Monday, July 11, 2011

Ten Miles Past Normal

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

When Janie was nine years old, she thought that that living on a farm and milking goats every morning was fun and cool and exciting. Now that she's a freshman in high school--in a city, where nobody else milks goats or gathers eggs before getting on the school bus--she thinks that living on a farm is weird.

Janie doesn't want to be weird. She wants to be normal. Then she joins the school Jam Band, meets an elderly man who turned a burned cross into yard art, makes friends with a sweet boy named Monster, and agrees to help her mother host a hootenanny. Before she knows what is happening, Janie has left "normal" ten miles behind her.

No cussing, no on-page violence (the civil rights activists do relate their fears of violence in Missippippi prisons during the 1960's but those events are far removed from the present action), no sex, but there are some very enjoyable romances and one romantic fail.

Recommended for ages 12 to adult.

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