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January First


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About the Author

MICHAEL SCHOFIELD has an MA in English and teaches writing courses online for California State University at Northridge. He and his wife, Susan, are co-founders of the Jani Foundation. Michael lives with his family in Valencia, California.


"[Schofield's] memoir is a wrenching, heroic narrative about a dad descending into his daughter's world to pull her back, finally, into his own." --People

January's story is one of redemption, of resilience, of a family coming together in spite of all to rally for a difficult, special girl.
--New York Post

In his memoirs January First, Michael Schofield chronicles his family's experience with [a] devastating mental illness, which usually presents itself at least a decade later.
--Daily Mail (UK)

"Imagine invisible demons that attack your beautiful child. But this is no nightmare, and no supernatural fantasy. The demons are real, and they come from inside her own mind. The story of January Schofield, diagnosed at six with childhood schizophrenia. is told by her father, Michael, with a father's tenderness, a novelist's consciousness, and a knight's grace. We can hold our breath and pray, but not look away. This modern parable may be the most compelling book you will ever read."
--Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean

"January First is a riveting and compelling-and also quite painful--story of a father's efforts to help his young daughter find a place for herself in this world in the face of a serious mental illness. Schofield gives a glimpse inside the mind of a child who lives much of her life in another world, interacting with friends who are only in her mind. Schofield takes us on his journey with Jani, starting with his thoughts that Jani is simply a misunderstood genius to recognition that something is really wrong, to the ultimate diagnosis of schizophrenia, a very serious mental illness, even more so when it manifests in a child. Schofield and his wife never give up. Their dedication and steadfastness are inspirational. Their story will be highly valued by the many families with a child with mental illness-indeed, by the many families who have any kind of struggle with their kids. The book ends on a hopeful note with Jani in a better place, yet we recognize that the battle is likely not over."
--Elyn Saks, MacArthur Grant Recipient and author of The Center Cannot Hold

An unflinching portrait of the scourge of mental illness. --Kirkus Reviews In this dramatic memoir, Schofield...explains the mental illness of his young daughter...offers valuable insight for others in similar situations, and ends on a hopeful note. --Publishers Weekly

This is Schofield's account of dealing with his very young and deeply troubled daughter, Janni, who is a sweet genius-when she is not being "evil" and uncontrollably violent. Physically lashing out at her parents and determined to harm her newborn brother, Janni has an unusually high tolerance for anti-psychotic medications and ultimately begs to be taken back to the psychiatric ward and left there. She also is only five years old. The narrative is compelling and fast-paced, leaving the reader anxious to learn Janni's fate. The audio production is very well performed by narrator Fred Patrick Lawlor, who does an amazing job of conveying emotion and uncertainty. -VERDICT Readers with an affinity for memoirs and those interested in children's mental illness as portrayed in literature will appreciate this work. ["The anxiety, frustration, and loss Schofield and his wife experience are palpable, so much so that the author's tone is, at times, grating. Still, their heart-wrenching story-featured on 20/20 and Oprah-is bound to move parents and caregivers of children with similar psychiatric disorders," read the review of the Crown hc, LJ 6/15/12.-Ed.]-Nicole A. Cooke, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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