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Waiting for Normal

Waiting for Normal

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Waiting for Normal

4/5 (46 valoraciones)
221 página
3 horas
Mar 17, 2009


School Library Journal Best Book * ALA Notable Children’s Book * New York Public Library’s “One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing” * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best * Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice * Connecticut Book Award Winner * American Library Association Schneider Family Book Award Winner

This poignant and joyful novel is filled with meaningful moments and emotional resonance.

Addie is waiting for normal. But Addie's mother has an all-or-nothing approach to life: a food fiesta or an empty pantry, her way or no way.

Addie’s mother is bipolar, and she often neglects Addie. All-or-nothing never adds up to normal, and it can't bring Addie home, where she wants to be with her half-sisters and her stepfather. But Addie never stops hoping that one day, maybe, she'll find normal.

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

Mar 17, 2009

Sobre el autor

Leslie Connor is the author of several award-winning books for children, including two ALA Schneider Family Book Award winners, Waiting for Normal and The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, which was also selected as a National Book Award finalist. Her other books include All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Crunch, and The Things You Kiss Goodbye. She lives in the Connecticut woods with her family and three rescue dogs. You can visit her online at www.leslieconnor.com.

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Waiting for Normal - Leslie Connor


chapter 1

tin box on a tar patch

Maybe Mommers and I shouldn’t have been surprised; Dwight had told us it was a trailer even before we’d packed our bags. But I had pictured one of those parks—like up on Route 50. I thought trailers were always in trailer parks. I expected a little grass patch out front, daisy shaped pinwheels stuck into the ground, one of those white shorty fences and a garden gnome.

Dwight crossed traffic and pulled the truck up over the curb. When he stopped, Mommers’ head bumped against the window. What are we doing here? she asked. I watched Dwight’s face for the answer. Dwight is my stepfather. Well, he’s really my ex stepfather since he and Mommers split for good. That was two years ago. (It’s best to know right from the beginning that my family is hard to follow—like a road that keeps taking twists and turns.) But Dwight had always told me, there’ll be no ex between you and me, Addie, girl, and I believed him.

"I said, what are we doing here?" Mommers repeated.

This is the place, Dwight mumbled.

Mommers sat up. She opened her eyes wide and looked out the front windshield. Then she screamed. "Dwight! You’ve got to be kidding me! This is the city!"

Dwight leaned away from her—protecting his ear—and in that quiet way he’s got about him, he told Mommers, Come on, Denise. Let’s not go over it again. You know this is all I’ve got left. You can move in here, or go to Jack’s place. He slid out of the truck.

Mommers swung her door open so hard it came back at her. She kicked it and it whined on the hinge. I can’t live with Jack!

She was talking about my grandfather on my father’s side. I call him Grandio. That’s his grandpa name, which my father taught me to say a long time ago. That’s about all my father had time to teach me; he died when I was barely three. I’ve always kind of felt as if my father gave me Grandio—or tried to anyway—that he left him to me so I’d have as much family as possible. Thing is, he kind of left Grandio to Mommers, too. I’ve never seen two people who wanted less to do with each other.

I hate Jack! Mommers hollered at Dwight. And I hate you!

I know, said Dwight, as if he had accepted that a long time ago.

I unfolded myself from the back of the cab, where I’d been squashed in the little jump seat, and slipped down to the ground. Dwight lifted our bags out of the back of his truck and handed Mommers a key.

Go in and have a look. We can work on it some if you want, he said. And the computer is in for you and Addie. He tried to say all this with a hopeful note in his throat—Dwight always did that.

But Mommers threw the key down hard as she could. It hit the ground with a tiny ringing sound like a little chime. I suppose you want me to overflow with gratitude! she yelled. I get a cruddy tin box for a house and a dinosaur for a computer! Lucky me! What about the duplex, Dwight? You could have given me that!

The duplex is gone to pay for the house, Denise. Dwight kept his lips in a line. Mommers kicked at her own overstuffed suitcase. Then she said all kinds of other things I won’t mention, but boy, did I hear some language.

Dwight walked away from her. That might have seemed mean to anyone who happened to be watching that day, but I didn’t really blame him. He had my little sisters to think of—half sisters, that is. They’re Dwight’s kids. I’m not. (Like I said, my family is full of twists and turns.) He leaned down and gave me a shaky hug. I squeezed him back and swallowed hard. He whispered into my shoulder. I’m sorry, Addie, girl. Then he looked at me eye to eye and said, I’ll be around—you know that.

