Title: Needing Normal – Freshman Year
Author: Emma Grange
Pages: 185 Pages
Publisher: aTypical Author Press
What do you do when you find out
everything you know might be wrong?
Prove you’re right, of course.
And that’s exactly what Jett Harper plans to do.
As a freshman, she only has two goals:
get good grades and prove she’s normal.
That’s easy enough, right?
At least she thinks so, until she learns
her biggest assignment is to understand love.
She must work within an assigned group,
her Core5, and they couldn’t be more diverse.
Will they make the grade?
As the Core5 tackles the school year head on,
Jett also fights for the definitive answer to one
other simple question:
What is normal?
I read a lot of YA fiction. I do this for two reasons. The first reason is that YA fiction is really, really good. It is far superior to the YA of my youth and it deals with topics that writers from my teen days would not have touched and for that I am thankful. The second reason is because I work with students and I strive to find books showing diversity of representation. I firmly believe that every child should be able to see themselves in fictional characters. To be able to look at a character and go “they are just like me.” It is for this second reason that I really rate Needing Normal by Emma Grange.
Our protagonist – Jett Harper – finds the world hard. She takes the things that people say literally and she struggles to find her tribe of people because of this. However, when she is assigned to do a group task in school Jett shows herself and others just how she can overcome the challenges and barriers she faces. What’s more is that it shows how a little kindness from others can go a long way.
Jett is a neurodiverse character and the way Grange has written her gives a clear insight into how the world is not shaped to fit every person and how the vulnerable can sometimes be left behind. Equally, she shows you how amazing a place the world can be when our expectations are altered.
Needing Normal is a book that needs to be in every school library. I know I will be getting a copy for my school.
Needing Normal by Emma Grange is available now.