(Don’t) Call Me Crazy by Kelly Jensen + Various Authors
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on October 2nd 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Anthology, Short Stories
What does it mean to be crazy? Is using the word crazy offensive? What happens when such a label gets attached to your everyday experiences?
In order to understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate?—to different people.
(Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a conversation starter and guide to better understanding how our mental health affects us every day. Thirty-three writers, athletes, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore their personal experiences with mental illness, how we do and do not talk about mental health, help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently, and what, exactly, might make someone crazy.
If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages, and let’s get talking.
(Don’t) Call Me Crazy edited by Kelly Jensen is an anthology about and raising awareness for mental health. It includes essays from some of my favorite authors such as: Adam Silvera, Shaun David Hutchinson, Heidi Hilig, S. Jae-Jones, Victoria Schwab and so many more!
This was a roller coaster ride for me. There was humor, sadness, dark moments and optimistic ones. It serves as an educational piece for people that may not be well versed in mental health. I know I learned a lot, especially about the mental illnesses I wasn’t familiar with.
(Don’t) Call Me Crazy covers a wide spectrum of mental health and stigmas about depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts. It was very eye opening for me to find out that some of my favorite writers are going through a lot of the same things we are too.
The essays were raw and real. It was like having a curtain pulled back on what we as readers think the lives of writers being so glamorous and trouble free. Where in reality, they are humans just as we are both on the outside and the inside.
There is nothing wrong with mental health. It’s just how our brain chemistry is like.
I hope readers and non-readers a like will pick up this book of essays and really open their minds to learning and educating themselves on the stigmas against mental illness. This needs to continue to be an open discussion so we can learn and grow as a society with discrimination and hate.
Have you read (Don’t) Call Me Crazy? What did you think of it?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,
KELLY JENSEN is a former teen librarian who worked in several public libraries before pursuing a full-time career in writing and editing. Her current position is with Book Riot, the largest independent book website in North America, where she focuses on talking about young adult literature in all of its manifestations. Before becoming a fully-fledged adult-like person, she worked in the swanky Texas Legislative Library entering data into a computer while surrounded by important politicians, scooped gelato for hungry college students, and spent hours reading, annotating, and scanning small-town Texas newspapers into a giant searchable database.