Footer Davis Probably is Crazy

Footer Davis Probably is Crazy 
By: Susan Vaught 


Release Date: March 3, 2015 
Audience: Grades 5 and up 
Pages: 240 

The Story 

When Fontana “Footer” Davis's mother shoots a snake with an elephant gun, Footer’s life begins to unravel. Her mom is sent away to a  psychiatric hospital for Bipolar Disorder.

Even though Footer misses her mom, it is the least of her worries.

Her neighbor’s farm burned down nine days ago. Mr. Abrams was shot and killed. His grandchildren Cissy and Doc were assumed dead in the fire, and Footer suspects that her mom might have something to do with it.

Footer teams up with her best friend, Peavine, and his sister, Angel to discover what really happened. The more she learns about the fire, the more she begins to have visions. She can smell the smoke & can see the gun. Could she have been there that night or is she going crazy like her mom?

Written by author and practicing psychiatrist Susan Vaught, this page turning story explores friendship and what it is like to have a loved one with Bipolar Disorder.


 There is so much suspense as you try to unravel this murder mystery. In this regard, this book will appeal to kids who enjoy books by Peg Kehret and April Henry.

 I also really liked that it addressed mental illness and having a loved one with Bipolar Disorder. One may also relate to the depression issue that goes along with Bipolar Disorder too. This is becoming more and more common. I appreciated that this book addresses these issues & even offers some resources at the back of the book for help. Commonly if a tween has a loved one with these issues or they face these issues themselves, they may feel isolated. I think this book does a great job at giving an overview of these issues and I like that these resources have an underlining message that one is not along if they do face these issues. 

This book will definitely be on my list for tweens who enjoy suspenseful books or for tweens that face these issues. 


The southern charm wasn't exactly charming all of the time. I was turned off by Footer's mom shooting snakes with an elephant gun in the first pages of this book. This is just a personal preference though. I think snakes are frighting. 

 Tweens might like this for the gross factor, but it may not have a appeal to everyone. 

Overall, this is was a fun and exciting read. It left me on the edge of my seat. I stayed up into the early morning hours finishing it. This is a great read that I will be sure to recommend. 

Thank you Susan Vaught for a fun read that provides awareness to mental illness. 

For more information on Bipolar Disorder, please visit the sites below: 

National Institute of Health

National Alliance on Mental Health

Helping a Loved One With Bipolar Disorder 


Please note: these are just my thoughts on this book. This is no way a reflection of  the committee or committee discussions.

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