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Waiting for Normal

di Leslie Connor

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1,0537515,100 (4.09)18
Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.
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Children's fiction / realistic fiction; ages 10-14. A moving story about 12-year-old Addie's attempts to make the best of her new living situation as she and her dysfunctional mom (she reminds me a lot of the mother in Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle) move into a trailer following a divorce. Addie makes friends quickly with the kids at school as well as with her neighbors at the the gas station/convenience store across the street--Soula, a woman fighting a losing battle with cancer, and Elliot, the man that helps Soula manage the store (and also happens to be gay). Though it wouldn't seem likely for Addie's mother to get a happy ending, the story closes on a hopeful note, with Addie eventually being adopted by her stepfather and taken back to live with her half-sisters in the lovely country home they've created with the stepdad's fiancee, and the mother receiving "parenting lessons" from the state (she's pregnant again, and apparently the father-to-be is willing to stick with her despite being lied to, etc.).

During the story Addie reaches several epiphanies, coming to terms with her dyslexia, her notion of heroism (Soula, who in the end had to call social services, takes a big role here) and normalcy (which Addie defines as having enough stability in her home so that she doesn't have to wonder if her mother will be around this week or whether she'll have enough food left in the cupboards to feed herself). ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
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  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Addison is a twelve year old girl living with her mother after the mother’s divorce from her stepdad. “Nothing with mommers is ever normal” Addison says. As she deals with living in a small trailer, her mothers neglect and swinging moods, as well as becoming a young woman, she longs for a “normal” life with her stepdad and half sisters. Addison had to deal with lots of hardships and this book could be a good resource for a student going through a hard time. This book shows that one’s biological family is not always their “real” family, and that its okay to love a parent even if they’re not being a good parent. ( )
  JennySkvarna | Nov 30, 2018 |
Summary: This book is about an amazing tough young girl whos mother is mentally ill. The girl wants to be with her stepfather after him and mom got divorced, but mom has custody. The book climaxes with mom abandoning the daughter for 6 days and losing custody. She ends up being adopted by her stepdad.
Opinion: I LOVED it! As a child of divorce and a child of a bipolar parent, I could really relate. This book is a great window for kids who haven’t experiences family strife and a great mirror for kids who have. I recommend this book for every kid and adult who works with kids honestly. ( )
  KelseyGwozdz | Oct 2, 2018 |
Between Addie and her mom, Addie is the grown-up. She takes care of her mom who can’t get her act together. The stepdad she adores has finally given up and moved on with her two half-sisters, but he continues to be the stability in her life. Her mom, on the other hand, complains, spends too much time on the internet, and leaves Addie alone for days in their tiny one room trailer. Addie has a stepdad, grandfather and the two adults who run the mini-mart across the street, but there's only so much they can do. Addie keeps her situation a secret in order to protect her mom.

Leslie Connor is a fantastic writer. You have to appreciate the level of detail she is able to bring to the page. Addie's story is one that probably plays out for far too many kids everyday. Addie is unique in that she is wise beyond her years and is able to take care of herself, but we can sense how much she longs for something better. ( )
  valorrmac | Sep 21, 2018 |
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Maybe Mommers and I shouldn't have been surprised; Dwight had told us it was a trailer even before we'd packed our bags.
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Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.

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