I nodded. And you’ll bring Brynna and Katie, right?

Of course. As often as I can.

Then it’ll be all right, I said, and I faked a big old smile.

Dwight got back into his truck and raised a hand to wave good-bye. He turned his wheels away from us and with a screech and a lurch, he was outta there.

I stood next to Mommers, both of us looking at the trailer. The thing was dingy and faded. But I could tell that it’d once been the color of sunshine. It was plunked down on a few stacks of cinder blocks at the corner of Freeman’s Bridge Road and Nott Street in the city of Schenectady—in the state of New York. It was a busy corner—medium busy, I’d say. The only patch out front was the tarry blacktop bubbling up in the heat of the late summer afternoon. No pinwheels. No garden gnome.

Can you believe this, Addison? Mommers said. She stared at the trailer door. That reprobate.

Reprobate? I said. There’s one for my vocabulary book.

"Yeah, Addie. And for the definition, you just write Dwight!"

She fell into a heap and started to cry. I stooped beside Mommers. I gave her shoulder a pat, tried to get her to look at me, but she wouldn’t. Then the little flash of silver caught my eye. I reached down and picked up the key.

chapter 2

small stuff

I’ve always sort of liked small places like tents and bunk beds. You can make them all your own just by being there to fill up the space. I rolled the key over in my palm. I wanted to see the inside of that trailer.

I climbed the metal steps—pretty sturdy—and stuck the key into the lock. I gave it a twist. Suddenly, there was such noise! The rushing and whooshing filled my ears, and my legs went weak underneath me. The key quivered in the lock of the trailer.

Yah! I jumped off the step and started to run back to Mommers. It’s starting up! I yelled. The loud clack-clack-clacking noise at my back drowned me out. Mommers covered both her ears, her mouth wide open in a silent scream. She had big round eyes fixed on something over my head. I was sure the trailer was falling off its blocks—about to crash. I turned in time to see the blur; a silver train streaked by on the tracks right above our new home.

Silence followed. Then Mommers wailed, "We’re living under a train!"

"Well, sort of in front of," I said, glancing back at the empty tracks. My heart was still pounding.

What’s the difference? she said.

I braved the metal stairs again, took a breath and pulled open the door to the trailer.

It really was a little house inside—more of a home than one of those camper things, and it wasn’t going anywhere unless something came to get it; there was no steering wheel. I had to laugh about that when I thought of Mommers and me standing outside screaming all because a train was going by.

Look at the kitchen, I said to Mommers. Isn’t it perfect? She rolled her eyes at me. It was kinda shrimpy, like it was made for sixth graders instead of grownups, but that made me smile. I’d be starting sixth grade in about a week. I flipped a light switch and a bare bulb came on above the sink. Mommers squinted.

How classy, she mumbled.

Hey, look, I said. Everything is six steps. I counted out six baby steps from the front door. That put me right at the kitchen sink. I counted six more and that put me in the living room, which was also the dining booth and had an extra sleeping bed. In a pinch, we could drop the table down and cover it with the seat cushions. Six more steps and I stood in front of the bedroom, the only real bedroom.

This one’s yours, Mommers.

Wow, she said, I get a folding door. And a window with a view of—what the heck is that? A Laundromat? She let a sigh buzz through her lips. I got me a regular Luxury Suite. Oh, and it’s near the bathroom. What more could I want? She tossed her splitting suitcase onto her new bed. Her elbow hit the doorjamb and she muffled a swear.

I didn’t mind Mommers getting the Luxury Suite. I got the bunk tucked up high, way at the other end of the trailer. I climbed up the ladder—six rungs, by the way—and pushed open the curtain on a string to try it out. I straightened up on my knees, inched a little higher and let my head thunk the ceiling a few times. I fell down giggling. I put my nose to the little square window and looked out onto the tar-patch yard and out to the steep, grassy bank that led up to the train tracks. Meadow flowers grew on the slope, the same kind I’d seen growing out at Grandio’s farm fields across Freeman’s Bridge.

I turned and pulled the curtain shut across my bunk. Then I poked my head out. Look, Mommers, I have my own sleeping cupboard!

She looked over her shoulder. Looks like a chintzy mattress on top of a closet and a dresser to me, she said.

There’s a closet? I tipped my head down to see below my bed and almost flipped out of the bunk.

Mommers let out a tiny laugh. You like it here, don’t you?

