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Michael Schofield’s daughter January is at the mercy of her imaginary friends, except they aren’t the imaginary friends that most young children have; they are hallucinations. And January is caught in the conflict between our world and their world, a place she calls Calalini.  Some of these hallucinations, like “24 Hours,” are friendly and some, like “400 the Cat” and “Wednesday the Rat,” bite and scratch her until she does what they want.  They often tell her to scream at strangers, jump out of buildings, and attack her baby brother. 
At six years old, January Schofield, “Janni,” to her family, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, one of the worst mental illnesses known to man.  What’s more, schizophrenia is 20 to 30 times more severe in children than in adults and in January’s case, doctors say, she is hallucinating 95 percent of the time that she is awake. Potent psychiatric drugs that would level most adults barely faze her. 

A New York Times bestseller, January First captures Michael and his family's remarkable story in a narrative that forges new territory within books about mental illness. In the beginning, readers see Janni’s incredible early potential: her brilliance, and savant-like ability to learn extremely abstract concepts. Next, they witnesses early warning signs that something is not right, Michael’s attempts to rationalize what’s happening, and his descent alongside his daughter into the abyss of schizophrenia.  Their battle has included a two-year search for answers, countless medications and hospitalizations, allegations of abuse, despair that almost broke their family apart and, finally, victories against the illness and a new faith that they can create a life for Janni filled with moments of happiness. 
A compelling, unsparing and passionate account, January First vividly details Schofield’s commitment to bring his daughter back from the edge of insanity.  It is a father’s soul-baring memoir of the daily struggles and challenges he and his wife face as they do everything they can to help Janni while trying to keep their family together. 

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January First
Average rating
4.7 / 5
September 27th, 2014
This book was a shocking but I loved it
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1 review
June 26th, 2014
This is an amazing book. It gives the reader good insight as to what it's like to live a day in the life of someone who is going through a mental illness, and the challenges that that person and their family faces on a daily basis. It also makes us realize how lucky we are to experience the daily tasks that we take all for granted. If you get a chance read this book
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1 review
January First
March 27th, 2014
Excellent book! I couldn't put it down
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1 review
October 2nd, 2013
Very interesting read.
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1 review
January first
March 2nd, 2013
Wonderfully written suffering from a mental illness myself that has no cure, I am aware of the struggles that are there. I really enjoyed sort of getting to know Jenni. Her parents are amazing on how they have dealt with her in the rough times and good. Excellent book.
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1 review

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