Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 16, 2009
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“Survival of the fittest” is given a new meaning in Crazy for the Storm, a memoir by Norman Ollestad. Heart-warming and intense, this book tells the story of the young author as he fights for his life on a rugged mountain in California.

The plot is the cold, hard truth, the real story of how Ollestad's airplane crashed into the side of the San Gabriel Mountains in the winter of 1979. Ollestad had to abandon the wreckage and his dead ­father and begin the grueling descent down the mountain. This eleven-year-old boy had often been pushed by his father to compete in severe ski competitions, and travel thousands of miles to catch tremendous waves on his surfboard. Only by using these skills is he able to survive. One slip would have been fatal.

This affectionate but brutal story is intriguing and touching. Every important moment is described in great detail. Using flashbacks, each chapter revisits a time before the crash, and explains the loving connection between Ollestad and his dad.

Another strength of this book is the connection the reader feels to Ollestad, an everyday kid. He had to deal with his divorced parents fighting for his love, his mother's violent boyfriend, and peers forcing him to do dangerous stunts. Crazy for the Storm has every element a good book should; it can even make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Ollestad takes his memoir to the extremes as he tells the story of his life-changing experience. I recommend this to anyone with a taste for adventure. However, I must warn you: once you start reading you won't be able to put it down.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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