Monday, September 8, 2008

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor


Twelve year old Addie's parents' recent separation has split not only her father-in-law and mother, but Addie from her step-siblings. A driving force between the break-up is likely whatever mental illness drives her mother to spend all her waking hours on the Internet looking for "business opportunities". Dwight, the step-father, has without obligation sprung for a yellow trailer in the city in which mother and daughter will live, and sends monthly checks that usually catch flight once they're in "Mommers'" hands. At a service station across the street friom the trailer, Addie befriends Soula and Elliot. Soula is in chemo, and Elliot dates the owner of a local restaurant. When her mother's business opportunity finally arrives, Addie is often left home alone for days on end. She even resorts to packing empty cereal boxes with thumbtacks to cover when her grandfather comes over to check up on her. She has managed to mature beyond her years, but maturation isn't enough to avoid a terrible accident that will eventually alter her and her family's way of life.

I really enjoyed Waiting for Normal. Addie's strong character really appealed to me, and the heartiness of Soula and Elliot was also endearing. I think it holds it's own - and I'm willing to give it a thumbs up at this time. We'll see how that stands down the road.

5 comments:

Allison said...

I was bawling my eyes out when I read this. Addie just wants normal, not a mother with a mood disorder. Definately on the youngest end of the TU award. (I put it in the tween section of my library). I say yes for now.

Kat Werner said...

I read great things about the book, but have not read it (I want to now!) we have it in the teen area, but then we don't have a tween area.

sherlonya said...

I'd put this one in the yes category. I agree with Allison that this is surely on the young side of the Thumbs Up award.

Iris said...

I felt like this was a little young. Good in many ways, I found the dialogue between kids to be somewhat forced, and the idea that a 12 year old would not know that she was Dyslexic, when she was so tuned in to other things adults around her said, is a little hard to believe. Maybe.

Katie said...

I'm going to say No. I thought this was an endearing book, but it is way too young to be the top teen book of the year. It reminds me of The Great Gilly Hopkins and Bridge to Terabithia, in that it has intense emotional impact, will challenge tween readers, and has great adult appeal. However, I think it lacks teen appeal (she's in sixth grade, gets her period for the first time, etc.) and I was a little annoyed with the cutesy toddler speech of the youngest sister.