What is the setting of Waiting for Normal?  

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Waiting for Normal takes place in Schenectady, New York.

Addie and her mother begin the book by moving into a trailer at the corner of Freeman's Bridge Road and Knott Street. According to Addie, it's a medium busy corner and there are no patches of grass or cute decorations in front of the trailer. There are train tracks almost right over the trailer. It's not what they were expecting when they were told where they were moving; her mother complains that it's in the city. She obviously thought it would be outside the city limits.

The trailer belongs to her ex-stepfather who Addie wishes she could live with.

Across the street is an area that Addie calls the Empty Acre. An old store that's closed, the Big N, is at the back of the lot. In front is the mini-mart and fill station. According to Addie, cars don't drive into the Empty Acre because it's marked with potholes.

As of 2010, Schenectady had just over 66,000 citizens. This means that it's a large city but not nearly as large as a place like Manhattan or Chicago.

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The main setting of the story, Waiting for Normal, takes place in modern times in Schenectady, New York.  Addie, the main protagonist is moved there by her mother and lives in a trailer.  Times are hard for Addie as she is often left alone by her mother (Mommers) who is bi-polar.  The family is poor, and Addie is often neglected and has to cook, clean, and take care of herself when her mother disappears for days at a time.  Addie wants to be part of a family, to live a “normal” life, and throughout the story, she seeks some sort of stability in her life.  She becomes friends with Soula and Elliot who watch Addie when her mother is not around.  Her ex-stepfather, Dwight, also tries to help the situation as much as he can.  All Addie wants is to live with her ex-stepfather and his daughters, and luckily, Addie is able to do that by the end of the novel. 

Waiting for Normal is a testament of a young girl’s ability to survive a difficult situation and come out alive and well.

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