Livvie Owen Lived Here
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Livvie Owen Lived Here

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  36 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 17th 2010 by Feiwel & Friends (first published January 1st 2010)
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Cinder by Marissa MeyerThe Night Circus by Erin MorgensternAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsThe Silent Treatment by Melanie SuraniWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Published NaNoWriMo Books
14th out of 59 books — 36 voters
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonThe Fog Within by Nick ShamhartTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeLove Anthony by Lisa GenovaHouse Rules by Jodi Picoult
Autism in Fiction
98th out of 99 books — 186 voters

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Community Reviews

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Is anyone else tired of reading books where the narrator has autism/downs syndrome/cerebral palsy and is therefore SO WISE? Is it politically incorrect to write a negative review book that exists to teach SENSITIVITY and PERSPECTIVE?

14 year old Livvie Owen has one older sister (who is nice), one younger sister (who is mean) and autism. Her fixation is houses, especially the "Sun House," which her family used to live in. Now they are poor and live in a trailer in a dying town, evicted from place...more
Diane Ferbrache
Livvie is a 14 year old autistic girl. She has two parents, a loving older sister and a younger sister who has little patience with Livvie’s disability. After the mill closed & her parents lost their jobs, her family has moved numerous times, usually evicted for one reason or another. When Livvie begins hearing the mill whistle in the middle of the night, and begins obsessing over their former home and her long dead cat, things begin to fall apart.
Told in Livvie’s own voice, the story is...more
Aug 31, 2010 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: arcs
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...more
Becca Lee
It was a wonderful read and on a subject that is frequently requested by our schools. Livvie and her friends from school are so tender and innocent- they provoke one to frown with sadness and also to smile with joy in the same scene. Livvie grows so much in the book and you are cheering her on the entire way. It is great to see her process and connect with things. The character development is excellent, not just with Livvie but with all the supporting characters.

The reader feels Livvie’s emotio...more
Tom Franklin
Sarah Dooley has set herself a remarkable goal with "Livvie Owen Lived Here": to write a compelling, believable book from the viewpoint of a teenager with autism.

Parts of Dooley's writing were less than convincing: Livvie's beautiful descriptions, some using complex metaphors for instance, just didn't ring true with me for a teenage who has problems identifying emotions in herself and (especially) other people.

Other parts of Dooley's writing was extremely convincing. Livvie feels herself a stran...more
Liza Gilbert
There was a lot to like about this novel of a young teenager with autism. From my own experience of knowing people with autism spectrum disorders, Livvie's behavior was textbook.

However, I was frequently jarred by Livvie's narrative. For a character who cannot read or write, her choices of $10 words pulled me out of the story repeatedly. The problem? I'm not sure how Dooley could have written the story from Livvie's perspective and not experience that issue. It was puzzling and bothersome.

Livvie Owen Lived Here is a fiction book about a girl named Livvie who has Autism. She lives in “Nabor-with-an-A” and keeps getting kicked out of her house for her raging outbursts. When she continues to hear a whistle from a mill that stopped blowing their whistle 10 years ago she finally takes a night adventure to the mill to find out why it keeps “calling her”.

While on her adventure she finds her old sun house and becomes determined to move in. She has been suspecting that her family will be...more
Lorrie Figueroa
This is a really great read which can capture your heart.

I was most affected by the relationship Livvie has with her sisters. It is really nice to read books about family struggles and struggles a person have with himself.

At a very young age, Livvie learns the essence of being a sister and despite the troubles she has, she still thinks best for her family and it was just really touching and beautiful.

Though frankly, I expected more drama. Still, the book gave me so much to learn and remember.
Abby Johnson
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 f...more
2.5, maybe? This wasn't bad, it was just -- as the 2-star rating indicates -- "okay." A fast read, had some emotional moments, but, as others have commented, the narrator's voice didn't ring true as someone with autism. Of course, I'm not a specialist, and all the experience I have is knowing several people with asperger's, but even in that regard, I feel like Mark Haddon created a more authentic (and certainly more interesting) character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Of...more
A fictionalized account of one family's everyday struggles and hopes as they live with a daughter/sister who has autism. Livvie Owen, 14, struggles herself with questions, frustrations, and friendship as she navigates the complicated world around her.

Her family clearly loves her and wants only the best for her, but her outbursts and inability to contain her emotions have left the family coping with multiple evictions and moves throughout the town of Nabor. Livvie remembers and cherishes her tim...more
I am never quite sure what I think about books written in the voice of an autistic character. There is always something not quite right - inconsistent, perhaps. I don't know if that is an accurate portrayal or not and that 'not quite right' gets in the way of things.