I climbed down and crawled into the closet. I tucked up my knees and looked out toward the minikitchen, grinning. It’s not bad, I said. I like small stuff. I’ll make dinner tonight.

Mommers went to get settled into the Luxury Suite. I pushed up my sleeves and got to work in the kitchen.

Out on Freeman’s Bridge Road the cars and trucks bumped and rumbled over the rough pavement while Mommers and I ate our first trailer supper—macaroni and cheese with peas—from the groceries Dwight had left for us. Mommers leaned on her elbow and looked out the front window. I saw her sniffle into her napkin once or twice.

I’m going to see if that old computer still works, she said after dinner.

I’ll do the dishes, I said.

She turned on her computer and soon she was on the Internet.

"Pretty nice Dwight gave us the computer. And the Internet, too, I added. Are you on the Web?"

I’m just looking for a chat, Mommers said.

I did the dishes as perfectly as I could. I dried them and put each one away in the little cupboards. I wanted us to keep this new place nice.

The cleaning had gotten away from us when we’d had the house. Dwight had tried. He would come home from work and start the laundry and drag out the vacuum. The Littles—that’s what Dwight and I called my little sisters whenever we were talking about both of them at once—and I would scrub bathrooms or roll socks. We’d pick up the toys, stack Mommers’ magazines and empty her ashtrays. But after Dwight moved out, the place got bad. Really bad. Mommers was never up at breakfast time and I left a lot of mess from making toast for the Littles. (I was always running late for the school bus.) We used napkins instead of plates and that helped some. But then we couldn’t keep up with the trash. Picker’s Waste Removal quit stopping for our cans because the bill didn’t get paid. That’s one of the things Dwight didn’t like.

Now, with just the two of us, there weren’t so many dishes. I finished them up quickly. As small as the trailer was, I didn’t know where I should be that night. New places always do that to me. Even when I was little, when Mommers married Dwight and we moved into his house, I’d wandered from room to room like I had to try on each one, get it to fit. Soon Brynna was born and later Katie. Eventually, we were all right at home there, all filling up the space. But that was a long time ago.

Addie! You’re pacing! Mommers wagged one arm behind her to shoo me away. Do you need to pee? She laughed and scooted closer to her keyboard and typed.

I laughed too. But I knew she was done talking to me for the night. She was absorbed in her computer chat. I went up into my cupboard with a book. That first night, as I lay on my chintzy mattress, I listened to the sounds outside—the cars and trucks and especially the trains. I wondered what Brynna and Katie were doing. They’d be asleep, of course, or should be. I pictured Katie’s pink fist curled next to her mouth, Brynna’s cheek resting on her folded hands. I thought of Dwight filling up the bedroom doorway with all his height. Are they out, Addie? he’d ask. I’d whisper back, Been gone for an hour. Then I’d reach up a hand and catch the kiss he’d blow me and tuck my fist under my own pillow before sleeping. I caught a pretend kiss there in the trailer. I wanted to keep them all close.

I woke in the night to the rumble and clack, and to Mommers slamming her fist down on the table and swearing about the noise. I opened my eyes and saw her leaning toward the bluish light of her computer screen. I drifted back to sleep wondering when the train would come again, and if it would be a passenger train singing by, or a freighter clacking and swaying. But a few nights later I was done waking for the trains. Me, I’m good at getting used to things—been doing it all my life.

chapter 3

welcome pie

Across the street from the trailer was what I called the Empty Acre. (I don’t know if it really was a whole acre, but I was just talking to myself anyway.) It was a big parking lot of potholes that no cars ever bothered to fall into because there was no reason to drive through there anymore. The old Big N store at the back of the lot was empty too, though Mommers said you used to be able to get your discounts and your hoagie sandwich there. (A hoagie is the same as a submarine sandwich, or a poor boy, or a hero or a grinder, depending on where you come from—or in my case, where your parents come from. Mommers had grown up in Ohio, and that’s where they call it a hoagie.)

At the front of the Empty Acre was the filling station and minimart. On my way home from my first day of school I discovered a big glass apartment that looked like a greenhouse off the back of the store. It jutted out with a long sloping roofline that nearly met the bumpy pavement. The leaves of plants and trees pressed themselves against the inside of the glass. But I could also see colors and fabrics and bamboo furniture inside. Somebody definitely lived there.

