Book - Wicked Normal


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When someone grows up with a unique quality, he or she reasonably assumes that everyone else does, too. Persephone Smith, the self-confident, fifth grade, narrating protagonist of "Wicked Normal," innocently views herself as “wicked normal,” believing that everyone has the natural powers to have psychic visions, precognitive dreams, see ghosts, and make actions occur by speaking them. "Wicked Normal" chronicles the year when Persephone discovers power in her natural abilities and realizes that not everyone has run-ins with fairies or communicates with ghosts. 

In many ways, Persephone’s life is perfectly ordinary. She is the only child of Wally and Demi Smith, who provide her with a strong moral fiber, a very clear sense of right and wrong, and safety from the world. Although Persephone describes her life as the “happily ever after,” this year is full of complicated situations. It becomes very clear that Persephone’s “happily ever after” exists solely because Wally and Demi love her, and each other, unconditionally. 

Despite Persephone’s vocabulary and advanced maturity, she is not perfect, making impulsive, innocently naive choices that have consequences for her and remind readers that she truly is just a kid. The other children woven throughout the story are each endearing in his/her own way: Gabby, the whiny tattle-tale at day camp; Coral, Persephone’s “best friend” who throws temper tantrums if she doesn’t get her way; Charles, the quintessential sci-fi/fantasy pre-teen geek; Joey, Persephone’s blue-eyed, dimpled, crush; along with Seth, Jade, Freddie, Skye, Danielle, and many more cabinmates, classmates, and kids. 

"Wicked Normal" is the first book in a middle-grade and up, coming-of-age, realistic, paranormal, fantasy series by debut author, former elementary school teacher, Lauren Courcelle. It is intended for ages 9 and up, as the series will follow Persephone Smith to middle school, high school, and college. The real-life Vermont setting, lovable characters, and realistic fifth grade predicaments blend with the fantasy element of extraordinary powers to create an escape from reality for any “wicked normal” readers.

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