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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Waiting for Normal Hardcover – February 5, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: AWARDS: ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2009
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; 1 edition (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060890886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060890889
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #848,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

We’ve seen this situation before: a parent neglects a child, while the child seeks a wider community to find support. Here that child is 12-year-old Addie, who lives with Mommers in a trailer on a busy street in Schenectady after her adored stepfather and half sisters move upstate. Mommers has lost custody of the “littles” because of neglect, and though she and Addie can laugh together, once Mommers hooks up with Pete, she is not much for good times—though she brings the bad times home. Addie finds solace in occasional visits to her sisters and in her neighbors, especially Soula, ill from her chemotherapy treatments. Connor takes a familiar plot and elevates it with smartly written characters and unexpected moments. Addie starts out being a kid who thinks she has to go along to get along, but as Mommers’ actions become more egregious, her spine stiffens. And though Addie loves her time upstate, she is willing to forgo it when the normality she has there is more painful than positive. This is a meaningful story that will touch many. Grades 5-7. --Ilene Cooper

Review

“A heroine with spunk and spirit offers an inspiring lesson in perseverance and hope. First-rate.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“A story centered around loss, heartbreak, abandonment, and new beginnings.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

*“This book persuades that good people and delighful possibilities are all around, even in the most unpromising circumstances.” (KLIATT)

“[Leslie] Connor treats the subject of child neglect with honesty and grace in this poignant story. Characters as persuasively optimistic as Addie are rare, and readers will gravitate to her.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Connor convincingly portray’s Addie’s beyond-her-years resourcefulness and the opposing feelings that drive her to protect the life she has while longing to be a permanent part of the ‘normal’ home her sisters occupy with her stepfather.” (The Horn Book)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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My ten year old daughter loved it as much as I did.
PaulaKayMac
Addie clings to the belief that someday life will improve...maybe even become normal.
Teen Reads
The writing is strong, the characters interesting, and the plot tight.
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 82 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Once in a while a reviewer of children's books likes to sit down and reassess their occupation. Here I am. I am an adult and I review books for kids. And most of the time I really enjoy it. I just have a fabulous time reading all these children's books and then spouting off opinions about why you should or shouldn't hand 'em off to the youngsters. But in the end I am still an adult and my opinion is that of someone over the age of 25. A lot of people in my position have a hard time separating their adult perspective from their knowledge of what kids like. Am I blabbering on here? Well, there's a reason for it. Nine times out of ten, when I read a children's book that mucks with my mind, I don't review it. Simple as that. I think, "Book hard. Me no review. Me watch Colbert Report instead," and that is that. But I felt compelled to push through my natural malaise to review "Waiting for Normal" by Leslie Connor. This is partly because the book has been garnering pretty much universally stellar reviews. The writing is strong, the characters interesting, and the plot tight. My problem? The audacity of hope, I guess. This book is awash in it. And so, I must pry my snide, callous, New York City sardonic self away from myself as a 12-year-old child and let these two components of my reviewer self duke it out.

Say what you will about Addie, she doesn't let a little thing like the complete and total dissolution of her family unit get her down. Addie's mom (or Mommers) and Addie's wonderful stepfather Dwight have just gotten divorced, and he is legally responsible for their children. Addie, on the other hand, is biologically just her mom's kid so she's left to live with Mommers in a trailer in the middle of Schenectady that Dwight has provided.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The main character in the book is a young girl named Addie. Life is throwing her for a loop. Her mother has some problems and never takes the time to be a real mother to Addie. The book follows Addie through a time in her life that teaches her a lot about herself. She discovers that her life is not perfect and never will be but with people that love you by your side you will be just fine.

As I read this story it made me really thankful for the life that I have and the life that I am able to give my children. At the same time it broke my heart to think that there are kids out there today like the character Addie and are really raising themselves in the world.

This book would be best for girls. There is a scene in the book that discuses menstrual cycle. It is done in a tasteful way but co-ed reading of the novel may be uncomfortable.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By N. Hall on February 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I brought this book home for my daughter, and ended up reading it first, and loving it. In Addie, the middle schooler at the heart of this book, Connor has created a protagonist that readers will care for and relate to. The author deftly but lovingly balances Addie's troubles with her strengths, and makes even characters like Addie's dysfunctional mother real, fully fleshed out people we care about. The book is heartwarming without ever being cloying or sentimental,and the writing is pitch-perfect throughout. When I gave it to my daughter she buried her nose in it and didn't put it down until she was done. Fabulous.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Children's Book Collector on April 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up at the library because the cover grabbed my attention. I came to it with no preconceived notions (read review below mine). I am so glad because I just finished the book a few minutes ago and still have that warm fuzzy feeling that only a well-told story produces.

I think I just read a Newbery contender. Well done!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on June 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"I had two boxes of mac and cheese, almost half a box of Cheerios, a sleeve of saltine crackers, a bag of egg noodles and a box of brownie mix. In the can department, I had two tomato soups, one fruit cocktail, and one cheapy tuna -- the squishy, cat food kind. There were two eggs in the fridge, along with four carrots, half a quart of milk and almost half a jar of peanut butter. There were three hamburger buns in the freezer. It didn't look like much but I had things figured out. Each box of mac and cheese would make two meals. Each can of tomato soup was ten and three quarters ounces of pure possibility. I could mix it with the cooked egg noodles and cat tuna. I could pour it over a toasted hamburger bun. Or, I could just make soup like the label on the can said. But whatever I did, I had to be careful about the groceries. Mommers had been gone for six nights in a row."

There is something seriously wrong with the mother of sixth-grader Addie Schmeeter. Addie's mother is way, way up or way, way down, seriously all here or seriously all gone. She either ignores the grocery situation for weeks on end or suddenly begins shopping (and cooking) for an army. And it can all change in a heartbeat.

When she's around, Addie's mother is chronically obsessed with watching a television courtroom reality show or spending all night in an online chat room, she has no room in her consciousness for daily care of her offspring.

Recent times have been bad: Addie's mother kicked Addie's good-hearted step-dad, Dwight, out of their old house. Then she misappropriated the mortgage money and took off for days at a time, leaving Addie alone to care for her two little sisters, Brynna and Katie.
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