Book Review : The Quirks – “And I thought MY family was weird!”

QuirksThe Quirks : Welcome to Normal by  Erin Soderberg. 9781599907895. 2013. Gr 4-6.

The Quirks have just moved (again!)—this time to the little town of Normal, Michigan. They sincerely hope that they can fit in with their new community—and be able to stay in one place for more than a few months.  In fact, they have lived in twelve states and 26 towns in the 9¾ years that Molly and her twin Penelope (or Pen, as she prefers to be called) have been alive.  One family member or another does something weird—and they have to move on.

Every family has their idiosyncrasies.  And most kids, at one time or another, are embarrassed about the peculiarities of their own families.  They worry about fitting in and wonder how much of their family’s oddities to admit to their new friends.  When they were kids, my older sisters Faye and Wanda always used to—oops, I don’t think I want to mention that yet.  Well, my younger sister Vickie would often—no, I guess I don’t want to admit that either.

I’m sure you feel the same way about your family members.

Molly is no different, but her family takes quirkiness to a whole new level. Her grandfather can make time move backward.  Her mother can look you in the eye and make you do whatever she tells you.  Her younger brother Finn—a real pest—has been invisible since he was a baby.  And when Pen’s imagination gets away from her, there’s no telling what will appear.

Molly is the only one without a special power—unless you count the fact that none of her family’s quirks work on her.  She knows when her grandfather messes with time.  She doesn’t have to obey her mom.  She is the only one who can see six-year-old Finn.  And she is working hard to help Pen control her imagination.

Because Molly likes Normal.  The whole family really wants to stay here.  But sooner or later, someone’s unruly magic will do something that cannot be contained or explained, and they will be forced to leave.  If only their magic could be used for something helpful…

The Quirks : Welcome to Normal is the first book in a new middle grade series about a charming family that—despite its oddities—will resonant with kids.

TraceyBlogger : Tracey L.

P.S. It just happens that the last three books that I have read have been about weird families.  The other two are definitely for adults or older teens, but I would like to recommend them as well:

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson. 9780399159015. 2012. Adult.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. 9780399162091. 2013. Gr 10-Adult.