But don t you think it s possible that every person is a hero to someone else Addie Schmeeter, Waiting for Normal, P 46 This book was well conceived and executed, and I liked it very much At times, there would be a line or two designed to really make the reader think in several short chapters in a row This is a distinguished contribution to literature It contains something for everyone Kudos The only bad thing about having a good time is when it s over Addie, P 56 Keep crossing bridges and poking your nose behind gates, Little Cookie It s a big, big world Soula, Waiting for Normal, P 274 Sometimes books come along that hit us in that specific way, where we end the book feeling run over by a train This book is that for me I don t know if it s objectively the best book ever written, and I don t care either Addie lives with her neglectful mother in a trailer by the train tracks Her ex stepfather, Dwight, has been awarded custody of her two baby sisters, and she misses them with all her heart Addie is such a real character She s optimistic, but she s not unreasonable She knows what her situation is She s been forced to grow up too fast and she desperately yearns for a normal life Every character seems so real and sympathetic, even when they make mistakes Addie s mother is an incredibly flawed person, but she s not a villain I also loved seeinggood relationships between children and step parents which is still so rare in literature This book is so difficult to read, and yet it s so, so hopeful Even the ending of this book is perfect just the right amount of emotional catharsis, and yet ending with plenty of hope for Addie herself VERDICT This is my favorite children s book of all time maybe one of my favorite books of all time, too I cannot recommend it enough. This Poignant And Joyful Novel Is Filled With Meaningful Moments And Emotional ResonanceAddie Is Waiting For Normal But Addie S Mother Has An All Or Nothing Approach To Life A Food Fiesta Or An Empty Pantry, Her Way Or No WayAddie S Mother Is Bipolar, And She Often Neglects Addie All Or Nothing Never Adds Up To Normal, And It Can T Bring Addie Home, Where She Wants To Be With Her Half Sisters And Her Stepfather But Addie Never Stops Hoping That One Day, Maybe, She Ll Find Normal I ve been hearing great things about this book, so perhaps my hopes were too high This book irked me in the same way as The Higher Power of Lucky did cutesy, too good to be true, innocent kids in hard knock lives just drive me nuts Addie is on the brink of puberty, has severe dyslexia, and lives with her unmedicated, bipolar mom in a trailer in a grim corner of Schenectady her two little sisters and loving stepdad have started a new life in the country, but her mom has custody of Addie But thanks to Addie s unfailingly positive outlook, everything is bathed in sunshine she makes an instant BFF in her new school, gets a flute solo, and develops a deep friendship with the folks at the convenience store across the street The stuff of Newbery awards ensues the convenience store owner is fat and has cancer and her best friend is gay, both circumstances that allow the reader to appreciate just how nonjudgmental Addie is but also guarantee some tears near the end First of all, Addie and I or maybe the author and I started out on a bad note I was irritated from the first mention of Mommers on page one Mommers From then on, I couldn t believe her as a character Could any seventh grader in this situation be so naive, terminally cheerful and UN resourceful toast dinners notwithstanding She never considers putting aside money for Mommers s long absences it doesn t occur to her that letting her unreliable mother take care of her beloved hamster is a bad idea It s hard to respect a character who s sort of pathetic Then I felt guilty, because this is undeniably a terrible situation for a child to be in, and I think a good number of kid YA books propagate a dangerous myth that children in bad situations can and will cope without adult intervention But jeez, Addie, grow a backbone Make some smart decisions And please, Newbery committee, don t give this one the medal this year. This little gem of a novel will tug at your heartstrings Twelve year old Addie lives in a trailer in Schenectady, NY and her family is hard to follow like a road that keeps taking twists and turns Addie s mother divorced Addie s ex stepfather, Dwight, two years earlier and Dwight has custody of Addie s two half sisters Addie s real father died when she was young and her dad s dad, Grandio, lives nearby Sound like a modern day family or what Since Addie is not Dwight s birth child, she lives with her mom At the opening of this novel they are moving into the trailer that Dwight has provided for them Addie quickly befriends the neighbors who run the minimart across the street and is accepted into the Stage Orchestra at school even though she can t read music.It doesn t take long for the reader to recognize that Addie s mother is bipolar though the word is never used in the book While there is no physical abuse, life gets complicated for Addie when her mom begins to leave her alone in the trailer for days at a time.This story deals with many big issues guilt, belonging, sickness, death, homosexuality, and neglect And on top of everything else, Addie has severe dyslexia But, the truly amazing thing about this book is the utter simplicity of the story Leslie Connor is a fantastic author who draws out her readers understanding of the characters simply through their actions Her writing is straightforward and sincere She has given Addie uncharacteristic optimism for a child in such sad circumstances Luckily, throughout the novel, the reader is acutely aware of the adults in Addie s life who are watching out for her even when Addie is not and, in the end, Addie realizes what it means to be cared for as every child deserves. OMG, I know two people on Goodreads are going to yell at me for finishing this book but I really couldn t resist I seriously could not put this book down It was such a deep story, I m actually crying right now Seriously I love this author and I loved the book and it was so sad and so happy and so good and I loved it Everyone and I mean EVERYONE needs to read this book AHHHHHH It was refreshing to read Addie s story Too many protagonist her age seem I don t know unlikable, but Addie is different First of all I should say that I liked Addie to pieces I could only wish I could have been good of a kid as she is Addie always seem to be walking on eggshells even though she doesn t know it at first Her mom which she calls Mommers is an all or nothing person, which bring the both of them lots of problems At the beginning of the book we see her and her mom moving into a small trailer that her stepfather Dwight is letting them live in Before all this happened she use to live in a house with her mom, Dwight who she really sees as her father since her biological father died when she was small and her half sisters Brynna and Katie Of course though, mistakes that her mother made changed all that.I was surprised by how resilient Addie is and how much support she has from the adults around her when her mother can t be there for her I can only hope that other kids in her situation have adults that care about them as much Addie is cared about She has Dwight, Grandio her grandfather from her biological father s side , Soula, Elliot, Rick, and Helen to help her grow through both the physical and emotional changes she has to deal with As the story progresses we come to learn that Addie has dyslexia, and I applaud her and how she deals with it I was glad to see a main character that wasn t automatically brilliant but had to work hard for what she gets The author did an excellent job of having you believe that Addie was a real 12 year old girl with these problems, and help you sympathize with what she is feeling I don t want to give the whole plot away but suffice to say that Addie does find her normal in the end. 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. 1212 .