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Ten Miles Past Normal

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  1,962 ratings  ·  460 reviews
Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she's not. She's smart and creative and a little bit funky. She's also an unwilling player in her parents' modern-hippy, let's-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment (regretfully, instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). This, to put it simply, is not helping Janie reach that "normal target." She has to milk go ...more
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Lora
May 13, 2011 Lora rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with nothing better to do and no other book available to them
If I had to use one word to summarize Ten Miles Past Normal, it would be boring.
I'll admit it: I wanted to read this because of the cute cover and because the male protagonist is named "Monster". I happen to have a penchant for guys with unusual names, and so I thought this might be worth reading. Wrong.
I thought that maybe this would be a self-discovery story, or something of the like, but it's basically just Janie prattling on about how horrible her life has been since her parents decided to l
...more
Morgan F
Janie's first few weeks of high school haven't exactly lived up to her dreams. All of her friends have different classes, and she has been marked as an outcast ever since she came to school with goat poo on her shoes. Janie wants to be "normal", which is hard when your parents are hippy-esque farmers. On her journey to get to the magical land of boyfriends, football games, and parties, Janie gets a little....lost. She learns to play the bass, is arrested for trespassing, steals a giant wooden cr ...more
Jenn Estepp
This is definitely one of those books wherein I think it's totally not for everyone but I personally really, really like it. Maybe even kinda love, but I don't know if I'm feeling that expansive this afternoon. It reminded me a bit of "Into the Wild Nerd Yonder" - but shooting a little younger, i.e. there are no images that will make you momentarily question your affection for Krispy Kremes. It's an ideal candidate for a "clean" books list, although I cannot express my hate for the term "clean r ...more
~Tina~
Sure, it was Janie's idea to live on a farm and raise goats, but seriously, who listens to a life altering suggestion from a nine year old? Janie's nine year old self loved the idea of being Anna of green gables and Little house on the prairie. Her 14 year old self...not so much. But to be fair, the kids at school mainly have to do with that. To them she's weird girl, weird smelly girl who lives on a farm and who comes to school with feces on her shoes. Eww. All Janie wants to be is normal, but ...more
Kristi
Ten Miles Past Normal is a heartwarming and funny coming of age story!

Initially I was not very impressed with the story. I didn't really care for Janie and her insistent complaining about every aspect of her life. BUT then the story started growing on me.... as did Janie. I loved watching her start to discover herself and the person that she wanted to be. And I loved the other characters in this novel. They were all quirky and unique in their own way. Sarah, Janie's best friend, and her older s
...more
Alissa Bach
Hey you. Yes, you...the one holding the copy if 10 Miles Past Normal. Before you make a beeline for your library's check-out desk (or the register at your favorite bookstore), I have a couple questions for you:

1. Are you now or were you ever a member of a clique/group/organization that demanded absolute conformation as payment for membership? And did you conform to fit in?

2. Do you now or did you ever scoff at people who march to the beat of their own drummer?

3. True or False: It's more importan
...more
Kristina
I kept going back and forth debating with myself if I should read this book. The story didn’t seem that interesting to me, but I kept hearing some really good things about it. I finally decided to just read it!. It’s only 210 pages, so if I hated it, I wouldn’t waste that much time on it. Well, I loved it! I had it finished in a few hours. I thought it was such a great, cute, coming if age story, and I’m really glad I decided to read it!

Ten Miles Past Normal is about Janie, who, when she was you
...more
Tina
Original post at One More Page

I am a city girl, and I am sort of proud of it. Sort of, because I know sometimes I imagine myself living somewhere remote, away from the rush and hustle and pollution of the city. However, I don't think I can stay in the province too long -- I kind of like the rush, and most of my friends live in the city, too, so staying away from them is kind of torture.

I think Janie Gorman from Ten Miles Past Normal would be able to relate to my sentiments pretty well. Fourteen
...more
Aleeeeeza
*3.5 stars*

