Monday, October 05, 2009

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

Maybe Mommers and I shouldn't have been surprised; Dwight had told us it was a trailer even before we'd packed our bags. But I had pictured one of those parks--like up on Route 50. I thought trailers were always in trailer parks. I expected a little grass patch out front, daisy-shaped pinwheels stuck into the ground, one of those white shorty fences and a garden gnome. [...]
I stood next to Mommers, both of us looking at the trailer. The thing was dingy and faded. But I could tell that it'd once been the color of sunshine. It was plunked down on a few stacks of cinder blocks at the corner of Freeman's Bridge Road and Nott Street in the city of Schenectady--in the state of New York. It was a busy corner--medium busy, I'd say. The only patch out our front was the tarry blacktop bubbling up in the heat of the late summer afternoon. No pinwheels. No garden gnome. (1-5)

Twelve year old Addison "Addie" Schmeeter has just moved into a trailer with her mom. Her mom has just gotten divorced from the best step-dad she could ever have asked for, and he's taken her two half-sisters with him after his mom left the three of them for a few days to fend for themselves. Addie hopes things are improving when her mom becomes excited about a new job and Addie begins a new school year. But the second half of her family has moved farther away, preventing her from seeing them except for holidays. Her mom though, keeps disappearing -- first for a few hours, then for a night, then for a whole day. When Addie's mom drops a bombshell of news, things take a turn for the worst and the bad spreads like fire. Leslie Connor portrays the story of a girl whose Waiting for Normal and on a search to define it.


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