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Waiting for Normal Hardcover – February 5, 2008
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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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
“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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It tells of her life and how she is always wanting to live as she had before, just "waiting for normal."
Very good book and will be used when I begin teaching middle school students.