October Book Review

Crazy for the Storm

This month’s review is by Catherine Adde
Crazy for the Storm
by Norman Ollestad

Crazy for the Storm

This hair raising, yet inspiring memoir, chronicles a tragic accident after Norman Ollestad’s chartered airplane slams into the San Gabriel Mountains which leaves Norman Jr., age 11, to face certain death, scaling down a vertical icy mountain, surviving against the odds. Norman’s detailed account of the crash and the emotional toll it takes on his young life is sprinkled throughout the book, flashing back to his childhood at the beach in California. The tone of his father pushing him into extreme sports is almost sinister, yet we cheer him on as he surfs, skis, and travels through Mexican jungles with a dad who insists on pushing his son further, harder, faster. Norman senior’s recklessness makes one squirm, although he is an optimist at heart.

Beautifully written, in this story I wondered how tough it must be to achieve a balance when raising children. We want them to be independent, encouraging them to stretch and strive to be the best. But how much is too pushy? When should one pull back from being the over bearing stage mom or demanding little league coach, or in this case, propelling one’s child towards dangerous sports? Yet Norman today is thankful that his father encouraged him; raised him with the belief that one should never give up. For it is this message – the constant voice in his head, that enabled him to survive on that mountain years ago. This is a remarkable read, available at our Sierra Madre Public Library.

CALL # STATUS: 363.124 Non Fiction