I went right into the minimart that afternoon to scope things out. It’s good to know your neighbors. Funny

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46 valoraciones / 36 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (4/5)
    Worthy of a few tissues!
  • (5/5)
    This book was funny bright and overall intriguing. I was hooked beginning to end
  • (4/5)
    Addie's is a solid, sturdy voice as she copes with her mother's negligence and sponteneity and yearns for a normal, predictable life. The mini-mart owners and her stepfather Dwight fortunately provide the support she needs to keep going.
  • (3/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    Addie is a 12-year-old girl with some very big problems. Her father died when she was only three. Her mother remarried and had two more children with her husband Dwight. When Dwight and Mommers divorced Addie became more of a caregiver to her little sisters than her mother did. When Dwight found out he wanted to take all three children, but Mommers wouldn't let Addie go. Now Addie and Mommers were living in a trailer. Dwight and the children came to visit when they could, but they weren't a family anymore. Addie finds friendship with the people who own and run the gas station next door. She goes to her new school and finds success in her flute playing. Addie is dyslexic and does not feel smart of successful at school, but she is personable and she makes friends. As time goes on Mommers stays away from home more and more leaving Addie by herself. It is implied that she is bipolar, but his is not spelled out in great detail. Addie goes to visit Dwight and her sisters, but she feels that that life is a fake for her and she will never have that family back again. With the help of some good people, Addie finds her way out.There are many themes in this book. Divorce, abandonment, learning disabilities, psychological disorders, cancer, and family structure. While I like the writing of the book, and the characters are endearing, there is too much going on at once. I would have preferred to see one or two issues looked at more closely.

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

  • (5/5)
    I seriously loved this book. Addie is an amazing child who survives more "twists and turns" in her life than most and always with an optimism that makes you want to cheer her on.
  • (4/5)
    How my heart cried out for this little girl. I got so involved with all the characters even Piccolo. The ending couldn't have been done better. More juvie than young adult but a really good book. I sat down to read it and a couple hours later was done. Not quite a 5 star read, but was well worth the time invested and I highly recommend it.
  • (4/5)
    I marked this as survival, but it's not a "survival in the wilderness" type of survival, but a "survive my difficult home life" type of survival. This was hard to listen to as an adult, but I'm sure kids won't react to it the same way. I think they'll admire Addy's courage, optimism, and resourcefulness rather than being appalled by how this little girl has slipped through the cracks. Listened to Recorded Books audio edition narrated by Angela Rogers. Rogers did an excellent job with everything except the two little stepsisters and I couldn't tell if what annoyed me there was the way Connor wrote them or just the voices Rogers gave them; little kids are so hard to do well on audio. The voice for Addy was excellent and all the adults were easily distinct and personality appropriate.
  • (4/5)
    MSBA Nominee 2009-2010

    I listened to the audio version of this book, and I really enjoyed it.

