Halfway Normal

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About The Book

“A lovely, heartbreaking, warm, funny, and ultimately hopeful map of the way back home.” —Jordan Sonnenblick, author of Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie

A cancer survivor must readjust to “normal” middle school life in this “powerful story about surviving and thriving” (School Library Journal, starred review) from the author of Star-Crossed and Truth or Dare.

Norah Levy has just completed two years of treatment for leukemia and is ready to go back to the “real world” of middle school. She knows it’ll be tricky—but like the Greek mythological characters she read about while she was sick, Norah’s up for any challenge.

But seventh grade turns out to be harder than she thought. Norah’s classmates don’t know what to make of her. Her best friend, Harper, tries to be there for her, but she doesn’t get it, really—and is hanging out with a new group of girls. Norah’s other good friend, Silas, is avoiding her. What’s that about, anyway?

When Norah is placed with the eighth graders for math and science, she meets Griffin, a cute boy who encourages her love of Greek mythology and art. And Norah decides not to tell him her secret—that she was “that girl” who had cancer. But when something happens to make secret-keeping impossible, Norah must figure out a way to share her story.

But how do you explain something to others that you can’t explain to yourself? Can Nora take her cue from her favorite Greek myth? And then, once she finds the words, can she move forward with a whole new “normal?”

About The Author

Carolyn Simpson

Barbara Dee is the author of several middle grade novels including Maybe He Just Likes You, Everything I Know About YouHalfway Normal, and Star-Crossed. Her books have received several starred reviews and been included on many best-of lists, including the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten, the Chicago Public Library Best of the Best, and the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Star-Crossed was also a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist. Barbara is one of the founders of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. She lives with her family, including a naughty cat named Luna and a sweet rescue hound dog named Ripley, in Westchester County, New York.

Awards and Honors

  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • ILA Young Adults' Choices
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List (VT)
  • Mark Twain Award Master List (MO)
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association's Reading List

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More books from this author: Barbara Dee