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Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley
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Livvie Owen Lived Here (edition 2010)

by Sarah Dooley

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515358,853 (3.29)2
Fourteen-year-old Livvie Owen, who has autism, and her family have been forced to move frequently because of her outbursts, but when they face eviction again, Livvie is convinced she has a way to get back to a house where they were all happy, once.
Member:waterCPC
Title:Livvie Owen Lived Here
Authors:Sarah Dooley
Info:Feiwel & Friends (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Children's Preview Center
Rating:
Tags:Autism--Juvenile Fiction

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Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley

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Showing 5 of 5
It was pretty good. It was a fascinating look through the eyes of a young female reader with a mental disorder. She is not any less of a person because of it, and it was fascinating to see her reaction to her family member's reactions and all that. The story was very well done and the reader was very good as well. I enjoyed it. ( )
  CSTaylor24 | Jul 13, 2014 |
Sarah Dooley is a teacher for children with special needs, and in her novel Livvie Owen Lived Here, about a fourteen year-old with autism, she thanks her students “who gave [her] this assignment.”
Livvie and her family (including two sisters, Lanie, 11 and Tash, 16), have had to move frequently because of Livvie’s inability to control her outbursts. Her relationship with Lanie is strained, and they often butt heads, but Tash has more of a calming presence for Livvie, even though she seems to struggle internally with her sister’s tantrums and the destruction they bring. When the family receives their latest, Livvie resolves to help her family move back into their old home, which she calls Sun House, despite the fact that it burned down after one of her devastating outbursts.
Warm, bright colors, like those of the Sun House, are soothing to Livvie. She often associates happiness with these colors, and thus fondly remembers the connection she had with their former family pet, Orange Cat. Unfortunately, Orange Cat escaped during one of Livvie’s outbursts and was hit by a car. Thus, much of Livvie’s struggles are her attempts to reconcile her past mistakes and figure out a way her family can live peacefully.
Livvie forms a bond with her latest substitute teacher, Mrs. Rhodes, who happens to have an autistic brother and understand Livvie’s motivations in a way few others can. Livvie Owen Lived Here is a lovely ode to Dooley’s students, and will hopefully be a book that autistic readers and their families can find simpatico characters. ( )
  ARQuay | Dec 11, 2013 |
Livvie Owen is a fourteen year-old girl desperately trying to make her family happy and find a place that they can call home while dealing with autism. The story is told through a unique perspective (Livvie’s, that is), shedding light on autism. Readers will feel surprisingly refreshed seeing the world from such a different perspective. Some of the things that Livvie writes about seem unrealistic—like the fact that she wrote the book but cannot read, or some of the large words that she uses—but they add depth to the story and help make her likeable. Livvie struggles with deciphering the emotions of her family as well as her own, and wrestles with questions about change, having autism, and her place in her family. Many of the difficulties Livvie encounters parallel those experienced by other young adults. Dooley’s book could also serve as an educational tool, showing kids not only what the world looks like through the lens of autism, but also why some kids with autism do the things they do. This book is really an eye-opener, and readers will find that they really care for Livvie as they read. ( )
  alyssjo | Oct 12, 2012 |
Livvie Owen Lived Here is a powerful story of one autistic girl’s journey to find someplace to call home. It was so gut-wrenching at times that it managed to pull on my heartstrings; something that most novels fail to do.

I think this a book that everyone needs to read. Autism is something that isn’t spotlighted in YA a lot, especially for an older character such as Livvie, but this novel is a great portrayal of less than wealthy family that deals with the weight of things that come with her. It sparkles with realism and importance; nothing is dolled up for the pages and autism isn’t prettied for Livvie’s character but I loved every second of it.

And it can be very educational as well. I have several autistic cousins, and while I love all of them very much, Livvie Owen Lived Here has me looking at them with a newfound adoration. Despite her problems, Livvie is smart and she just wants her family to be happy. If this hadn’t been in her point of view, we just would’ve seen the horribly wrong decisions she makes to get her family to happiness. But since we’re in her head, we’re able to read about why she thinks those horribly wrong decisions are perfectly acceptable to her. Things are put into new perspectives in this novel. You’re placed in a completely new mindset, Livvie’s mindset, and it teaches you so much.

Overall, I absolutely loved Livvie Owen Lived Here. Although it’s quick read, it’s very emotionally powerful and raises awareness on a subject that most authors are afraid to touch with a ten-foot-pole. I definitely think this one that everyone needs to pick up! ( )
1 vote katiedoll | Sep 7, 2010 |
All Livvie wants is to go back to when things were good. Back when the whistle blew on the paper mill every day at 6 o'clock and they lived in the warm, yellow house and Orange Cat was still alive. But the paper mill's closed and if she can't keep her outbursts under control, her family's going to be evicted again. It's not easy for anyone to deal with change and for Livvie it's a particular struggle because she has autism. But Livvie can't go back, so she's going to have to find a way to move forward.

I quite liked this debut novel about a blue-collar family quietly dealing with inevitable change. It's a thoughtful story and Livvie has a strong voice that'll stick with the reader for some time. I'd try it on fans of The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson, Also Known as Harper by Ann Haywood Leal, and Anything But Typical by Nora Baskins.

More on the blog: http://www.abbythelibrarian.com/2010/08/livvie-owen-lived-here.html ( )
  abbylibrarian | Aug 20, 2010 |
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