A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The twins learn how to write haikus in class.
Being different may be awkward and difficult, but it isn't something to be ashamed of. The very things that make us different often make us valuable: Molly's immunity to magic makes her a key pillar for her family, and the others' magic is key to making a community celebration a success. People's secrets are their own, one character advises, but there's no reason to hide who you are.
Positive Role Models
The Quirks generally work together and help each other faithfully, using their magic to help the family (as well as using it for their entertainment). The single mom works hard at a job she isn't very good at to support her family. Molly is patient and empathetic to her twin's distress. A teacher is especially warm and understanding.
Violence & Scariness
A prankster shaves a family pet. An annoying classmate is the accidental victim of some unnerving magic.
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Products & Purchases
Lego, Cheerio, iPod, Easter Peeps, Etch a Sketch, and M&Ms.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Welcome to Normal: The Quirks, Book 1 introduces a quirky, tight-knit magical family struggling to fit in. Preposterous scenarios and good humor make this a light, fun chapter book. Some poor behavior plays out with no consequences; there's a stolen iPod, careless behavior leading to a near-accident, and a great many pranks. The youngest child takes advantage of his invisibility to sneak food, play tricks, and get away with mischief, with no consequences. The family appears to have been abandoned by the father, who disappeared several years earlier.
Is It Any Good?
This is an enjoyable, fast read. WELCOME TO NORMAL introduces an unusual family with a not-so-unusual problem: settling in and finding their place in a new community. Kids will relate easily to levelheaded, responsible Molly, who loves her family but worries they're too weird. This wild family is loving and lovable, with a few odd notes: The single mom is surprisingly hapless, the young brother gets away with serious mischief that seems to upset no one but Molly, and there's a fairy grandmother who's introduced and largely forgotten.
Kelly Light's full-page and spot illustrations bring the family to life. Quirky design elements -- a sideways table of contents, chapter headings that go every which way -- add to the fun.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.