"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""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) "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
As a newborn, January sleeps for only 20 minutes at a time. As a one-year-old she speaks in complete sentences. At two she asks about negative numbers. By three she has literally hundreds of imaginary friends. All the signs suggest she’s gifted. But when her baby brother Bodhi arrives January’s behaviour becomes increasingly violent, her never-ending delusions and hallucinations interspersed with paroxysms of rage that eventually force her parents to live in separate adjoining apartments. This harrowing memoir is the desperate story of Michael’s mission to find out what is wrong with his highly intelligent daughter. As he does the rounds of child psychologists, doctors and locked hospital wards, the author provides an unflinchingly honest account of parenting, as well as an indictment of the lack of care for children with severe mental illness. But above all, January First shows the passionate dedication of a father who refuses to give up on his little girl even as her behaviour becomes ever more alien.