Chasing Normal by Lisa Papademetriou

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Mieka Baker just wants to be normal. It’s tough enough that her mom left a few years ago and that her artist dad decorates the house solely with “treasures” from the “vintage” store (read: all their furniture is made out of plastic) but it’s just too much when Mieka and her dad have to leave Boston to go to spend the summer with her sick grandmother in Texas—someone Mieka has never met. Grandma Baker isn’t just brutally honest, she’s brutal. She tells Mieka she’s fat, frumpy, and basically unwanted. It’s all too much to handle, especially when she has to stay with her Aunt Kate’s family. The most normal family ever. Aunt Kate stays at home with the kids (where IS Mieka’s mom anyway?), Uncle Dave wears a suit to work, cousin Mark is a genius and Greta—well, she’s Mieka’s age but that’s where the similarity ends. She’s blond, beautiful, fit, friendly, popular and practically perfect.

But as the summer progresses and Mieka learns a thing or two about herself (hey, she can actually learn to enjoy herself at camp, even if it is Bible camp and she happens to be a bit chubbier than every other camper there) and her family members she realizes that there’s no such thing as normal. That even though she and her dad aren’t a conventional family and aren’t rich and don’t go to church they are incredibly lucky to have each other and to have love. And even the perfect kids seem to be chasing normal too.

About Lisa Papademetriou

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Lisa Papademetriou has written over 30 books for young readers and makes her Knopf YA debut with "Drop. "She and her family live in Florence, Massachusetts. You can visit her at
Published April 29, 2008 by Disney-Hyperion. 208 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

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Papademetriou hits all the big issues in a typical tween girl’s life: concerns about weight and appearance, family relationships good and bad, changing friendships, religion, money (and the lack of same), a summer crush and even the extreme embarrassment of one’s first period occurring in a very ...

Apr 29 2008 | Read Full Review of Chasing Normal

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