Billy March has been grounded for 63% of the past month. Every time he almost gets his parents’ trust back, his mind wanders off, and he causes another disaster! Like the time he and his best friend Keenan decided to play droid war in a parking lot—and ended up launching a shopping cart into a car. . . . Now Mom and Dad are threatening to send Billy to a psychologist. They may even make him take brain drugs! But deep down, Billy really worries that Dad wishes he had a different son. He’ll never be as perfect as his sisters. Maybe he doesn’t belong in this family at all. But maybe, just maybe, talking to a “shrink” won’t be as terrible as Billy thinks. With generous black-and-white illustrations in every chapter and tons of heart and humor, readers will be cheering for Billy as he struggles to find his place in the world—and discovers his true talent in the process.
“Strong characterizations . . . Readers will cheer for Billy.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Authentic insight into the mixed-up thinking of a young boy’s world view.” –Children’s Literature
From parents and readers on the Amazon Vine program:
“My son is a reluctant reader, but Billy the Kid is Not Crazy is the first book he ever read with enthusiasm on his own. He laughed out loud a few times, and could really relate to the main character.” –Scott Sherman
“I’m considering buying ten copies to have on-hand as my friends’ children age. This is great for kids and parents. It’s about a boy who is totally NOT crazy. He’s a typical dreamer who often makes bad decisions because…he’s still a kid!” –Mage
“My third grader loves this book. It is filled with heart and humor… I love the jokes that are mixed in and the heart felt moments. Junie B watch out.” –Edward Walker
“The author has done such a wonderful job with these characters… The artwork is a great addition, delivering tons of laughs. Combine that with some truly witty dialogue and you get a book that is in turn hilarious, thoughtful, and very real.” –J. Prather
“The artwork in the book is great, lots of fun. Really adds a lot and speeds up reading–illustrations in books are almost always a plus! Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended!” –K. Davis
“I got this book for a boy who is diagnosed with Asperger’s… He sped-read through the book once and liked it so much that he’s reading it through again but more slowly. He says the title character is “just like” him.” –J. Tant
Billy is not crazy, he’s just an 11 year old Calvin-without Hobbes-whose active imagination trips him up at every turn… I have no doubt that my upper elementary students will love the West Seattle setting as much as they enjoy Billy’s everyday misadventures.” –Craig Seasholes (full review)
You can buy Torn anywhere books are sold, including:
Stella Chavez, a self-described “white girl in Latina skin,” has all the good-kid flags: straight A’s, clean-cut dates, and a wall full of soccer trophies. But when a new girl, Ruby Caroline, arrives in South Bend, she’s like a bomb set off in Stella’s life. No one at Mishawaka High can get over Ruby’s confidence (some say arrogance), her sexiness (some say sluttiness), or her pure love of trouble. Many kids are drawn to Ruby’s charisma, but Ruby chooses Stella as her only friend.
Stella’s group is baffled, then angry, as she begins to spend more time with Ruby and less with them. But old friends are the last thing on Stella’s mind. She is drawn into Ruby’s fascinating world where parents act like roommates, high school boys are nowhere near as interesting as college men, and there is nothing that shouldn’t be tried once. This is the story of a dangerous friendship, and the way girls can support each other through challenges their parents often don’t know about.
“This engrossing story of a good girl’s fascination with her wild new friend strikes chords that will resonate with many teens… In her debut, Guerra demonstrates insight into the temptations and troubles of late adolescence, all rendered with nicely flowing prose and dialogue. She grounds her story in reality, and her characters come across as interesting, believable individuals, with Stella especially sympathetic and Ruby a standout original… A strong new voice.” — Kirkus Reviews (full review)
“A spectacularly realistic portrait of a teen torn between her former friends and the new girl in school, running the family household and having fun in high school, and being a friend who goes along with anything or one who really cares… This is a wonderful story with real characters in real situations. Casey Holloway’s narration is as authentic as the story she is telling. A compelling listen that won’t stay on the self.–School Library Journal Audiobook Pick of the Day, starred review (Joan Kindig) full review
“The author’s thoughtful and nonjudgmental approach creates an engaging, authentic portrayal of female friendship.” — The Horn Book Guide
“Strong voice and complex characters.” — Booklist
“This fast, compelling read emphasizes female empowerment, especially regarding female bullying and inappropriate relationships.” — VOYA
“This is a fairly short but seriously intense read, with a couple of extremely strong scenes which are amongst the most gruelling I’ve ever read in a YA novel. It also benefits from some absolutely superb characters…as a modern coming-of-age story this ranks up there with the best of them. Guerra’s writing style is really readable and it’s a fast-paced book which had me completely gripped…” 5 stars — YA Yeah Yeah full review
“A moving, authentic take on the complexities of female friendship. It’s an accessible, memorable read that will appeal to many teen readers. Surprising, edgy, and unflinchingly real, this book deserves some attention… there’s never a moment that rings false. — Clementine Bojangles, Early Nerd Special full review
“Stephanie Guerra’s Torn pits stability against the unfamiliar. It’s a question of friendship; do you remain loyal and help the other the best way you can, or do you walk away and return to the life you once had? I loved this book… Torn is a must-read.” 5 stars – EY Magazine full review
“I loved this book. It was like nothing I’ve read before; mainly because Stephanie has created such a realistic novel that you just jump in and relate to everything that is going on.” 4 stars — The Girl in a Cafe full review
“Stephanie is a writing teacher and her strong sense of craft shines through this unflinching and powerful novel.” — Writer on the Side full review