- Absolutely Normal Chaos
"Absolutely Normal Chaos" is a book published in 1990 by the
Newbery Medal-winning (for " Walk Two Moons") Sharon Creech. It is the Secret Journal of Mary Lou Finney.
Mary Lou Finney is not very excited to have an assignment to keep a journal over the summer. She considers it quite boring. Then her cousin Carl Ray comes to stay with her family, and the dull days of summer soon turn into a wild roller coaster of a summer. She might even have to go to West Virginia. How was she to know what would happen with Carl Ray and the ring? Or with her boy-obsessed friend Beth Ann? Or with the permanently pink Alex Cheevey? Suddenly a boring school assignment turns into a record of the most unbelievable summer of her entire life. But she doesn't want her new teacher, Mr.Birkway, to read it. But what if her new teacher "does" read her journal? Are her secrets going to become an "open book"?
Sharon Creech based the Finney family on her own family, even using her own address in Euclid, Ohio (on Buxton Road) as Mary Lou's address. She used her younger brothers' names for the brothers in the book, although she says that her older sister Sandy was "much nicer" than Mary Lou's older sister. A cousin did come visit her family when she was around Mary Lou's age, although the things that happened to Carl Ray did not happen to her cousin. [ [http://www.sharoncreech.com/novels/03.asp] ]
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