    Addie's mom is the all or nothing type. Sometimes she's there making fiesta meals. Sometimes she's gone for days at a time. When will Addie's life ever be normal?
  • (5/5)
    Normal as defined by 12 year old Addie is something or someone you can count on.This is a heart breaking story of a spunky, loving child who is forced to take care of herself. As she notes, her mother is either all the way or not any way. It is an all or nothing lifestyle and too soon, at a very young age, Addie Schmeeter learned that increasingly the parenting style of her mother is nothing.Having multiple children that she cannot raise, self centered and emotionally abusive, Addie's mother flies under the radar of the social services. When Dwight, Addie's step father, delivers her mother and her to a beat up camper/trailer, located in an underpass, Addie tries to make the best of a horrible situation.Dwight loves Addie, but simply cannot legally take her with him and Addie's two step sisters. Moving away, Dwight worries about Addie and does the best he can to help her long distance. When Addie visits her step father and siblings, in her heart she longs for their normalcy.Leaving Addie alone for nights, then weeks alone, with little or no food, her sociopathic mother cares little for her welfare. Afraid to let others know about her mother, Addie tries to make the best of a terrible situation.It takes a dire situation to bring the social services on board.While difficult to read, this is a book worth the time and effort. Unfortunately, all too many young children in our society are very much like Addie. Alone, afraid and living in dangerous situations, these children develop a strong coping mechanism to survive.Five Stars
  • (3/5)
    Addie's life has never been normal - her mom is sometimes there, sometimes not and when Addie's mom gets divorced and Addie and her mom move into a trailer underneath an overpass, Addie goes back to the routine of taking care of herself. Though she knows she can do it, and has done it before, Addie wonders when she will have a normal home life with a mom who actually comes home. I liked the overall message of optimisim, but had a difficult time with the fact that she didn't actually take care of herself - she knew that her mom being gone was wrong (she lied about it) but she didn't do anything to change her situation. For her life to get better, someone else had to step in and it was almost too late. I was unsure of the message it sent that someone else will help, so you don't have to help yourself.
  • (5/5)
    I've never read a book that moved me so much. Certain portions of the text reminded me of moments in my childhood. It was so refreshing to read a book that I felt I heard my own voice in. Other stories I've read have had similar conflicts but they seem so cleaned up, but not this book. This book shows the problems and explains why children will cover for their parents. While I wish Addie would have said something or someone would have reported it sooner it doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes parents like Mammers make mistakes after mistakes until finally they really mess up. Sadly that moment came when the trailer caught on fire. I was so happy that the book ended with her in the home of Dwight and not with a reformed Mammers. I think a lot of children would relate to this story because we all have some aspect in our lives that we wish was a little more normal. I'm glad Addie found her normal with the strong male role model in her life.
  • (5/5)
    The author did a really good taking you into the place of the main character. It makes you really appreciate what you have.
  • (5/5)
    A young virbrant, optimistic girl by the name of Addie struggles with dyslexia. Her mother suffers with bipolar disorder and Addie is forced to take care of her self when her mother takes off for three long days. This book will take you into an interesting place.
  • (4/5)
    This was a great book! I loved the main character and how she coped with her mother's illness. The characters who gave Addie support were really well-developed. Lots of students can relate to how she had to look out for herself given her difficult situation at home. I really appreciated a step-dad who was there for her and not a literary stereotypical creep.
  • (4/5)
    Twelve year old, Addy love with Mommers in a trailer in Schenectady and plays the flute. She is adapting to a new neighborhood and family situation after Mommers is divorced by Dwight (Addy's stepdad) and she is seperated from her two younger stepsisiters-"the littles." Addy tries to make the best of a bad situation becomes friends with Soula and makes the gas station her second home. Lots of good messages in this book a little girl with a big big heart! Listened to this book .
  • (4/5)
    A more positive and optimistic heroine I can't recall. Addie lives with her mom in a trailer on a bleak corner practically under a train bridge. Her ex-step-dad set them up there. He's a good guy but off doing a construction job. He has custody of Addie's two young step-sisters as the mom has a tendency to leave the kids for days at a time. (to be continued)
  • (4/5)
    While dealing with very sad facts of life, this book manages to be funny and inspiring and even hopeful. Addie/Cookie is a character that I will remember for a long tme, her strength of character was nothing short of amazing. There are many life lessons in this short book. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys watching the underdog triumph!
  • (4/5)
    Addie's voice resonates in my head. Each character is drawn multidimensionally. I raced through to find out if life ever becomes normal.
  • (4/5)
    Also a sad one but with a great resolution. We listened to this in the car to back-up the girls' summer reading.
  • (4/5)
    Grade: 5-7Genre: Realistic FictionThemes: Diversity, poverty, coming of age, mental illness, familyAddie lives with her mom who is very unstable and often missing. The live in a small trailer in the middle of the city. Addie makes friends with people who run the mini-mart up the street. They are the closest thing that she has to a real family since her step father moves away and takes the littles with him (her stepsisters). This book is a sad tribute to too many families in today's society. Addies perserverence is uplifting throughout the book. Throughout the book, Addies comes to terms with her mother's behavior as well as realizing that she has to stop taking care of her mother and just be a kid. This book would be appropriate for 5th graders but I think middle school is where it should be in the library. You could use it in middle school to teach diversity because of so many of the different characters in this book.
