Ten Miles Past Normal
Durham writer Frances O'Roark Dowell tackles the awkwardness of high school in her new young adult novel "Ten Miles Past Normal" (Atheneum/2011). The main character is Janie, a ninth-grader who once thought living on a farm would be great. She proposed the idea to her parents when she was in elementary school, and they embraced it. Now she is an outcast who sometimes goes to school with hay in her hair or goat droppings on her shoes.