Audiobook Review: Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

Title: Waiting for Normal
Author: Leslie Connor
Genre: Middle grade contemporary fiction
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Angela Jayne Rogers
First line: Maybe Mommers and I shouldn’t have been surprised; Dwight had told us it was a trailer even before we’d packed our bags.

Addie is waiting for normal. She is twelve years old, and has spent most of her life waiting for it. She had a taste of normal when her mother, Denise, was married to Dwight and had her two baby sisters, Brenna and Katie. But Addie’s mother is bipolar, and nothing lasts long for Addie: schools, homes, friends. After Dwight and Denise divorce, Addie is left at home with her mother and little sisters, and she is the most mature, responsible person in the home. Denise leaves the girls alone for several days, which results in Dwight gaining custody of Brenna and Katie. Addie isn’t his biological daughter, though, so she ends up back with Denise.

Dwight tries to support Addie and Denise the best he can, moving them into a small trailer under a train overpass. Addie quickly makes friends with Sula and Elliott, who run the Quick-mart on the corner, and they open their hearts to her. She lives for her times with Sula and Elliott, and her visits with Dwight and her sisters, all along waiting for her normal.

Leslie Connor has written a bittersweet story about a beautiful, resilient young girl. (Dwight tells her that resilient means “bounce back-ish.”) Addie struggles with her desire to live with Dwight and the girls, and her reluctance to leave Denise alone. She feels responsible for her mother, in a way that her mother has never felt about her. I loved Addie, and I was rooting for her to get her “normal” all through this sensitive, well-written novel.

Appropriate for ages 12 and up, as it deals with some heavy issues like child abandonment.

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16 Responses to Audiobook Review: Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    This one sold well at our book fair this spring. Some of us adults even noticed it and said we were waiting for normal too! It sounds heartfelt, and something I think my daughter would like!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Sunday Salon: More Connie May! =-.

  2. This sounds like a heartbreaking story. It makes you wonder how many kids have to live through things like that.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – I know – it’s horrible to think about.

    • MADIASE says:

      I did until my grandparents got custody of my brothers and I. But I like living with them, their better then my mom will ever be. But I still get to talk to her every day and see her whenever we can get up to her.

  3. PeachyTO says:

    This sounds like a perfect book to give to my 12-year-old spoiled-rotten niece, who needs to learn a little about what it is to struggle. I’m always looking for novels that will help her to learn empathy, and to not take her life for granted. Now if I could only figure out a book to give to her mother…

    Thanks for the review.

  4. Pam says:

    This sounds great! I love that the character has the same name as my daughter. Addie 😀
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Saving money at Book Expo America =-.

  5. Harvee says:

    Sounds heart breaking, jumping back and forth between adult caregivers.
    .-= Harvee´s last blog ..Sunday Salon: Catch Up =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Harvee – it is – I have such a hard time knowing that there are children in our own country living in those kinds of circumstances.

  6. Sadie says:

    I am a teenager and I got this book from a school book order. I used it as my summer beach book. I am currently on page 150, and I love it.

  7. Hanna says:

    this book was good i thought it was touching:)

  8. sammy bieber says:

    amazing book……… i feel ashamed to say that i cried:)