Ever since I saw the summary about Ten Miles Past Normal on Goodreads—about a high school freshman whose parents actually relent to her request to relocate to a real live farm—I knew I’d totally dig it. And I totally did, peoplez.
You know those books that you begin and instantly connect with? I love it when that happens, knowing I’m about to be treated to a 200 (or however many pages there are in the book) pages of pure, rollicking fun. And I had that sort of instantaneous connection
...more
Rebecca G.
I liked the book Ten Miles Past Normal because I really like girl drama and high school stories. This book is one of my favorites because it was high school drama and it was a book filled with regret and alienation. This book focuses on one point of view, Janie’s. If I had to pick a favorite character aside from Janie it would be her new daring friend, Monster. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy reading about high school stories and how some girls feel alienated because of what the ...more
Doret
I've only read two of Dowell's middle grade novels and loved both. Shooting the Moon and The Secret Language of Girls. This is the authors first YA novel. 14 yr old Janie lives on a farm, which was cool when she was younger not so much in high school. The kids on the bus call her farm girl. When Janie accidentally get on the bus with goat poop on her shoe, she has a very bad day. Janie's high school is large, Sarah the best friend, is the only friend from middle school she sees everyday. Janie s ...more
Clare Cannon
A 'farm girl who just wants to be normal' coming of age story, which unfortunately doesn't get engaging until more than half way through.

It's a pity, because quite a few interesting themes are introduced, especially the Freedom School - one of the first schools to teach literacy to African American's who'd never had the chance - which Janie and Sarah write about for their school project, and Mr Pritchard and Mrs Brown who risked everything to set it up all those years ago.

There's also good music
...more
Mary Louise Sanchez
When Janie Gorman was younger she wanted to live on a farm but lived in a normal suburb across the street from her best friend, Sarah. Then her dream came true and her family moved to an organic goat farm ten miles out of town, where her parents made a 180 degree turn into "hippie" type farmers with a modern edge because Jamie's mom blogs about their farming experience. But now that Jamie is a freshman in a large high school she longs for a more normal teen life complete with a boyfriend and fri ...more
Sandy H
I am Janie. Or, rather, I'd have liked to have been as cool as Janie when I was in high school. Like Janie, my parents moved from city to farm, although I was four at the time and started kindergarten in a new town after the move--so I didn't have to adjust from pre-farm to post-farm with my peer group. I was just "farm." (I'm the youngest of five kids, however; my elder sibs all have different perspectives on what that move meant in their lives.)

That being said, I now refer to myself as a child
...more
Heather Mozzani
Heather Mozzani
1-7-13
Mrs. McDonnell-Jones
Period 3
The book that i read was Ten Miles Past Normal. The Author is Frances O'Roark Dowell. The book was first published in 2011 and it is a fictional book. The main character is Janie, she is in middle school and who the book is about. Another important character is her mother. Janies mom makes a big deicision in this book. A third important character is her dad and he is helpful to her through the whole book.This book starts off about a girl who lives
...more
TheEagerReaders Violet
Frances O'Roark Dowell's Ten Miles Past Normal is a funny and insightful novel overflowing with charmingly quirky characters. When Janie was nine years old her class took a field trip to an organic farm. She loved it so much that she suggested to her parents that their whole family would be happier living on a farm, raising goats, and baking fresh bread. Janie had no idea that the concept would appeal to her parents so much, and she could never have predicted that five years later that perfect-s ...more
Christian
I am not generally a slice-of-life novel kind of guy. I want to be. I try to be. It's just that slice-of-life novels are completely dependent on the character and voice and writing style, and so often I can't really stand the protagonist because they irritate me. And besides, ultimately, I like a good plot.

