Absolutely Normal Chaos

Written by Sharon Creech

Reviewed by Jessi T. (age 9)

Do you remember Mary Lou Finny from Sharon Creech?s novel Walk Two Moons? Well this is her complete, private summer journal. When the story starts, at the beginning of summer the main characters are just the Finney family. Mary Lou?s mother is named Sally Finney, and Mary Lou?s father is named Sam Finney. The kids from oldest to youngest are Maggie Finney (seventeen years old), Mary Lou Finney (thirteen years old), Dennis Finny (twelve years old), Dougie Finney (eight years old), and finally Tommy Finney (four years old). There is also Mary Lou?s best friend, Beth Ann, but she fades out as Carl Ray comes into focus. Carl Ray is Mary Lou?s cousin and his parents sent him up from West Virginia to live with the Finney family and get a job. Many adventures happen in this book, some good, some bad, but all fulfilling the life of Mary Lou. A guy called Alex Cheevy admits that he wants to be Mary Lou?s girlfriend, so they start going together. Then a neighbor suddenly gets sick and dies. Doesn?t this sound like an exciting book?

I think there?s always something to laugh or cry about in this book. I don?t think there?s one dull moment, because there's always something happening, such as people getting into accidents and everyone getting boyfriends. One moment that really made me cry was when Carl Ray got in an accident. This made me sad because I really felt like I knew Carl Ray. In my opinion, Sharon Creech uses a very interesting way of writing. It makes me feel like she has experienced these things as a kid herself.

Concluding everything, this is a really good book, and I recommend it to anyone aged 8-11, because some things are too sad for younger children, and it might get boring for children over 11 years old. ASTALAVISTA!!

Jessi T. is a student in Ms. Egan's 4th Grade Class
2001-2002