Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Livvie Owen Lived Here” as Want to Read:
Livvie Owen Lived Here
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Livvie Owen Lived Here

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  298 ratings  ·  50 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  298 ratings  ·  50 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Livvie Owen Lived Here
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
not quite sure to what extent the autistic representation is accurate but i just found it to be meh
Oct 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, 2010
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
Mizzio Batista
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was ok

I honestly don't know where to start with this book. The first half is so dull. I literally could only read 20 pages at a time, before falling asleep. It picks up near the end, but barely enough.

The synopsis truly does sell a different tale then the one I read. Where is the complaints and constant moving-house due to outrages outburst by the autistic main character? Where is the description of the fire that she started that destroyed their original house? I didn't read about it! It
Carly Burgess
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, I read this a couple years back. I loved it, the author has a spectacular sense of story, and I always appreciate autism in a book. Sometimes the autism bits did feel tacked-on. I was really sad that there wasn't a sequel, but the sequels are never as good, anyway. Made me cry. I've been meaning to reread it. ...more
Brooke Nutter
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I thought this book was good in general. Started off kind of slow but had a good ending. I thought Livvie (main character) developed really well throughout the book. I would recommend to read.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I don't know how I feel about this book. It was different and interesting, yet it had no plot and the summary mentioned things that were not present in the book. ...more
Makenzie Clark
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book really made you have a lot of empathy for the characters and showed lots of tear jerking emotions throughout it.
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This story is about Livvie Owen, a girl with autism, and her family. I didn't love the narration which I think impacted how I felt about the story.
Tom Franklin
Aug 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Liza Gilbert
Oct 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: bfya2011, young-adult
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.

Becca Lee
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Diane Ferbrache
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 some
Hiba Ahmed
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Livvie Owen Lived Here is an amazing book SWBST -

14 year old Livvie Owen is different than many people, she has something what people call Autism. She see’s, hears & senses things differently than others. Livvie wants to fit in like everyone else, be normal, and stay at Nabor with an A forever.She hates her little sister Lannie but loves her older sister Natasha. However, all of a sudden, Livvie wonders why her younger sister Lanie is becoming so nice to her, and why tash is trying to avoid her
Abby Johnson
Aug 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
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
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: youngadult, fiction
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
Feb 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Yolanda Ridge
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
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
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Lorrie Figueroa
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
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 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.) ...more
Leslie Zampetti
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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. ...more
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Sep 20, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Shadi B
Nov 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
I would really recommend this book. It is about a girl around 10-11 years old, she has a younger sister. I like this book because it is mostly about the girl named Livvie Owen who is ALWAYS Organized and Neat. She stacks everything in order. For example: Cups. She stacks them from plastic to Glass. Then less sparkly to more. She hates when something breaks. She will get uptight. Though she won't get that irritable on you. ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Counting Thyme
  • The Unicorn in the Barn
  • The Wolf Wilder
  • The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair
  • All the Impossible Things
  • Orphan Island
  • The Mystwick School of Musicraft
  • A Snicker of Magic
  • Lemons
  • Twinmaker (Twinmaker, #1)
  • Wringer
  • Caveboy Dave: More Scrawny Than Brawny
  • The War at Ellsmere
  • Hicotea (Nightlights #2)
  • Nightlights (Nightlights #1)
  • Topside
  • The Spirit of Cattail County
  • Maresi (The Red Abbey Chronicles, #1)
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
45 likes · 65 comments