When her English teacher asks her to keep a journal over summer vacation, Mary Lou doesn't have a clue what she'll write about. With her way normal family, nonexistent social life, and no plans, the 13-year-old's prospects seem deadly dull. Yet by the end of the summer, Mary Lou's journal is so full of the most incredible-and true-stuff, she has to beg the teacher not to read it. It all begins when Carl Ray, a 17-year-old cousin from West Virginia comes to stay with Mary Lou's family. Besides Carl Ray's strange behavior, Mary Lou also has to deal with her best friend turning boy-crazy. Meanwhile, she finds herself relating more and more to the exploits of Odysseus she is reading about for school. As Mary Lou records all this and more in her journal, she discovers some unexpected benefits of reflective writing. With Kate Forbes' spirited performance of this hilarious coming-of-age comedy, listeners are sure to join the ranks of fans of Newbery Medal-winning author Sharon Creech.
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by Sharon Creech
"Ah! The joys of growing up are indeed a voyage and an adventure to be reckoned with. Instructed by her English teacher to keep a diary, Mary Lou draws upon the summer reading assignment of Homer's ODYSSEY to inspire her daily narrations. From Odysseus's travails (stupid though she may find them), her Muse derives some understanding of events and her reactions to them. Forbes catches the perplexities and frustrations of adolescent enthusiasms with a fine sense of place and age. Mary Lou's accounts of conversational exchanges are done with the extreme ennui that only those knowing years can achieve. Parents and their offspring can easily relate to this charmer. S.B.S. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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