Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

"Maybe Mommers and I shouldn't have been surprised; Dwight had told us it was a trailer even before we'd packed our bags."


The CIP summary is hidden to prevent possible spoilers. If you'd like to read this brief summary, just highlight it using your cursor and it will magically appear in the following lines.

LC CIP Summary: Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.


Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins; 290 pages

14 comments:

Mary said...

I think this book absolutely belongs on our final discussion list. Addie - and her mom for that matter - are both very believable and well-drawn characters. The story is heart-wrenching and very well-told.

Jen said...

This has been my favorite book thus far (I know it's early, but still)... I really hope it makes it to the final discussion list! The characters are quite believable, and the story easy to fall into and very well-written. I actually found myself wincing with pain at some parts, and laughing aloud at others. This story will resonate with many readers.

Genie said...

I loved this book. I couldn't put it down once I started it. It had all the elments I think a well written book should have; lovable characters, characters that I love to hate, and it brought tears to my eyes in certain places. Addie was the kind of character that is so real you feel like you are there with her in the book and experiencing what she is experiencing. Just a great job by Leslie Connor. I sure hope it makes the list.

Jill said...

I am SO glad this made the short list! I, like Genie, couldn't put it down! As a teacher with students similar to Addie, it gives a whole new perspective to why children act the way they do sometimes. Connor did a wonderful job developing all of the characters. Great story!

Mandy said...

This one is near the top of my list so far...the characters are unique, well-drawn, and believable. Watching Addie display maturity well beyond her years was heart-breaking, and of course I just wanted to shake some sense into her mother.

Clare said...

I am agreement with all of you. This book is at the top of my list as of right now. The characters were all too real, the events were heartbreaking. I did not have a hard time visualizing any of the images the author gave. Even the readers who don't know/can't relate to the lifestyle can relate the pre-teen awkwardness of trying to be normal.

pianolibrarian said...

I think we've all known kids like Addie. It's sad that these sorts of families exist, but they do. Addie's voice reminded me of so many of my former classmates, and she was one of the more real characters I've come across in a long while.

I also applaud the characterization of Jack and Dwight. You can tell just how powerless they fell to help Addie, and it's heartbreaking. This novel is definitely a contender for the Newbery.

Kris said...

I'm joining in the chorus of fans...it made my heart hurt to read this, Addie seemed so real to me.

Amy said...

I wanted you all to see the beautiful spot in which I read this book--can't post the pic here, so you'll have to check it out in my "Beautiful Beach Day" album on Facebook (Amy VanHuisen). I too thought this was a great read--every character was clearly defined within the first couple of sentences or bits of dialogue about or from them. Definitely not run-of-the mill.

Jewell said...

This is a wonderful, heartwarming read and my top pick from short list #1. I was hooked from the very first page. I would love to see this book make the final discussion list.

Teresa said...

Yes, a great book. I only have one issue with it, which is fairly minor, but I was bugged that we didn't get an explanation about how she handled the task of reading the computer screen (Mommer's message to Pete) when so much was made of her bookmark with books and her avoidance of the newspaper clippings at the minimart.

Edie said...

I loved Waiting for Normal because of the honesty of the main character, whose voice has stayed with me many months after reading the book. Addie is realistic about her expectations and yet also hopeful, maybe her mother might really get a job that supports them, maybe she will be more attentive. She rings true as a young girl who has been bruised by
life but not defeated and I think that's an important quality for kids these days, reality yet hope. And Addie's support system is quirky and outside the mainstream and honest and caring and what keeps her going. Each rings true. Addie's realization of her own talents and strengths, another plus and the outcome, one that she richly deserves as does Dwight and his family. And isn't it nice that the ending leaves some hope for the mother, not totally without some humanity.

debby said...

I loved this book! It is the top of my Mock Newbery List right now. I have students lined up waiting to read this book after I gave a book talk on it to my Newbery Club. The book really keeps you attention and makes you want to not put it down. Addie is a likeable young lady that unfortunately must take care of herself. I can picture some of my students in this same situation and it really bothers me, but I know it happens. I enjoyed how she became friends with the mini-mart owners across the street. I was surprised as to "how she was found out and who had turned her in..." This story hits on so many topics; pre-teen awkwardness, trying to fit in, child abandonment, child neglect, living conditions, family relations, yet it also touches upon cancer, friendship, and trust, and much more. I want it to be the WINNER!!

Mary said...

Received via email from Martha S.:

Leslie is a personal friend of mine and I read her book as a galley. Without bias, I think this is the best realistic fiction book published this year.