Monday, January 25, 2010

waiting for normal by leslie connor

Twelve-year-old Addie is 'waiting for normal' in this sweet coming of age story set in upstate New York. Addie and her mother, or 'mommers,' are living in a trailer underneath a railroad track, the result of a divorce between mommers and Dwight, who Addie thinks of as her dad (although she doesn't refer to him as such). Addie's younger sisters, The Littles, are still living with Dwight,who has been granted full custody of them after mommers pulled a disappearing act, leaving an eleven-year-old Addie to take care of them in the dead of winter for three days. Mommers parenting skills haven't improved. Although Addie stoically hides her mother's neglect from the rest of her family and friends (a wonderful group of misfits at the corner store across the way), the stress of taking care of herself and not knowing when or if the food will run out take their toll, and she starts show the wear and tear of her horrible situation. You'll root for Addie as she makes the best of things, filling empty cereal boxes with magazines to fool visitors into thinking there is food in the house and rationing out cans of tomato soup. Her relationship with Dwight is delicately depicted and spot-on; the love they have for each other is so bright and clear it will make you cry. A well-developed and entertaining cast of supporting characters adds lightness and humor to this ultimately heart-warming book. Recommended for fans of Joan Bauer and Savvy.