Ten Miles Past Normal

Ten Miles Past Normal, by Frances O’Roark Dowell

Janie Gorman wants to be a normal, ordinary high school freshman, not the crafty farm girl who occasionally smells of goat. Her junior high friends have a different lunch period, so Janie hangs out in the library with the other misfits, where she finds one potential friend. Art class has possibilities, not yet realized. Best friend Sarah, an over achiever, writes Janie notes to get her through the school day until last period Women’s History, where the girls are inspired to learn about a local civil rights leader. Sarah and Janie share a crush on Jeremy Fitch, who plays in Jam Band every Friday.  Monster Monroe gives Sarah and Janie a lesson on playing the bass so they can join the band, with unexpected results.

Back on her family’s small organic farm, Janie confides in the goats as she milks them, suddenly has nothing in common with her cheerful mother, and wishes she never came up with the idea to move to a farm. Her mother now bakes awesome bread, but also blogs about life on the farm, and about Janie. Janie is doomed. For more about Janie, visit the author’s web site.

I listened to this book, and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I’m many years past high school. I’m not sure if I identified with Janie more, or her mother.


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