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Leslie Connor

Author of Waiting for Normal

9 Works 2,830 Members 166 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Leslie Connor

Works by Leslie Connor

Waiting for Normal (2008) 1,174 copies
Crunch (2010) 274 copies
Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel (2004) 193 copies
The Things You Kiss Goodbye (2014) 82 copies
Dead on Town Line (2005) 69 copies
Anybody Here Seen Frenchie? (2022) 50 copies

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Common Knowledge

Gender
female
Nationality
USA
Places of residence
Schenectady, New York, USA
Connecticut, USA

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Reviews

This book is a Black Eyed Susan nominee. I am not sure this is a good representation of what is means to be autistic because the readers learn about the young boy through others and their perspective. The author notes that she interviewed parents and siblings of autistic children - did she interview someone with autism?

Had a hard time getting into the story.
 
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AnnesLibrary | 4 other reviews | Jan 28, 2024 |
what I like: character voice. Mason's character is very distinct, warm, loving, and loyal. I an grateful for the resolution off the mystery. I also think this book had too much bad luck. Would a kid like this book, or is it a book about kids for grownups?
 
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mslibrarynerd | 21 other reviews | Jan 13, 2024 |
This book gave me the sads.

Mason Buttle, Mason Buttle. He is a character with shades of Lenny from Of Mice and Men. Big and strong, but gentle. He is self-deprecating (calling himself a "gross out" because he sweats excessively). He can't read. He is trusting to a fault (thinking the best of a kid who ruthlessly bullies him). He seems to be surrounded by a cloud of bad luck and death (his mother and his best friend both die tragically). He has synesthesia that makes him see colors related to his feelings, but he's afraid to talk about it for fear of being ridiculed.

Things start looking up for Mason when he makes a new best friend and his school counselor introduces him to voice-to-text software that allows him to keep a journal of sorts. He is still bullied and still under investigation for the death of his friend, but with this new friend he starts to have fun. They build a fort and bond.

Then the story gets sad again. I almost couldn't take it. Poor, sweet Mason Buttle.

Fear not, readers, for our Mason does get positive resolution (I guessed the ending pretty early in the book, but I think kids will find it very satisfying when it's revealed). But it's a long slog to get there.

Recommended for ages 10 and up if they like tear-jerkers.
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LibrarianDest | 21 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |
I've had lots of success booktalking this one at schools. The kids are super interested to find out why Perry lives in a prison, and even more why he LIKES it and is upset when he moves into a normal house.

My favorite part of this book was the description of the mindset one develops in prison. Big Ed's rules and tips for serving time are also applicable to life on the outside and I think a big part of what makes Perry such a good person.

Speaking of Perry being a good person, my big criticism of this book is that Perry and Jessica are a little too perfect to feel real. On top of that, the whole setup is idealized in a way that might make kids who have incarcerated loved ones in real life roll their eyes. The warden is a humanitarian with a heart of gold. There are no mean guards. There are some prisoners that Perry keeps his distance from, but there's no drama around that. A little too good to feel true. But this is a children's book and I certainly don't think the author meant to convey the experience of an average child with an incarcerated parent. I mean, come on. Perry lives in the prison until he's 12 and he's basically a perfect human child. This might as well be named Pollyanna Prison.

I think this is a Newbery contender because of the interesting plot, the exploration of themes around being incarcerated, and the depiction of the villain Mr. Thomas Van Leer. I'm always cheering authors who give us villains with real character besides being evil. Van Leer is a great example of someone who's a bad guy *because* he's well meaning and can't see past the end of his own nose. Very realistic.
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LibrarianDest | 17 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |

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Statistics

Works
9
Members
2,830
Popularity
#9,060
Rating
4.1
Reviews
166
ISBNs
126
Languages
5
Favorited
3

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