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This article is about the BeForever version. For the 2019 abridged version, see Maryellen: The One and Only.

The One and Only: A Maryellen Classic Volume 1 is the unabridged first volume of Maryellen's series. It was included with the Maryellen doll when purchased and could be purchased separately until the release of Maryellen: The One and Only.



Only in The One and Only[]

Chapter by Chapter Summary[]

Chapters One-Four can be seen as the equivalent of a meet book or "Book One."
Setting: Daytona Beach, Summer 1954

Chapter One: The Room Switcheroo[]

Maryellen and her dog, Scooter, walk down a hot sidewalk on a sunny summer day to mail a letter to her grandparents. She likes to imagine herself in her favorite TV shows, so she pretends she's in an episode of The Lone Ranger and Scooter is her horse, Thunderbolt. She pretends to push through a blizzard to deliver medicine so people don't die. Maryellen never gave herself superpowers in these stories. She always looked just like herself, except everyone paid attention to her and her good ideas. As she puts the letter in the mailbox, she imagines that a doctor in the Old West has thanked her for delivering medicine. She graciously accepts his praise and then calls her "horse" to turn around and return. Scooter is elderly and has just sat down in the mailbox's shade, but he pulls himself up with a sigh and waddles after Maryellen as she returns home.

Then Maryellen hears her nickname, Ellie; her friend and next-door neighbor, Davy, has called to her. She says, "Howdy, pardner," and Davy challenges her to a race to the swing in her backyard. They run to the swing while Scooter walks behind them, and Maryellen wins. She tells Davy that he can be the Lone Ranger stuck in quicksand and she has to jump down to save him. Davy agrees. They both know that cowboys didn't usually use swings on TV, but the swing Mr. Larkin put up was so much fun that they usually incorporate it into their stories anyway. Maryellen jumps off and calls to "Thunderbolt" to help her save the Lone Ranger, but Scooter is asleep and snoring in a patch of shade. Before she can wake him up, Maryellen's six-year-old sister, Beverly, comes out of the house. She is wearing Mrs. Larkin's old high heels and one of Mr. Larkin's baseball caps turned inside out so the cap sticks up like a crown. She also wears a pop-bead bracelet on each arm and three pop-bead necklaces. Tom, who is four years old, and Mikey, who is almost two, come out of the house behind her. Beverly asks what Maryellen is doing, and Maryellen says "nothing," hoping it will make her siblings go away. All four of them shared a bedroom, and even though they could be sweet and goofy, they also annoyed Maryellen. One time the boys got into her I Love Lucy paper dolls while she was at school and dropped Lucy's clothes all over the room. Lucy's head hasn't been able to stand up since. Now that it's summer, Maryellen can't escape the younger kids at all; they always want to participate in her fun.

All three kids say they want to play with Maryellen and Davy. The two older kids exchange a glance, and then Maryellen suggests the younger ones are in the quicksand with the Lone Ranger and she can save them all. Beverly insists Maryellen pretend she's a queen. This is her favorite and only game, and Mr. Larkin even calls her "Queen Beverly." Davy and Maryellen inform her that there's no queen in the Wild West shows, and Maryellen is about to give in when Mrs. Larkin calls Maryellen inside. At first she's excited because her mother specifically needed her, but that excitement is dashed when her mother calls in the other kids as well. She wishes that her mother saw Maryellen as a separate, independent person from her siblings, like her older sisters.

Maryellen internally grumbles about how she doesn't want to be seen as a "little kid" and would love to share a bedroom with her older sisters, Joan and Carolyn. As she's thinking this, Mrs. Larkin pulls Mikey onto her hip and takes Tom's hand while the others follow her in- Scooter included. They are gathering for a family meeting, which is not exciting to Maryellen; she could hardly get a word in at these meetings. She sighs and says goodbye to Davy, who will wait outside for the meeting to end, and she chooses to sit on the bench in the breakfast nook next to her oldest sister, Joan, who is 17. Joan glances at Maryellen's grass-stained shorts and shuffles closer to Carolyn, who is 14. As crowded as the bench is, Maryellen wants to sit here so her mother will start to associate her with the two older girls.

