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Reviews from me
2.0 out of 5 starsHow is his a CHILDREN'S book? No way.
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2020
This book was listed as required reading for my 12 year old son. Fortunately I pre-read the book before he did and was able to request an alternate. To preface, I don't dispute that it's a well written book with a lot of deep reflection. However, I don't think it's a CHILDRENS book in any way. The topics in the book are heavy - way beyond the life experiences of what an average 12 year old can grasp, nor what a young boy wants to read about. Lots of spoiler alerts coming: 1) Book features a gay couple 2) Main female character describes getting her first period, blood ruining her underwear, getting boobs 3) Main character's mother is clearly bi-polor with serious mental health issues, however a diagnosis is never formally provided. As an adult I can discern this from the events, but the average young reader isn't going to understand why she's acting this way 4) Main character's mother carries on an affair the entire book and ends up getting pregnant. In my humble opinion - this is all stuff for a late night TV drama, not a kids book.
3.0 out of 5 starsSpoilers to point out disappointments
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2021
I like stories for my tween that show all different kinds of families and “worlds” to help teach him empathy. This story was interesting in some of that regard but in others it just fell flat and the characters lacked depth and I question their purpose. Why have the laundromat couple if they are never important to the story? The mother is bipolar (mentioned) but also extremely narcissistic and a terrible mother. So the fact that she was bipolar seems unnecessary and makes bipolar people look like cruel people. I think had the author not had the mental illness involved, it would be better and seem less a stereotype of mental illness. That was disappointing. The idea of desiring “normalcy” is good and the book does show that many times what privileged kids find boring, or take for granted, some are some children’s only desire.
4.0 out of 5 starsExcellent, for 5th grade and beyond
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2015
Spoiler alert: The main character has a leaning disability, while her mother has an untreated bipolar disorder. All she wants is a normal life. She is befriended by non-blood "family", including a gay couple. I liked the casual acceptance of that relationship; it's part of the story but isn't an issue or problem. There's also a beloved friend with cancer, and a death, so it's not a light book, but it has very important ideas, and it's very readable.
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2018
This story kept me reading from beginning to end. The character of Addie and her hapless mother were so realistic as well as the kindness of the strangers that watched over her. She exhibited strength of character beyond her years. Truly an inspiring story for young teen readers.
4.0 out of 5 starsWaiting for Normal; Good insight into life on the fringe.
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2016
For a twelve year old girl, life with one possibly bi-polar parent is a lot to deal with. Add to the mix a deceased father, 2 half step sisters, a loving but distanced step father and Addie is barely coping. Thanks to an extended support system via the local gas station/convenience store, Addie is able to make it day to day, ultimately on her own, in her search for "Normal".
5.0 out of 5 starsthe best middle grade novel I've read
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2015
I'm a shrink as well as an author and spent 40 years teaching middle school children. Not only am I impressed by the high quality of the writing, but with the wisdom of the content as well. Highly recommended for even high school students.
Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2008
Due to life circumstances, I have not been able to read a juvenile novel in over two years. I found this title on Amazon and purchased it. I was able to read it last week and couldn't put it down. Leslie Connor has done a wonderful job of creating a character to care about. I loved this book. I'm going to buy a class set to read with my seventh graders. I'm only sorry that Ms. Connor has just started writing, as I'd like to read more of her work. I can't wait to read the next one! Maybe there'll be a sequel so we can continue to root for Addie.
This story was engaging and memorable. It made me think what a horrible life the main character (Addie, 12) must have had. It was thought provoking and at one point it made me cry. It has a lot of American vocabulary in it, so I learnt a lot of new words. Read it if you can. Mariella age 10.
Got this book for my 13 year old. She was reading something else when it came in so I read it and loved it. Passed it to my friend and her 15 year old daughter who both loved it. My daughter finally read it and also loved it. This young girl’s journey Is inspiring a must read.