Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley

Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley.
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends.
Pages: 240.
Olivia "Livvie" Owen feels things differently than her parents and two sisters. Livvie is autistic. Her family has had to move repeatedly because of her outbursts. When they again face eviction, Livvie is convinced she has a way to get back to a house where they were all happy, once.

The problem is, Livvie burned down that house.

But she's not giving up. Here is her story.

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. Thanks for this review. It really helps me decide whether this is a book that I want to give as a gift to some young readers.