Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waiting For Normal

Waiting For Normal
by Leslie Connor
From the publisher:
"Addie is waiting for normal.
But Addie's mom has an all-or-nothing approach to life: a food fiesta or an empty pantry, jubilation or gloom, her way or no way.

All or nothing never adds up to normal.

All or nothing can't bring you all to home, which is exactly where Addie longs to be, with her half sisters, every day.

In spite of life's twists and turns, Addie remains optimistic. Someday, maybe, she'll find normal.

Leslie Connor has created an inspiring novel about one girl's giant spirit. waiting for normal is a heartwarming gem."

I enjoyed this book, but I think middle schoolers will like it more than I did. It was a little too cliché for me, but kids should really relate to Addie. I liked that she was so good amidst all of her struggles. It was refreshing that she struggled in school, it seems that most books of this ilk tend to make the main character amazing in school, even with no support from home. I felt like this was a more realistic portrayal of what a 12 year old in her circumstances would go through. It was also refreshing to have a step-father be such a good person.

Areas of concern:  A 12 year old girl in a bad home, a mother with serious issues.  There is some uncomfortable talk about a young girl going through puberty.  A step-father living with another woman, a mother getting pregnant with a boyfriend her daughter has never even met.

Suggested ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 10+
School Library Journal - Grades 6-8


  1. I'm glad to have found your review, and your expertise in this area. I just found out that my eight year old daughter's class is reading this book in third grade. I've read about half of the book (Addie's mom isn't pregnant yet)- and I'm not sure that this is age appropriate for a third grader.

    Thoughts on what to do when your child is required to read something in school that you're not crazy about at home?? This is new territory for me.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Michelle. This problem came up for me several times when my children were in school. I communicated directly with the teachers and found 99% of them were very supportive of parental concerns and would either suggest, or let me suggest, an alternative assignment. I feel very strongly that parents need to know what is in the books their children are reading to determine whether they think it is age appropriate for their child. I have had students whose parents asked that their child not read certain books, and I fully supported them in that decision. If you are uncomfortable, I would definitely talk to the teacher.