CHASING NORMAL by Lisa Papademetriou


Age Range: 9 - 12
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Papademetriou hits all the big issues in a typical tween girl’s life: concerns about weight and appearance, family relationships good and bad, changing friendships, religion, money (and the lack of same), a summer crush and even the extreme embarrassment of one’s first period occurring in a very public setting. Mieka, 12, bears up well but remains believably conflicted as she copes with all of these during a three-week visit to Houston to visit her seriously ill grandmother and apparently perfect uncle, aunt and cousins. That her grandmother is downright unpleasant and remains so throughout is just one indication of the emotional truth and complexity underlying the text. As Mieka discovers her artistic talent, learns about religion at the camp her father once attended and gets to know her cousin Greta, she develops the confidence to assert her own values. Readers may not actively notice Papademetriou’s skill and sensitivity in keeping the plot moving, the characters real and the message muted, but they will definitely appreciate it. Realistic and upbeat. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 29th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0340-0
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2008


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