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Waiting for Normal


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About the Author

Leslie Connor is the author of several award-winning books for children, including two ALA Schneider Family Book Award winners, Waiting for Normal and The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, which was also selected as a National Book Award finalist. Her other books include All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Crunch, and The Things You Kiss Goodbye. She lives in the Connecticut woods with her family and three rescue dogs. You can visit her online at


Gr 6-8-A story centered around loss, heartbreak, abandonment, and new beginnings. Although Dwight is no longer Addie's stepfather due to his divorce from her mother, the two still share an unbreakable bond. Dwight secures a trailer for Addie and her mother in an unremarkable part of Schenectady, NY. Mommers sleeps during the day and leaves Addie at night to pursue "business" interests with her new boyfriend. Meanwhile, Dwight has moved to Lake George with Addie's half sisters, for whom he was awarded custody. Despite the many upheavals in her young life, Addie adjusts as well as she can. She participates in the school orchestra, despite the fact that her dyslexia makes learning the music challenging. Her mother's antipathy toward Dwight doesn't prevent her from allowing Addie to visit him and her sisters during school breaks, during which she gets a taste of normalcy. However, the woman's irresponsibility, inability to tell the truth, and frequent absences, often for days at a time, put Addie in danger. Connor has created a winning and positive father-figure/daughter relationship between Dwight and Addie. She introduces serious topics such as cancer, neglect, and learning disabilities without sensationalizing or trivializing the subjects. Although Mommers is clearly an unfit parent, Connor does show believable instances of her love for her children, juxtaposed with scenes of embarrassingly childish behavior and cutting remarks.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"A heroine with spunk and spirit offers an inspiring lesson in perseverance and hope. First-rate."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"[Leslie] Connor treats the subject of child neglect with honesty and grace in this poignant story. Characters as persuasively optimistic as Addie are rare, and readers will gravitate to her."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A story centered around loss, heartbreak, abandonment, and new beginnings."--School Library Journal (starred review)

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