Monday, July 28, 2008

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

Main Character: 12-year-old Addie
Location: Schenectady, New York
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: YA Fiction; Divorce

Addie and her mother have lost their house, due to Mommers' mismanagement of their money. Addie's stepfather, Dwight, arranges for them to live in a mobile home under the railroad overpass and near a convenience store. Mommers grouses about it but Addie is charmed by the trailer and does her best to make things work. She has not had an easy life. Her father died when she was very small. She dearly loves her stepfather, Dwight, and her two little half-sisters, but when Dwight and Mommers got a divorce he got custody of the smaller girls but had no legal claim to her.

Moving to the trailer is like a new start for Addie and Mommers. Addie makes friends with Soula and Elliot, who run the convenience store. She makes new friends in school, too; friends who don't tease her for her dyslexia. She makes it into the school orchestra playing the flute, and even gets a solo in the Christmas concert. But soon Mommers is up to her old ways, making risky business deals and getting involved with a married man. Worse, she is leaving Addie alone to fend for herself for days at a time. Just as I'm beginning to think that Mommers is manic-depressive, Soula asks some questions that clearly show she is thinking along the same lines. Addie loves her mother, but she yearns for a normal life--one she'll never get with Mommers.

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