Showing posts from October, 2015

Define "Normal"

Define “Normal” by Julie Anne Peters (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2000, 196pp.)
Hoping to spice up her college application with some extracurricular activities, Antonia volunteers to peer counsel one of her troubled classmates. Unfortunately, the school sees fit to pair her with Jazz, a scary, tattooed goth girl who looks like she eats kindergartners for breakfast. It seems the two girls couldn’t be more incompatible—yet, they actually have more in common than either of them realize. For example, both have trouble at home, though in differing degrees. While Jazz struggles to maintain her “goth” identity against her parents’ wishes, Antonia struggles to care for her severely depressed mother, as well as parent her two preschool-aged brothers. As the story unfolds around these two well-developed protagonists, the author addresses the elusive definition of “normal,” and encourages her teen readers to think twice before dismissing a peer based on physical appearance. There was n…