Review: Ten Miles Past Normal
High school freshman Janie Gorman just wants to fit in. She doesn’t need to be most popular or rule the school, she merely hopes to feel normal. However, when Janie shows up to school with goat poop on her shoe, joins a jam band, befriends a behemoth upperclassmen named Monster and a couple elderly civil rights activists, and finds herself the subject of her mom’s farm-life blog, she can’t help but accept that she is a far cry from normal. However, Janie also discovers that once you’ve gone ten miles past normal you just might reach extraordinary.
Frances O’Roark’s YA debut is funny, touching, and meaningful to anyone who has ever felt a little out of place. The Gorman’s are a lovable family with a magnetic attraction to a cast of other fun, quirky characters. These include a man who turned a cross burnt on his front yard into lawn art and a woman who taught people how to read and write in order to vote, both demonstrating that going outside the norm is the only way to leave your mark. Ten Miles Past Normal, though a relatively short novel, is one that will leave a lasting impression.