Reviews for Quirks : Welcome to Normal


Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
Twins Molly and Pen Quirk have moved to Normal, Michigan, with their family just as they are about to start fourth grade. Unlike her mother, grandfather, twin sister, and younger brother, Molly is unique in her family for having no evident talent or quirk that makes her stand out. Instead, Molly has good common sense and finds herself keeping track of her family's various abilities to disappear, rewind time, and other behaviors that can disorient the folks around them. This first title in a new series, The Quirks, provides quick character sketches, gentle but funny problems, and illustrations that capture the humor and energy in the family's adventures. Molly's plight of wanting to fit in, despite her family's oddities, as well as her mother's eventual recognition that Molly's talent is indeed her appreciation for normalcy, forms the spine of this enjoyable outing. A new romance for Molly's mother adds further to the appealing plot, and readers will hope the next adventure appears soon. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Nine-year-old Molly's family is constantly relocating to escape the havoc caused by their magical powers. Settling in welcoming Normal, Michigan, Molly and her twin Penelope work hard to avoid catastrophe and relish the chance to develop friendships. The comical story is predictable, but readers will enjoy the magical mishaps and the family's quirky dynamics, both fully captured in Light's black-and-white illustrations.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
Having hastily moved 26 times, the aptly named Quirks arrive in Normal, Mich., determined to blend in--a tall order as all but nearly 10-year-old Molly have magical abilities and underdeveloped senses of responsibility. Being (seemingly) the only Quirk without magic and the most well-adjusted to boot, Molly gamely struggles to ride herd on her filthy, prank-loving little brother, Finn, who is invisible to all but her (except, as it turns out, when he's chewing gum), and her depressed, troubled twin Penelope, whose every stray thought or mental image turns real. The rest of the clan? Molly's father vanished five years ago; her frazzled mother, Bree, holds a job only because she can control the minds of others to cover her incompetence; a wimpy monster named Niblet lives under Molly's bed; Grandpa Quill can reset time in small doses but not always voluntarily; and Grandma is a bird-sized fairy justly terrified of cats. Though spinning these discomfiting circumstances and abilities into light slapstick is at best a quixotic enterprise, Soderberg tries. She surrounds the Quirks with relentlessly oblivious regular folk, creates a series of consequence-free messes and disasters that disappear tidily between chapters, and hauls in heavy contrivances at the climax to make the town's collective effort to create the world's largest wad of chewed gum a success. Light's frequent illustrations capture most of the grosser incidents, of which there are a goodly number. A cliffhanger ending isn't the only sour note in this series opener. (Fantasy. 8-10) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2013 October
The Quirks are anything but normal, except for Molly who desires to fit in. After years of moving, Molly hopes to find a home in Normal, Michigan. The quirks possessed by Molly's family are really quite extraordinary. Her mother can control thoughts and memories; Grandpa can turn back time; her twin sister, Penelope, brings her imagination to life; and Finn uses invisibility to create all kinds of mischief. Molly possesses no quirk at all. The family is determined to stay in Normal, and despite several crazy events, they do. The real test comes on Normal Night, a community tradition when everyone comes together for the "Normal Night Challenge" and to party. It is during this event that the Quirks find their place in the community and Molly learns what she contributes to her family. This is a fun, inventive story that inspires laughter and reflection on one's definition of normal. Diana Hanke, School Library Media Teacher, Roosevelt (Utah) Junior High School [Editor's Note: Available n e-book format.] RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 July #2

Given their peculiarities, the Quirk family never stays put for long. In the first book in Soderberg's (Monkey See, Monkey Zoo) Quirks series, they expect that their time in Normal--a town where people live in identical houses and drive copycat cars--to be short-lived. Penelope's vivid imagination is apt to "roar to life--literally," her prankster brother Finn is invisible, their scatterbrained mother is blessed with the "power of persuasion," and their grandfather can roll back time. Only Molly, Penelope's twin sister, is "magic-less," and she is determined to do whatever it takes to help her family fit in. Though the nonstop mishaps that spring up are all-out silly, Molly's pain over her father's abandonment and her efforts to harness Finn's troublemaking and help Penelope form lasting friendships provide the story's emotional backbone. Light's cartoons capture the Quirk family's eccentric and skittish temperaments; despite their singular abilities, theirs is a genuine family, drawn with humor and heart. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. Illustrator's agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (June)

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Given their peculiarities, the Quirk family never stays put for long. In the first book in Soderberg's (Monkey See, Monkey Zoo) Quirks series, they expect that their time in Normal--a town where people live in identical houses and drive copycat cars--to be short-lived. Penelope's vivid imagination is apt to "roar to life--literally," her prankster brother Finn is invisible, their scatterbrained mother is blessed with the "power of persuasion," and their grandfather can roll back time. Only Molly, Penelope's twin sister, is "magic-less," and she is determined to do whatever it takes to help her family fit in. Though the nonstop mishaps that spring up are all-out silly, Molly's pain over her father's abandonment and her efforts to harness Finn's troublemaking and help Penelope form lasting friendships provide the story's emotional backbone. Light's cartoons capture the Quirk family's eccentric and skittish temperaments; despite their singular abilities, theirs is a genuine family, drawn with humor and heart. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. Illustrator's agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (June)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 August

Gr 3-5--Nine-year-old twins Penelope and Molly Quirk come from a unique family. Grandpa Quirk can shift time, their mother has strong powers of persuasion, and their five-year-old brother hasn't been seen by anyone except Molly since he started becoming invisible at six months of age. Penelope herself has a tricky habit of imagining things into reality. Strange events follow the Quirks wherever they go; just as they get settled in a new town, one of their "quirks" gets out of hand and they are forced to move on. Upon landing in the tiny town of Normal, Michigan, however, things begin to look up. Have the decidedly abnormal Quirks finally found their true home? Like the characters in Ingrid Law's Savvy (2008) and Scrumble (2010, both Dial), Soderberg's struggle to maintain and control the things that make them special while still leading meaningful lives in the wider world. Light's illustrations add depth and energy to the characters, effectively moving readers through the story. This title combines gentle family drama, humor, and magic, resulting in a satisfying read.--Sara Saxton, Tuzzy Consortium Library, Barrow, AK

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