Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Ten Miles Past NormalTen Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Janie was younger, her parents moved their family from a house in the suburbs to a 'wanna-be farm' outside of town. (It's a 'wanna-be' farm because it's so small, only has goats, and has a small area to grow vegetables.) The fact that their farm is 'wanna-be' doesn't matter to the kids in Janie's classes at school her freshman year--the fact that she lives on any type of farm is definitely weird to them.

Janie has a tough time adjusting to high school life at first; she seems to blend in to the point of invisibility. In fact, the only time the other kids notice her is when she has hay in her hair or goat poo on her shoes. She sits through lunch alone in the library because her friends have a different lunch period...and she pretty much drifts through her day until she reaches the classes she has with a friend.

Janie, however, doesn't give up completely; she and her best friend Sarah join an after school Jam Band (where she learns how to play the bass!), they work on an important interview project with the help of Sarah's awesome older sister, and she actually starts to make some new friends. Freshman year isn't looking as bad long as she tries to forget about that popular blog her mother maintains about her family and the 'wanna-be' farm.

I enjoyed this book! I especially enjoyed how Janie has a strong sense of self and can see when a boy isn't as great as she thought he was when she gets to know him a little better--I think that is a great message for young girls. Those that liked this book might also like Itch by Michelle D. Kwasney.

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