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Not So Normal Norbert

Review

Not So Normal Norbert

written by James Patterson and Joey Green with illustrations by Hatem Aly

Norbert was born on the United States of Earth, a place that is not like the Earth you and I are used to. This futuristic Earth is gray and drab. It is run by a psychopath called "Loving Leader" who is not very “loving.” Everyone and everything on Earth is gray --- people's skin, their clothes, their houses, their food, trees, dogs, etc. It is not a very exciting place to be and it can be downright dangerous unless you are normal and boring like everyone else.

"The story is well-written with lots of action, interesting dialogue and colorful characters. I’m waiting for what will surely be a sequel..."

Norbert is not quite normal. He lives in a drab gray house with his drab gray aunt and uncle because his parents were suddenly taken away. But, Norbert has a knack for calling attention to himself (and not being normal). One day at school, Norbert makes fun of Loving Leader. NO ONE makes fun of Loving Leader and gets away with it. Loving Leader has eyes and ears everywhere. Norbert is arrested and sent to a different planet for punishment, Zorquat 3. It is light years away from Earth.

Zorquat 3 is a planet that is the exact opposite of the United States of Earth. The people on Zorquat 3 are spontaneous and funny and creative --- and different. Even though Norbert wants to be spontaneous and funny and creative all the time, he has spent his whole life squelching those impulses so he has a hard time adjusting to his new life on his new planet. Also, he is not only separated from his mom and dad, he is also separated from his aunt and uncle. He wants to not only find a way to get back to the United States of Earth, he also wants to find his parents, wherever they are.

Norbert is a character than most kids can identify with. He is smart and funny, but he is also insecure. In his world on the United States of Earth, it is scary to be smart and funny and different. But on Zorquat 3, Norbert eventually learns that it’s okay to be different.

The story is well-written with lots of action, interesting dialogue and colorful characters. I’m waiting for what will surely be a sequel as the story ended with Norbert learning there is much more to discover.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on July 24, 2018

Not So Normal Norbert
written by James Patterson and Joey Green with illustrations by Hatem Aly