tension in Jeff's fast, irreverent, frank, first-person narrative: what is he holding back? He bonds with another patient, Sadie, and tells her about his best friend, Allie, and about Allie's cute boyfriend. When Jeff sees a jock masturbating in the shower, he feels attraction that is returned, and the two teens have sex. Long before Jeff confronts the truth, readers will realize that he is gay, and his denial is part of the humor and sadness many readers will recognize. -- Rochman, Hazel (Reviewed 10-01-2008) (Booklist, vol 105, number 3, p39)
  • Gr 9 Up— Jeff, the irreverent, sarcastic, and utterly terrified 15-year-old narrator, wakes up on New Year's Day in a psych ward with bandages around his wrists. He copes with his therapy by using extreme denial and avoidance, attempting to one-up his therapist, Dr. Katzrupus, or Cat Poop, with flippant, deflective wordplay and outrageous stories of faux Sugar Plum Fairy fantasies. Jeff spends the rest of his time with the other teens, including suicidal Sadie the sociopath and the gay teen in jock's clothing, Rankin. While Sadie encourages Jeff's resentment toward the program, it is Rankin's actions that force Jeff to come to terms with his suicide attempt and his own sexuality. This is a story of warped self-perception, of the lies that people tell themselves so they never have to face the truth. Ford is most successful in his withholding of Jeff's secret, a disclosure not made until the last third of the book. While the book could be named Gay Boy, Interrupted due to many similarities to Susanna Kaysen's characters and depictions of the mental-health community, Jeff's wit and self-discovery are refreshing, poignant, and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. Readers will relate to Jeff as a teen bumbling through horrible embarrassment and the shame that follows, and they will be inspired by his eventual integrity and grace.—Kat Redniss, Brownell Library, Essex Junction, VT --Kat Redniss (Reviewed February 1, 2009) (School Library Journal, vol 55, issue 2, p98)
  • /* Starred Review */ Teens in a psych ward populate a novel that overcomes a predictable beginning to make a powerful emotional impact. Regaining consciousness after an aborted suicide attempt, the 15-year-old narrator thinks his parents have “overreacted” by placing him in a 45-day program in the “nuthouse” (“you know, where they keep the people who have sixteen imaginary friends living in their heads”). Readers might need patience as Jeff, the protagonist, goes through a period of denial, delivering sarcastic answers to his shrink, Dr. Katzrupus (Jeff refers to him as “Cat Poop”) and holding himself aloof from the four other patients. But as Jeff begins to form relationships with these teens, Ford's (Alec Baldwin Doesn't Love Me ) own strengths emerge: his characterizations run deep, and without too much contrivance the teens' interactions slowly dislodge clues about what triggered Jeff's suicide attempt. That Jeff's recovery depends on realizing and accepting that he's gay isn't explicit until the novel is almost over, that this novel goes beyond gay issues to address broader questions of identity is clear all along. Ages 14–up. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed September 1, 2008) (Publishers Weekly, vol 255, issue 35, p55)
  • Awakening in a psychiatric ward with gauze on his stitched-up wrists, 15-year-old Jeff tries to convince both his doctors and his parents that the cuts were just a bored teenage mistake. As other teens come and go from the ward, Jeff finds himself connecting with them in unexpected ways while confronting his own unresolved turmoil. More Kaysan (Girl, Interrupted, 1993) than Kesey, Ford's introspective tale follows a fairly typical coming-out process, though with additional angst. Astute readers will identify Jeff's secret long before his first-person, present-tense narration reveals it, but the skillfully written secondary characters, especially fellow patient Sadie, hold this work above typical gay-teen-suicide dramas. Sadie's morbid adaptation of "And then there were none" will appeal to those with dark humor and prevents the narrative tone from lecturing. Though offering nothing new or insightful, Jeff's voice shows true development during his hospitalization. Unlike James Lecesne's Absolute Brightness (2008), this sometimes melodramatic story is redeemed by creative back stories and touching relationships. (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2008)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
290166
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Ford, Michael Thomas
Index
no index present
Intended audience
HL 670
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
  • High School
  • UG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
Reading level
  • 5.2
  • 4.3
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
  • Reading Counts RC
  • Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Suicide
  • Psychiatric hospitals
  • Homosexuality
Target audience
adolescent
Label
Suicide notes : a novel, Michael Thomas Ford
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
21 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
306, 6 p.
Isbn
9780060737566
Isbn Type
(lib. bdg.)
Lccn
2008019199
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)191931678
Label
Suicide notes : a novel, Michael Thomas Ford
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
21 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
306, 6 p.
Isbn
9780060737566
Isbn Type
(lib. bdg.)
Lccn
2008019199
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)191931678

Library Locations

  • Delaware Main LibraryBorrow it
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  • Powell BranchBorrow it
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