Waiting for Normal, by Leslie Connor. 2009 Schneider Family Book Award. There were many things to like about the book. The first is the heroine, 12-year-old Addie, a sweet, insecure girl who is living with her mother, hoping for a normal life despite the mother’s personality. It’s bittersweet in thiscoming-of-age tale when Addie realizes she has to more or less make her own sense of stability. She is dyslexic and feels that she doesn’t have the love of learning. It takes a while for her to appreciate her own talents, especially in music. One thing that irritated me was the fact that the mother had custody of Addie in the first place — not so much with the book, because this is, sadly, believable. In a sane world, it would have never happened. Addie manages to survive her life away from her stepdad, whom she loves, and her two half siblings with the help of a nearby store owner who gives her some semblance of stability. I do like the fact that the mother is not portrayed as a monster — she has her good days and you can see why Addie loves and cares about her. But it’s painfully obvious from the get-go that a “normal” life with Mommers is just not possible.