Livvie Owen Lived Here

Sarah Dooley

Feiwel & Friends

Olivia “Livvie” Owen feels things differently than her parents and two sisters. Livvie is autistic. Her family has had to move repeatedly because of her outbursts. When they again face eviction, Livvie is convinced she has a way to get back to a house where they were all happy, once.

The problem is, Livvie burned down that house.

But she’s not giving up. Here is her story.


Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
I heard the whistle blast at 9:15. Funny, the thought that struck me wasn’t that the whistle had stopped blowing years ago, but that it should have blown at six. There was a time when the whistle was as reliable as the opening and closing of the hardware store or the passing of the ten o’clock train. The whistle used to rattle the windows and frighten the cats of Nabor every six a.m. and six p.m. for decades.
That was, as my parents liked to say, “way back when.” Used to be, everybody in Nabor who didn’t work at the hardware store worked at


Praise for Livvie Owen Lived Here

Advance Praise for Livvie Owen Lived Here:

"A book that will challenge and touch you to the core."--Meg Cabot, author of the Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls and Princess Diaries series

“’Livvie Owen Lived Here’ is a powerful and touching young adult novel… Livvie's story will remain with you beyond the final pages.” --Huntington (WV) Herald-Dispatch

“Dooley has written a sweet story about the value of love within a family and the importance of each person, even those with disabilities.” --School Library Journal

“Dooley, a special education teacher, offers readers a rare opportunity to experience the day-to-day struggles of a special-needs student. Livvie's internal growth is convincing, and her ultimate triumphs are inspiring.” --Publishers Weekly

Dooley draws on her experience as a special-education teacher and her own string of childhood moves in an accomplished debut novel with memorable secondary characters whose believable emotions highlight the importance of having a place to call home.” --Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Sarah Dooley

  • As a child, SARAH DOOLEY lived twenty-four different places, including an abandoned post office, a tent, and a red cargo van. She now lives in rural West Virginia with her partner and their assortment of dogs, cats, and horses. When she is not writing, she has the pleasure of teaching, and being taught by, children with special needs. This is her first novel.

  • Sarah Dooley ©Jake Lilly
    Sarah Dooley


Available Formats and Book Details

Livvie Owen Lived Here

Sarah Dooley

American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults