04 November 2014

Crazy Normal by Lloyd Lofthouse Review!

'Crazy Is Normal' has won an honorable mention at the 'Southern California Book Festival'! 

'Crazy Is Normal' will be on sale for only $0.99 from October 1-November 15, 2014, on Kindle!  

Publisher: Three Clover Press (June 14, 2014)
ISBN: 978-0986032851
Category: Biographies and Memoirs, Educators
Tour Date: October, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 386 Pages

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.

"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

Praise for 'Crazy is Normal':

"Lloyd has written an honest and fascinating story of a year in the working life of a dedicated California public school teacher. This is a must read for those thinking of becoming a teacher, is a public school teacher or administrator, or has children in the public school system.

What works most effectively is how Lloyd shows the contrast between the two student extremes - the top achievers who take what Lloyd offers and learns how to conquer the world, and the many slackers who appear determine to sabotage their teacher's best efforts to teach them the skills they need for a successful future."-Tim M, Amazon Reviewer

"Lots of teachers I know wish they had kept a daily journal as detailed as Lofthouse's; you forget so much. He's done old teachers a favor, and will have them nodding their heads - "yes, that's the way it was." Parents and teachers who live in lusher locations may turn their nose up at his toughness and military approach to classroom rules, but in the long run it's the students who profited. Someday maybe someone will keep a similar journal and write a parallel account of life in a "nice" school classroom. A great read that gradually moves the reader from a sense of "crazy" to a sense of "maybe there's hope."-Unhirsute, Amazon Reviewer

"Lloyd Lofthouse has written a powerful memoir in Crazy Normal that took me back to time we shared at Nogales High School. His reflections and anecdotes based on his daily journal brought so many memories of my own teaching experiences there. This is not fiction, but retelling of events that might give insight for many into the challenges a teacher faces every day.

Lofthouse's journal shows a later picture of the community. The kids who populate the pages of his memoir don't have dirt floors, but many of them are still new to the country and the language. Some are headed to colleges and universities while others, if they graduate from high school, might be the first of their families to achieve that diploma.

I had to take breaks from reading when Lloyd described the grueling and frustrating teachers' meetings. These were not times I wanted to revisit now that I have retired after thirty-seven years of teaching. But like Lloyd, my good memories are of the students who walked through my doors every day. I revel in their accomplishments and their ability to overcome huge societal obstacles in order to succeed. Nogales is a place like many other American high schools where crazy is normal.

I applaud Lloyd Lofthouse for his dedication and hard work on behalf of kids who needed someone who cared enough to help his students learn and grow. His story is worth telling-and worth the read."GailtheReader, Amazon Reviewer

About 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.

Website: http://lloydlofthouse.org/

Author's Den: 


My Thoughts
Crazy is Normal by Lloyd Lofthouse that tells the story of a year in a school in his life as a teacher. He was teaching college prep English and a journalism class that worked on the school newspaper. Mr.Lofthouse kept a detailed journal for this year at Nogales High School in California. We learn his methods of teaching, what he will tolerate and what he won't in class. We the reader are introduced to many students, both the at risk kids and the achievers who will go on to better their lives. Mr.Lofthouse felt that each child has a chance and that they also have to want to take that chance to get out of the neighborhoods they live in and succeed. He was intolerant of kids who mouthed off in class and treated others unkind. Off to detention they would go and their parents would be called. It seems that there were a lot of parents who didn't care or think education was important.

I imagine that it was extremely hard to teach anything at this school, as it was in less than desirable neighborhoods, with the drive by shootings and other crimes that happened in the area, sometimes right on the school grounds. It appeared to me that Mr. Lofthouse was a dedicated teacher who excelled when his students did well, while still trying to encourage those who were at risk. The book as a memoir was well written and gives the reader a sense of who he is, not only a teacher but an established author as well. I have read one of his novels, My Splendid Concubine and I have enjoyed both books. I highly recommend both of these books.

I received a copy of the book for review and was not monetarily compensated for said review. 


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

  2. Thank you for your honest review of "Crazy is Normal" and for taking part in this virtual book promotion.



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