The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous

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9780061231995: The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous

Thirteen-year-old Merilee Monroe maintains a Very Ordered Existence, VOE for short. As long as she keeps up with her minute-by-minute daily schedule, she can avoid the internal trauma caused by change and spontaneity. So when two very distracting newcomers arrive in town, Merilee does her best to ignore them and stick to her plans. But can even a VOE have some room for friendship?

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About the Author:

Suzanne Crowley has always been fascinated with Elizabethan England, and according to family lore, she is a descendant of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days Queen. She is also the author of The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous, a Book Sense "Top Ten" Pick. Suzanne Crowley lives with her family in Southlake, Texas.

From Publishers Weekly:

Crowley, the mother of a teenager on the autism spectrum, shows an astute understanding of her characters' psychologies but tries to encompass too much in this first novel, narrated by a girl with Asperger's syndrome. Merilee Monroe, a 13-year-old who is obsessed with dragons and filled with astonishing words she cannot express out loud, finds a soul mate in Biswick, an eight-year-old damaged by fetal alcohol syndrome, the son of a visiting poet. Merilee's growing affection for Biswick is beautifully drawn, but subplots regarding other citizens of Jumbo, Texas, their eccentric behaviors and the emotional baggage they carry, grow burdensome. The novel's slow-moving plot and shifting focus present other potential obstacles. On the other hand, both the dialogue and Merilee's unique thought process come off as authentic, compensating for some of the novel's weaknesses. The town of Jumbo—home to famous ghost lights that appear in the middle of the night and the legendary conquistador tree, under which a treasure is reputedly buried—adds an aura of mystery that coincides with a theme about miracles. The biggest miracle of all is the one Crowley handles with the greatest skill: the change that occurs in Merilee as she ventures at last beyond her very ordered existence. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
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