Absolutely Normal Chaos


Absolutely Normal Chaos        Scholastic ©1990
Sharon Creech                                                        230 Pages

Summary: Mary Lou Finney is not sure how to write a journal for her summer assignment; however, she quickly gets into the groove. Little did she know her cousin, Carl Ray, would be spending the summer with her family. How could she predict what would happen with Alex Cheevey or her best friend Beth Ann?

Character Descriptions:

Mary Lou Finney is 13 years old who journals her way through summer as a school project. She has her highs and lows when it is concerned with her friends, family, and boys.

Carl Ray is Mary Lou's 17 year old cousin who comes to stay with her family in Easton, Ohio for the summer. The family has a hard time liking Carl Ray because he sleeps in late and does not clean up after himself. The family believes his reason for the visit is to find a job - or is it?

Beth Ann Bartels, best friends with Mary Lou, becomes boy-crazed over the summer and joins the GGP club by invitation only. This is a secret club associated with the popular girls from school.

.Personal Reflection: The author draws the reader into the story of Mary Lou’s summer rather quickly by loading the pages with great detail of each situation that arises. Young teens will enjoy the journal entries because it relates to the common issues that begin to surface at this age, such as boys, girl problems, and attitudes.

     Family and Social structures

Discussion Questions:

1. How does Mary Lou show expression through her journal, and could you incorporate this style into your writing?

2. What events allowed Mary Lou to mature throughout the summer? In what ways?