Official Review: A Chance to be Normal by Koywan Keyes

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Latest Review: A Chance to be Normal by Koywan Keyes

Official Review: A Chance to be Normal by Koywan Keyes

Post by Kaylee123 »

[Following is an official review of "A Chance to be Normal" by Koywan Keyes.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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A Chance to be Normal, by Koywan Keyes, is a story of trying to overcome bullying. Koywan is a constant target of bullying. He wears "hand-me-down-down-downs" and never sticks up for himself. He rides the bus with Suzie, one of the meanest girls in the school. She makes it her mission to make fun of Koywan, and others, every day. With the help of his Grandma Lillian, best friend John, and cousin Regina, Koywan tries to figure out how to stop the bullying. Is Suzie being so cruel for a reason?

My favorite part of this book is the friendship between Koywan and John. John wasn't a victim of bullying. He mostly went unnoticed at school until Suzie decided they were dating. But, he never left Koywan's side when things got tough. For example, when Koywan was trying to win Suzie over with a candy bar, he panicked and said it was from John. This made Suzie think John liked her. Koywan offered to tell Suzie the truth, but John wouldn't let him. He yelled, "No! I do not want to bury a friend!" He was willing to help Koywan even if it made his life extremely miserable.

I also enjoyed Koywan's Grandma Lillian. She was tough but clearly loved Koywan. I was so happy he had support at home since school was so rough. She also was so kind to John, letting him stay for supper since his dad didn't cook, and watching out for him like he was her own. She also brought comic relief with her nicknames for everyone in the neighborhood and her love of candy.

The only thing I disliked about the book was how repetitive it was. Koywan got on the bus, went to his first and second classes, ate lunch with John, John had his third class, Koywan went to his fourth class, and then he was back on the bus. After school, the boys went to discuss their problems under the old pecan trees, bought candy, and made sure to check in with Grandma Lillian. The book followed this same pattern unless it was the weekend. I can't really fault the author for this, because the book is considered juvenile fiction. The organization provided by the repetition would make the book easy for younger readers to read.

A Chance to be Normal is written for a younger (probably middle school-aged) audience, but as an adult, I did enjoy it. The author intended for it to help ease the stress of being bullied and raise awareness about bullying. So kids who are being bullied might find solace reading it. It would be eye-opening for parents and educators, as well. On the flip side, I could see some parts of the book as being triggering for those who are being bullied or have been bullied in the past. I guess it would depend on the individual person, but it's something to take into consideration before deciding to read the book.

I would rate A Chance to be Normal four out of four stars. The book does what it sets out to do: bring awareness to bullying. It does this through likable characters, has a few surprising twists, and a satisfying ending. The repetition and very few random errors weren't enough to make me rate this book any lower.

I highly recommend A Chance to be Normal to anyone who wants to know what it's like to be bullied. The dedication of the book sums things up well:

"I dedicate this book to everyone who has ever been bullied or struggled to fit in. Be yourself. You are loved. You are special. You are somebody."

A Chance to be Normal
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Post by Lunastella »

Bullying can have harrowing consequences, so I'm glad there are books like this one to help kids through it and raise awareness in adults.
Great review!

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Post by Elvis Best »

I wonder how Koywan overcomes Suzie's bullying. I appreciate your insightful review. Good job!
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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Post by Adrianna Melillo »

I'm interested to know if Koywan overcomes all the bullying. This seems like a novel that could make it onto classroom shelves. Thank you for the detailed review!

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Post by Lizziemarcel »

Nice review. I enjoyed the part of true friendship, cause no man is an island. Welldone

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Post by aaurba »

I hoped that this book has been around when I was in high school. Its theme is perfect for people like me who have been bullied and alienated for seemingly no reason other than us not fitting in. Thank you for writing a great review!
“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like.”
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Post by Dayodiola »

Bullying: it has its stress on mental health. Things shouldn't be lest as they are in High Schools. Nice review

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Post by Justjaal_ »

I loved the quote and the review! Normaly the bully feels more miserable than everyone, and that's the reason why they try to make others feel miserable, and it can hurt them physically and mentally more than they think. I think it's great that there's a novel that can help understand how's the bullying in school.

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Post by Ms_Rita30 »

That's a really motivating dedication you have at the end there. Bullying is one of the hardest things children encounter, and it's worse when the child lacks a strong support system at home. They often feel like the whole world is against them. I am glad Koywan had support from home. Great review Kaylee!

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Post by Dominik_G »

Bullying is a very serious problem and can have long-lasting, traumatic consequences. Raising awareness about it is supremely important. It sounds like A Chance to be Normal does this in an entertaining and accessible manner. Thank you so much for your detailed review!

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Post by Chinelookeke »

This is the kind of book most children need to read so they can stop being bullied because it has become a normal thing in most schools. Thanks for this amazing book. Thanks for the review.

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Post by Priyanka2304 »

Sounds like an interesting plot to me. Thanks for the review.

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Post by Valkyrie9 »

This has such a positive message, and I can see it being a valuable teaching resource as well. I love the dedication! Thanks for a thorough and honest review.
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Post by Kirsi_78 »

This book has such an important topic! The effects of bullying can last for a lifetime, and no one should experience such cruelty. I am happy that the author has taken action against bullying by writing this book. Everyone deserves a chance to be normal!

Thank you for your thorough review! :)

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Post by Kwinfae »

This is a great piece of writing many are the times people under bullying and never really recover from it, this book gives a chance to others to know they are not alone and can overcome bullying.

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