  • (4/5)
    This story of a sixth grade girl trapped in an unstable family situation and waiting for a normal life, this book is simple and sweet. Addie is a spunky optimist who tries to make the best of her situation even while living in a tiny trailer with a mom who swings from focused and enthusiastic to outright neglectful. I enjoyed reading about Addie's day to day life and her developing friendships with the neighbors, and I could identify with her plight, having had many students whose lives are strikingly similar, except for the fact that Addie is lucky enough to have so many helpful adult advocates in her life. At times the solutions were perhaps a little too simplistic and "cute", but I think younger readers would appreciate the hopeful ending.
  • (5/5)
    Addie is one of those characters you just never forget.....I recommend this book strongly to girls who have families with strained relationships.
  • (4/5)
    Addie is remarkably resilient in the face of an up and down mother who frequently doesn't come home. She longs for a normal life and a family on which she can rely. Rich characterization, short chapters, and interesting subplots help drive this touching story. Although reading novels with such bad parenting always ticks me off - plus the mom ends up pregnant AGAIN after failing spectacularly with her first three kids!
  • (3/5)
    This book was a little too cutesy for my tastes. It was a very easy read and unchallenging, even for a children's book. The plot wasn't particularly original or interesting either. My biggest problem was the narrator. She just seemed to naive for a girl of 12. Calling her mother "Mommers" and her grandfather "Grandio", and just being pretty darn ignorant overall made her seem like she was 10 years old. I just didn't find it believable.
  • (5/5)
    This is a great book I see why it won awards!Addie is a young girl hoping for a normal life,but with a a mother (mommers) who is an all or nothing type of person normal isn't likely to happen.This book shows that heroes are everyday people who care about each other.The characters in this book are compelling and real.Addie is the true hero in this book though through it all she keeps a positive attitude even when left alone for days on end.I highly recommend this book!!!!
  • (5/5)
    Waiting for Normal is a great read for middle school readers, because it addresses serious and difficult issues that many kids experience in addition to all the “normal” stuff that is so complicated and often thorny to navigate on the journey between childhood and adulthood. The book is sensitive to the depressing topics it raises without bringing the reader down—in fact, the reader is reassured throughout the story that a brighter future for Addie, and children in similar situations, is possible. Addie’s strength and ability to remain optimistic is a tribute to human resiliency.Addie is 12 years old going on 60 – she’s been coping with really tough stuff her entire life. Her father died when she was only 3. Her stepfather and mother’s divorce separates her from 2 baby half-sisters and a stepfather who provided love and security. Her mother has a nasty habit of disappearing for days at a time, leaving Addie to fend for herself with little or no food and money. Addie’s mother is unpredictable when she is home—sometimes fun and loving, but more often than not she ignores Addie to chat online or watch TV. And to top it all off, Addie has dyslexia and struggles with reading and writing. But in spite of all this, Addie looks on the bright side of things as she struggles to survive while she’s “waiting for normal.” She creates a cozy environment in her corner of the trailer. She makes friends with neighbors and schoolmates. Because of her dyslexia, she struggles with reading and writing, but refuses to give up. She memorizes flute parts (because she can’t read music) so she can be part of the school orchestra. She is devoted to her family. She never tells anyone that her mother abandons her for days. Addie’s steadfast and immense optimism is almost unbelievable given the harsh realities she constantly faces. But to adolescents (and even young-at-heart adults), this characteristic of Addie’s serves as a powerful reinforcement and reminder that though we cannot always control what others do to us, we do have control of our response to what is done to us. So, never lose hope for happiness, know that negative situations can be overcome, and as tough as the journey gets, a positive attitude and optimistic outlook can become the key to positive change.
  • (3/5)
    The main character is exremely likeable, but her mother's neglect begins to become tiresome by the end of the book.
  • (3/5)
    A 12yr old girl struggles to live a normal life with a mother that is unable to care for her. Kids living in this type of situation will relate with her desire to protect her mother and hide her crazy home life.
  • (4/5)
    (Suggested)Addie has taken many twists and turns in her lifetime. Her mother and stepfather divorced a few years ago and now she is living in a trailer with her mother. Her stepfather, Dwight, lives hours away with her two sisters and his new girlfriend. Addie makes friends, lands a part in the school symphony, and misses her sisters deeply even though she sees them every weekend. She loves them and cares about them but she can’t pretend anymore. They aren’t her family now. All Addie really wants is normal; to know what’s going to happen next. But living with her unpredictable mother, that is a big challenge.Waiting for Normal was a wonderful written novel. Each character introduced was perfect for the story. Dwight was a loving father and in the end, I almost cried. The storyline was excellent and I didn’t even see the events coming. Being inside of Addie’s mind is truly exciting and reading about the way she interprets the world around her is fascinating. The pages inside the book tell the story of a girl wanting to be normal but I am fully convinced that Addie didn’t really wanted to be. ‘Normal’ was the word she used but I think she just wanted to be ‘happy’. If her mother had acted like an actual mother, I think she would have wanted to stay exactly where she was.(For me it ruined parts of the story, but be aware that there is a homosexual minor character.)
  • (4/5)
    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.