Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happiness is...a good book. (Summer Reading edition #16)

Ten Miles Past Normal
Frances O'Roark Dowell
Pages: 211
Age Range: 12+
Published: 2011
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Cover Score: ***
Overall Grade: ****
Rating: PG
When Janie Gorman convinced her family to move to a farm in 4th grade and raise goats, she had no idea the detrimental effect it would have on her high school social life. Separated from her regular crowd by the luck of the lunch assignment draw and known by most other people as Goat Girl, Janie reluctantly spends her lunches being a loner in the library.
Janie and her best friend Sarah do have one class together and cook up the mother of all projects, researching one of the town’s unsung heroines of the Civil Rights eras.
Then there are the bass lessons compliments of a guy named Monster, a klezmer band and a hootenanny, Verbena the Sharpie tattoo artist and fellow library lunch loser, Sarah’s older sister Emma and her poetry-quoting, Harley riding boyfriend, protests against non-fair trade chocolate, the accidental incarceration and of course, goats.
Janie navigates the waters of teen insecurity and tenuous belonging with a catchy voice and quirky, lovable sidekicks.  This was a quick and highly enjoyable read. I polished it off in about two hours and smiled through the whole thing. Short and humorous, great for reluctant readers or anyone wanting a brief escape.

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