Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell
From the inside flap:
“Oh, the elusive dream of the normal high school experience.
Well, dream on, Janie Gorman. The rooster crows at sunrise. You see, Janie is an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy-let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment ( regretfully instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). Between milking the goats and enduring her mother’s psuedo celebrity in the crunchy-mom blogosphere, Janie’s finding it hard to have a normal highs school experience. She’s smart. She’s a little offbeat. She already has a funky vibe going: throw in a whiff of fresh goat poop, and she may just be eating lunch alone in the library forever.
Without a U-turn in sight, Janie’s looking for a shortcut back to normal – but she’s missed that mark by about ten miles. If she’s going to learn how to live large (and forget the haters), Janie will have to give up the quest for normal and make room in her life for things from the fringe – like a jam band and righteous chocolate, small acts of great bravery and a boy named Monster (yes, that is his real name).
Ten Miles Past Normal is a quirky road map for life that’s full of offbeat heroes and delicious goat cheese. Maybe life’s little detours are not about missing out, but about finding a new way home.”
What I liked about this book: It’s a light, easy, entertaining read. There has been a lot of discussion lately about how many young adult/teen books deal with such dark and gruesome topics. I have no problem with those books. I enjoy reading them, especially if they are well written. They are a wonderful way for teens to realize that they are not alone with the issues they face. Having said that, there are times when I think that we forget that sometimes the issues a teen faces are not always of a dark and troubling nature. Often teens are just struggling to find their way, to mature, and decide who they will be. That’s what I like so much about Ten Miles Past Normal. Everyone’s “normal” is different. But there are some basic teen issues that most readers can identify with – fitting in, being embarrassed by your parents – particularly your mother, starting high school, dating, and friendship issues. Ten Miles Past Normal touches upon all of these things in a light, often humorous manner. It is a great realistic fictional read for summer (or any time of year.)
What I didn’t like about this book: Can’t think of thing that I didn’t like. It’s an all around good read.