Wednesday, May 3rd 2013
“Its kind of a funny story” is kind of a funny story. It's about 15-year-old Craig Gilner, who attends a prestigious college prep school that will set him on his way to the right college, the right law school, and the right job on Wall Street --- assuming he can bring up his 93 average. Studying for his school's entrance exam occupied Craig for months, and he was proud of his perfect score. Now, though, the school is a huge source of stress for him. He feels scattered and depressed, and even though he really likes the doctors who are helping him with his depression, he can't seem to make what he refers to as The Shift, a move back to normal life. When he calls a suicide hotline, they suggest that he go to the emergency room. From there, Craig spends five days on Six North, the adult psychiatric floor of his local hospital.
Six North turns out to be exactly what Craig needs. Away from the stress of high school, parties and friends, he is given the chance to decompress, focus on getting better, and find out what he wants to do to achieve happiness. In this sheltered environment, supported by his doctors and his family, Craig returns to one of his first interests --- art --- and makes not only the quirkiest but the most real friends of his life, who help him on his way to healing. Even though there are a lot of serious issues here, you can't help but laugh. The people Craig encounters on Six North aren't anything like his friends from school. Craig tries to maintain normal ties with his pals while on Six North, but they don't quite work out. His voice is very honest, and he's not afraid to share the details of a high-stress high school life, including sex, drugs and Egyptian popular music. Read it and weep. Or laugh. Maybe both.