Fortunately for me, I got to spend the holiday today with Janie, and she's delightful. It's nice to read a novel where you can enjoy the protagonist as she narrates a portion of her life. And
...more
Abby Johnson
Goat poop. This is the only reason people know who Janie is at her high school: she's the girl who stepped in goat poop and stank up the whole school bus. And it's entirely her own fault because she's the one who suggested that the family move to a farm in the first place (she was only nine! Who takes a nine-year-old seriously?!). Janie didn't think that's how high school would be. She pictured herself surrounded by a group of close friends, laughing and flirting with cute boys, running for stud ...more
Kerri
Ten Miles Past Normal is a charming coming-of-age story. You will be drawn to the main character Janie who is quirky, and loveable. She is a city girl turned farm girl who wants desperately to fit in. Throw in some more wonderfully written characters such as Janie's best friend Sarah who wants to change the world and the musically talented Monster Monroe (yes that is his real name) who is a few years older than Janie and the size of a bear. Throw in a school project that has the girls exploring ...more
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
Ten Miles Past Normal is quirky and easy read. Janie, the main character is easy to relate to, and her adventures are realistic.
The secondary characters, such as Monster, are wonderful and add so much to the story. Another thing that I like is that Janie's mom is present in her life, and portrayed as a "normal" if a bit clueless and a tad annoying at times mom.
I think its a good lesson how she realizes how other's opinions and thoughts are dictating her opinion and I liked how she accepted
...more
Rebekah
This was your normal coming-of-age story, but the thing that made it stand out and fun to read was it's voice. There were only a few times when the narrator sounded a bit too snappy, but the rest of her approach was pitch perfect. I liked the under-stories about Civil Rights and organic, sustainable farm-living, but the best thing about this book was it's message: give up trying to be like everyone else and blend in. Normal is boring! Such a healthy message for "kids these days" to hear, I think ...more
Karen Johnson
I really enjoyed reading this and will add it to my classroom library (8th-grade). It's been a long time since I was a freshman, but the angst that Janie feels when things don't go as expected seem authentic.
Janie doesn't have lunch with her best friend, or any of her other middle school friends, which is pretty awful in the life of a teen. To make things worse, she's perceived as odd rather than different/cool because her parents moved from a normal neighborhood to a sustainable living farm, w
...more
Kelly
This book is about a 14-year-old girl who has just started high school with all this enthusiasm, only to find out how incredibly different she is, and she realizes all she wants is to be ordinary. This isn't a revolutionary premise, as most people can relate. This is middle grade, so the target audience is about 12, and I really felt like this showed through. The high school in the book isn't realistic, but it is probably how 7th and 8th graders think it is. Everything is really tame (unnecessar ...more
Fiona
This book is cute, lighthearted, and a quick read! I completed it in 2-3 hours, to re-live my freshman year of high school.

Janie reminds me of myself a lot. A witty, sarcastic girl with a little bit of edge. She plays bass and lives on a farm. I play the drums, and I also live in the middle of nowhere (not a farm, but we have sheep and barn cats). I could relate to her a lot, and I remember that being really nice when I read this book for the first time, as a lowly high school freshman, and fel
...more
Emily Meuse
I loved Ten Miles Past Normal. It's an amazing book with unique, lovable characters. The book is about Janie Gorman, a not-so-normal girl who just wants to fit in. Janie is smart, creative, and lives on a goat farm. She wears home made-clothes (most made by her, but sometimes by her mother) and occasionally gets on the bus smelling like goat. Wanting to fit in at her high school, she and her friend Sarah decide to join the school's Jam Band. The only problem is they don't play any instruments, u ...more
Sophia M
In Frances O'Roark Dowell's book, Ten Miles Past Normal, I believe the author is trying to show that "normal" is overrated. Janie Gorman lives on a small farm with her family and this story takes place at the farm and at her high school. This story's protagonist is Janie Gorman, aka "farm girl. Other important characters are her mom, her dad, Monster, the love interest, her best friend, Sarah, and Sarah's super cool older sister, Emma. The story is told in a first person point of view by none ot ...more
Jamie
Dowell writes great characters. This book has a lot of characters in a bit of a search for an overarching plot, because while lots of stuff happened, I didn't feel it had a lot to do with each other. Still, what is there is good, and a fast read.
The Library Lady
I have read a million books like this one, but Dowell is as always a lovely writer. So for girls who haven't read a million "I have a weird life, but eventually I find meaning and true friendship" sort of books, this is a nice selection.
Lauren (Likes Literature)
This book really isn't for everyone. It has no real plot- it's just sort of an internal monologue, and the character development is lacking. So, why did I enjoy it so much?

I enjoyed the emotions, and the absence of cliches, for sure.

I also really liked the MC. And the male MC (named Monster! What's up with that?)

The message was great in itself, and also the fact that it wasn't blatantly shoved down the throat of the reader. The message, of course, as you can tell from the title, is that indivi
...more
D'Arcy Rowe
I've been wanting to read this book for awhile now. It was a very charming coming of age book about a girl named Janie who is starting high school.

She lives on a farm with goats and is starting off the year wrong when she steps in goat poop and gets on the bus with it stuck to her shoe. The sticks with her, literally, for the first couple of months of school and it makes it really difficult for her to make friends.

Finally she starts making friends. First it's Verbena in the library and then Mons
...more
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Frances O'Roark Dowell is an author of middle-grade fiction. Her books have received numerous awards, including an Edgar (Dovey Coe), the William Allan White Award (Dovey Coe), the Christopher Award (Shooting the Moon), the Voya Book Award (Where I'd Like to Be), and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children's Fiction, Honor Book (Shooting the Moon). Dowell has an MFA in Creative ...more
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“Dream girl? Ain't such a thing. You walk, you talk, you got mammary glands, well, that's gonna do it right there for most guys.” 5 likes
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