Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Review: Ten Miles Past Normal

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell is a sweet coming-of-age story about Janie Gorman, a high school freshman who lives on a goat farm with her modern-hippie parents, and who desperately wants to fit in. It doesn't help that her home is on the outskirts of town, far away from her middle school friends and best friend Sarah. Because she and Sarah no longer have the same lunch period, Janie ends up in the school library at lunchtime, where she becomes friends with a funky chatterbox named Verbena.

High school becomes a little more bearable when Janie joins the jam band on Friday afternoons where she meets the cute Jeremy Fitch and the friendly Monster Monroe (yes, that's his real first name), and when Janie and Sarah work on a history project where they meet two elderly civil rights activists who live in their hometown.

Janie learns that, if you want to live large, you have to take a few detours off the beaten path and step in a little goat poop along the way; she also comes to realize that "normal" is vastly overrated. I listened to this audiobook with Jessica Almasy as narrator -- her various character voices are spot-on, making the characters and the story believable. I highly recommend this book!

Lisa U.
Chester County Library

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