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Waiting for Normal

Review

Waiting for Normal

Addison “Addie” Schmeeter has experienced a lot in her 12 years. Her father died when she was three, leaving her with her unstable, bipolar mother. Her grandfather is never too far away, but he and Mommers can’t stand each other. Then Mommers marries Dwight, the first good decision for their lives in a long time. Addie absolutely adores Dwight, plus he is stable, secure and takes really good care of them. Soon Addie is blessed with two amazing little sisters, and life seems wonderful. But good things don’t ever seem to last long with Mommers.

Mommers soon announces she wants a divorce, insisting that Dwight move out of the house. And very quickly, her erratic behaviors get them into more trouble. She disappears for three days straight, leaving then-nine-year-old Addie in charge of the babies. Dwight gains custody of the two little girls and tries to get Addie as well, but since she’s not a blood relative, there isn’t much he can do. Then Mommers throws away the mortgage money and they lose the house. That’s when Dwight moves them into a little trailer on a corner chunk of asphalt.

Despite all of the obstacles she has to deal with, including a learning disability that makes reading words and sheet music difficult, Addie always keeps hope in her heart and greets each new challenge with courage and optimism. She makes friends with the pair who operate the gas station next door, practices her flute every night hoping to make it into the school orchestra, and enjoys her visits with Dwight and her little sisters. She even tries to accept her mom’s strange moods, laughing with the happy Mommers and cautiously wading through her absent times. Addie clings to the belief that someday life will improve…maybe even become normal.

Leslie Connor has elegantly woven a warm, charming tale about a kindhearted girl trying to find happiness. Addie is an inspiration to everyone for keeping a bright outlook on life, no matter what. The other characters in the story are just as unique and colorful, providing ample material for twists and turns in the escalating plot. Readers are sure to carry along WAITING FOR NORMAL in their hearts, long after the final page is turned. They may even be inspired to follow Addie’s role and keep hope and optimism thriving in their lives.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on February 5, 2008

Waiting for Normal
by Leslie Connor

  • Publication Date: January 26, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • ISBN-10: 0060890908
  • ISBN-13: 9780060890902