Far From Normal
Scholastic; October 2006; $16.99 HC
Core Audience: Boys and girls 9-12
Strengths: Topical story, pop-culture references
I really enjoyed this spirited story, not least because it was so contemporary in its “reality TV” scenario. A spirited follow up to Deliver Us from Normal, this book will be a great family read, and will give much food for though in discussions about what it means to be “famous”. The story moves right along, and is full of plenty of absurdity that will keep readers laughing. My only criticism of the story has to do with the lack of leadership on the part of Charles’s parents, who come off looking almost negligent at moments, but I suspect this will just make young readers get behind Charles even more. Call it sympathy or wish fulfillment, it’s not a deal breaker as far as the story is concerned. When she’s not writing books, Kate Klise is a writer for People magazine, which explains the smooth and candy-like pop-culture feel of her story, which young readers will love.