What I liked best was that Livvie's sisters were real. The youngest was smart and often frustrated by Livvie - and treated her with the contempt of an 11-year-old. Her older sister had taken on the role of caretaker - she loved Livv...more
While I agree with other reviewers who have note that the voice of the autistic narrator sometimes seems a bit "off," my interest in (and takeaway from) this book has little to do with whether or not Dooley was able to convey an "authentic autistic voice" via Livvie. Folks should really take a gander at what this story does very well: explaining the life oscillating AROUND the child with autism and their family as they maneuver through both their everyday lives and the institutions that are ther...more
Livvie is an exceptional girl in her early teens. She has quite bad autism and it substantially reduces her ability to take care of herself and be able to enter the adult world. Nevertheless Livvie is quite fortunate. She has a very loving family of two sisters and loving parents. As well as a set group of people she studies with at school which are all just like her. But alas, Livvie enters a state of awe when she realizes her parents might have to move from her birth town. Very rich developmen...more
Yolanda Ridge
This wasn't a fast read for me (maybe because my life is so hectic right now) but it did follow through on Meg Cabot's front cover promise... it definitely challenged me and touched me to the core. With her first person narrative, Sarah Dooley has done an excellent job of showing what it is like to live with autism. I fell in love with Livvie and felt like I really understood her and why she did the things she did. I also identified with her struggle to find a home (maybe because I'm in the proc...more
I listened to the audiobook, and really enjoyed it. As others have mentioned, I find it frustrating that the cover art and blurb give away something that really would have had more impact if we weren't expecting it from the start. (I sometimes wonder if cover blurbs make authors frustrated, as way too many of them give away what should not have been given away. From a marketing standpoint, I can see why some do it, but so often it ruins the impact of the book.)
A beautiful read. Made me tear up a bit at the end, a sign of this book's emotional power. Livvie and her sisters are endearing, lovable characters.

This is a book about a girl with autism, but the story isn't exactly about autism. Equally important is the story of Livvie's struggling family and their relationships. Yes, the autism is an important element to Livvie's tale, but it is refreshing that it isn't the only important element found here.
I picked up this book because I was looking to read something that was written as a part of NaNoWriMo. It was a cute, short story that was easy to read. It was interesting to be inside the mind of someone with autism, and I definitely applaud the author for writing that. I legitimately feel like I have a better understanding of autism now. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, sweet story. I give it 3.5 stars.
Told from 14-year-old Livvie Owen's perspective, this novel allows the reader to understand what it would be like to have autism. Livvie is obsessed with looking at real estate advertisements, and her family is forced to move frequently because her behavior is so unpredictable. I enjoyed reading the book, but I would only give it three stars because it is like many other novels I have read where the main character has autism.
Dooley succeeds in giving the reader true insight into the mind of an autistic girl and the complicated relationships she has with her family, classmates, and teachers. Livvie's quest for a better home - and indeed, her better self - entrances from page one. Highly recommended for middle-grade and young adult readers, as well as adults who enjoyed Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
this book was an interesting story As a person wit as asperger I am interested in reading books about others on the autistic spectrum. how ever I have to agree with what the others are saying in that some time Live complex thoughts and the word she use does not see to match up with the other things about her character. however i still enjoyed the book.
An eye-opening look into the mind of the autistic narrator as she deals with how her outbursts have affected her family and their ever-changing living situation. As a disclaimer, I know and am fond of the author Sarah Dooley, but even if I wasn't I'd enjoy this story. A must-read for kids who could identify with Livvie, her family or her classmates.

Disappointed. Not believable. Too much contradiction between a girl who can't read or write more than one sentence yet can memorize the shapes of words . Difficult to believe her parents always being so gentle and patient. Very interested in the storyline of a child moving so frequently. Not that interested in the autism aspect.
Mary Ann
exception. Being fourteen is difficult enough without struggling with other issues. Reading Livvie’s and her family’s story helps the reader comprehend the saying ‘walk a mile in my shoes before you criticize and accuse!” Surely all could benefit by learning through Livvie’s point of view.
I can't believe that someone put more than 2 stars ... I really think that reading this book was just a waste of time. There's actually no plot, narrative skills of author didn't persuade me that girl is authist, and I had to force myself to read next page. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
I enjoyed this book . . . so much so that I finished it in one day. Being an educator who has worked with many autistic children, Livvie is a very believable character. This book is a good one to recommend to teens who need more empathy for autistic children.
Jan 23, 2011 Johnp rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
A quirky book - told from the perspective of Livvie, an 11 year-old girl with autism. If you have a child with autism, you will appreciate the interesting view of the world from Livvie's perspective. If not, it might be hard to take.
It was okay. Not a bad book, but I'm not sure that I would recommend it to anyone. It's just not my type of book. I had trouble paying attention to it and focussing while reading it. It just couldn't keep my attention.
This was a good read. It was interesting because it was told from the POV of Livvie, who is autistic. You feel her frustration and pain as she battles with the effects of autism. It's a story about family and hope.
Ronda Barnes
An excellent story about a girl with autism. The wonderful part is that the main character is a girl with sisters and family problems above all else. The disability is revealed throughout the story.
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