Ten Miles Past Normal

For Ages: 12 and up
  • customer reviews
From bestselling author Frances O’Roark Dowell, a “funny and winning” (Kirkus Reviews) tale of one teen’s quest for normalcy—and the much more exciting detours she takes along the way.

Janie Gorman is smart and creative and a little bit funky…but what she really wants to be is normal. Because living on an isolated farm with her modern-hippy parents is decidedly not normal, no matter how delicious the goat cheese. High school gives Janie the chance to prove to her suburban peers that she’s just like them, but before long she realizes normal is completely overrated, and pretty dull.
If she’s going to learn how to live large (and forget the haters), Janie will have to give up the quest and make room in her life for things from the fringe—like jam band, righteous chocolate, small acts of great bravery, and a boy named Monster.
Ten Miles Past Normal is a quirky road map for life—and also a reminder that detours are not about missing out, but about finding a new way home.
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  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416995876 | 
  • March 2011 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
More Tales of the Amazing Farm Girl


No one can figure out where the terrible smell is coming from, but everyone on the bus this morning can smell it and has an opinion.

“Dude, I bet we just ran over a skunk!” yells out Stoner Guy No. 1 from the back of the bus. “That happened to us when I was a kid. We had to get rid of our car, ’cause the smell was, like, permanent.”

“No way, dude,” comes the reply from his compadre, Stoner Guy No. 2. “That’s not skunk. That is definitely fecund matter we’re smelling.”

Fecal,... see more

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