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Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
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Absolutely Normal Chaos (original 1990; edition 1997)

by Sharon Creech

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1,109157,464 (3.86)11
Member:JessicaABaker
Title:Absolutely Normal Chaos
Authors:Sharon Creech
Info:HarperCollins (1997), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 230 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech (1990)

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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Plus another bit of a star. Perfect for a sleepless night and a rainy day. Love all the different voices. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
What begins as a boring school assignment to write a journal quickly turns into an epic account of Mary Lou Finney's summer. Her teenage cousin Carl Ray's arrival sets off a chain of events that make this summer much more eventful than she ever anticipated. Though the book was originally published in 1990, readers will still identify with Mary Lou's experiences and emotions (frustrations! excitement! confusion!) as she navigates life as a 13-year-old. Readers from large families may recognize aspects of their own homes in Mary Lou's story, or -- for only children, such as myself -- may appreciate insight into the hilarious chaos of the large Finney family.

Mary Lou is a minor character in Creech's previous novel, Walk Two Moons. For tweens who loved that book and demand more like it, Absolutely Normal Chaos provides another view into those characters' world through Mary Lou and her family and friends. ( )
  aeisen9 | Mar 17, 2014 |
This is a lovely, delicate, heartwarming coming of age story. I loved it! ( )
  alidevnz | Apr 1, 2013 |
Sharon Creech introduced us to Mary Lou Finney as a classmate of Sal Hiddle in her Newbury-award-winning novel, Walk Two Moons. In this follow-up, Absolutely Normal Chaos, we get to see more into the life of Miss Mary Lou, and what a life it is! Mary Lou’s thirteenth summer turns out to be one of the most exciting, confusing, and crazy times of her entire life, and teenagers will definitely be able to relate. There’s Alex Cheevey, “whose skin is always a little pink”; her boy-crazy best friend, Beth Ann; and then there’s her taciturn, “cabbage-headed” cousin, Carl Ray, who turns out to have the most exciting, confusing, and crazy story of all. The novel is told from Mary Lou’s journal, where she documents the constant turbulence of adolescence. Creech’s teenage voice is spot on, even with the dated slang.
What I liked best about this book was how normal everything was. There are no vampires, werewolves, or angelic halfmen cluttering up the story, just the absolute gushing of a teenage girl experiencing her first romance. Mary Lou’s relationship with Alex Cheevey is described as a series of confusing moments of soaring delight and soul-crushing lows, but you can always sense Creech’s empathy for her characters; she isn’t laughing at teens, she’s identifying with them. For example, the first time Alex holds Mary Lou’s hand, she is silently dying inside, not sure if she is behaving how she should with a boy. Mary Lou also has to put up with large family, who are rumply and lovable, but also exasperating for a teenage girl. But it is Carl Ray, who shows up one day and forgets to make the bed, who lends this story its heart. Mary Lou’s slowly burgeoning relationship with her gawky cousin gently teaches her that there is more to life than cliques and boyfriends. Carl Ray’s character is slowly, beautifully revealed throughout the book, and is the perfect complement to Mary Lou’s warmth and outgoing nature.
This book is at times laugh-out-loud funny, and at times heartbreaking, but it is always full of good, old-fashioned human goodness. No vampires required. For grades 6 and up. ( )
  ALelliott | Mar 2, 2012 |
I picked up this book because when I was younger I read Walk Two Moons by this author and I absolutely loved it. It meant so much to me. So I thought this book would do the same thing! While I did enjoy the plot, it wasn't what I thought it would be. It was definately entertaining, humorous, and enjoyable. But I was looking for that moment where I was in awe, and this book just didn't do it for me! Maybe I shouldn't have put so much pressure on it!
  kristenpittenger | Mar 13, 2011 |
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For Karin and Rob Leuthy and all our Creeches
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Dear Mr. Birkway, Here it is: my summer journal.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064406326, Paperback)

Dear Mr. Birkway,
Here it is: my summer journal.
As you can see,
I got a little carried away.
The problem is this, though.
I don't want you to read it.

Remember Mary Lou Finney from Walk Two Moons? Here's her complete, secret journal!

Mary Lou Finney is less than excited about her assignment to keep a journal over the summer. Boring! Then cousin Carl Ray comes to stay with her family, and what starts out as the dull dog days of summer quickly turns into the wildest roller-coaster ride of all time.

How was Mary Lou supposed to know what would happen with Carl Ray and the ring? Or with her boy-crazy best friend Beth Ann? Or with (sigh) the permanently pink Alex Cheevey? Suddenly a boring school project becomes a record of the most exciting, incredible, unbelievable summer of Mary Lou's life.

But what if her teacher actually does read her journal?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:46 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Thirteen-year-old Mary Lou grows up considerably during the summer while learning about romance, homesickness, death, and her cousin's search for his biological father.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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