Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee

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Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee
(Aladdin – September 5, 2017)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Completely original and heartbreakingly honest, this novel about a girl re-entering middle school after cancer is a required purchase for middle school libraries and classrooms.

Thanks to the author for providing me with an advance copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I first learned about this book from a post on the Nerdy Book Club blog back in February 2017, in which Dee talks about her motivation for this book (her son’s cancer experience) and I KNEW I had to read it. It is just as wonderful as I expected it would be! Re-entry into real life after being out for an illness is an experience that all too many kids have to deal with, but very few of us are able to even remotely understand what that experience is like. Enter HALFWAY NORMAL.

Norah is such a relatable character, with her love of Greek mythology and doodling and completely understandable preteen angst. And that’s even before you add in the cancer thing, which she does NOT want to define her. But how can you be normal when the world is so dangerous for your health and your parents are trying to protect you? Dee has captured the middle school world so very perfectly, and is able to write about cancer so realistically due to her own experiences as a parent.

Librarian note: Excellent representation of diversity in race/culture/sexuality in a completely natural way.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough – it’s a required purchase for all middle school libraries and classrooms, and a must-read for middle school teachers, administrators and guidance counselors.

View all of my Goodreads reviews

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