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Before Julie Callahan came to the house at 9 Highland Road in Glen Cove, New York, she had spent a good part of her young life in mental hospitals, her mental and emotional coherence nearly destroyed by a childhood of sexual abuse. Fred Grasso, a schizophrenic, had lived in a filthy single-room occupancy hotel. At 9 Highland Road they and their housemates were given a decent alternative to lives in institutions or in the streets. It was a place in which some even found the chance to get better.This perfectly observed and passionately imagined book takes us inside one of the supervised group homes that, in an age of shrinking state budgets and psychotropic drugs, have emerged as the backbone of America's mental health system. As it follows the progress and setbacks of residents, their families, and counselors and notes the embittered resistance their presence initially aroused in the neighborhood, 9 Highland Road succeeds in opening the locked world of mental illness. It does so with an empathy and insight that will change forever the way we understand and act in relation to that world.
Extra! Extra! Middle-school reporters stand up to authority to expose a school scandal in this funny, inspiring story set behind the scenes at a student newspaper. Late for math club, late for jazz band, late for soccer -- Adam Canfield has to be the most over programmed middle-school student in America. So when super-organized Jennifer coaxes him to be co-editor of THE SLASH -- Harris Elementary/Middle School's student newspaper -- he wonders if he's made a big mistake. Not only do editors get stuck with assigning stories (like an investigative report on the edibility of cafeteria food), but they also have to deal with annoying third graders like Phoebe, always pushing for a front-page slot. But when Phoebe's article on Eddie the janitor leads to a much bigger scoop -- an eccentric woman's mysterious gift to the school -- Adam and Jennifer rise to the challenge, risking their principal's wrath to uncover some shocking secrets.
The star reporter is caught up in a big scoop -- but this time it's about him -- in a savvy, engaging story that takes on school bullies and other tyrants. For over programmed middle-grader Adam Canfield, waking up to a snow day is a dream come true -- a chance to sleep late, put off planning the next issue of "The Slash", and make some quick cash with his shovel. But the dream turns into a nightmare when some high-school kids mug Adam for his shoveling money. Then not only does the media blast the embarrassing story, but Adam's own co-editors plan a contest outing bullies at their school. In a second look behind the scenes at a middle school newspaper, Michael Winerip deftly blends kid-friendly humor with some provocative issues, including the subtle effects of class and racism and the thrill that comes from speaking truth to power.