Maryellen is a kind, energetic, and very imaginative nine year old who longs to stand out and be her own person. This is not so easy when she lives with five brothers and sisters!
The One and Only is the first volume in the Maryellen book series. It presents an exciting and sometimes embarrassing view of growing up in Daytona Beach, Florida in the 1950s. Throughout the story, we are introduced to wonderful places like an authentic 50s diner, and fun clothing from the time period, like the popular poodle skirts, and to the unusual challenges of having a traditional Christmas in sunny, beachy Florida.
Maryellen often faces uncomfortable situations such as when she has a red paint mishap as her mother is arriving home with two specials visitors! Then again when she decides to cut her own bangs on the first day of school (that is never a good idea!) And yet again when she gets caught drawing a cartoon of her new fourth grade teacher! Boy, does she get a lot of attention for that!
Maryellen also struggles with being seen as one of the “big kids” in her family of 6 children while dealing with issues of conformity versus individuality at school. Even with all these challenges, Maryellen follows her heart instead of the crowd, and she strives to be true to herself even when it means going against expectations. She is the “One and Only Maryellen”!