Mr. Larkin left on a three-day business trip that morning, and the meeting is not off to a good start. Mom and Carolyn are already talking fast, Tom is pushing around a toy fire truck and making siren noises, and Mikey is yodeling and banging a spoon on his high chair. Mrs. Larkin exchanges Mikey's spoon for a piece of toast and gets her kids' attention. She announces that her friends Betty and Florence are coming to spend the night. She explains that the two women live in New York City now, but they used to work together at the aircraft factory during World War Two. There's a reunion luncheon at the factory tomorrow. Maryellen's thoughts immediately turn to New York City, but Joan is more practical, and she asks where the guests will sleep. Maryellen tries to speak up and says she has an idea, but no one hears her. She goes over to her mom and pulls on Mrs. Larkin's sleeve, but her mother just pats her hand and smiles. Maryellen then grabs Mikey's spoon and bangs it on the table like a judge's gavel to get her family's attention. Unfortunately, this only makes Mrs. Larkin tell her to be quiet and stop acting childish like Mikey. This embarrasses Maryellen, but she pushes forward and says she has an idea. Joan teases her that she'll suggest the guests sleep in hammocks outside like in Maryellen and Davy's Tarzan games.

Maryellen dismisses this and proposes that Betty and Florence should sleep in the bunk beds in Joan and Carolyn's small bedroom. Joan and Carolyn will sleep in Maryellen's current room on Tom and Mikey's bunk beds, and the boys will sleep on the floor in their parents' room. Mrs. Larkin agrees that this is an excellent idea, though Maryellen wishes her mom didn't sound so surprised that Maryellen could think of a good idea. She pushes on and suggests that after her mother's friends leave, the siblings should make new permanent room arrangements. Tom and Mikey should share the small bedroom, and Maryellen's room should become the "All Girls Room." She is sure that staying with her older sisters will change the way her family thinks of her. The suggestion leads to an outburst of talking, with Maryellen suggesting they decorate the walls with movie stars and Joan expressing concern about sharing one closet. However, Mrs. Larkin intervenes and says they will do one thing at a time; the family will change rooms for their guests tonight and then go from there.

As the meeting is adjourned and the younger kids go to watch cartoons, Joan stops Maryellen and the other women to say she's not a fan of a permanent room swap. Maryellen lets Scooter sleep on her bed, and Joan points out that he drools, sheds, snores, and has bad breath. Maryellen sighs and wishes her father were home to defend Scooter with her, but she knows Joan has a point. Carolyn gently suggests Scooter could sleep in the living room, and Maryellen agrees. Joan says there's another problem, which makes Maryellen roll her eyes. However, Joan points out that Maryellen is sloppy. Maryellen knows she's currently dirty because she is wearing a faded, stained t-shirt that was a hand-me-down from Carolyn. Joan comments that Maryellen will have to stop running around like a tomboy with Davy anyway because she won't be able to stay friends with a boy in fourth grade. However, it's not just Maryellen's appearance that causes a problem; according to Joan, Maryellen is disorganized and creates "disaster areas" such as when she stepped in a popcorn bowl and when she flooded the bathroom. Carolyn sticks up for Maryellen, but Joan says it's not fair that she should have to share a room with a "messy little kid." This description horrifies Maryellen, and she is determined to change how her family sees her. Mrs. Larkin then proposes that the All Girls Room tonight is a test run and they will consider a permanent swap after seeing how Maryellen does. As the family starts to prepare for the guests that evening, Mrs. Larkin suggests that Maryellen begin a "Cleanup Campaign," for her own room. Maryellen darts outside to inform Davy that she can't play anymore because she has to clean up. She explains the situation, and Davy cheers her up as usual. She feels it will be easy to not make a mess.

Chapter Two: Another Great Idea[]

When her mother asks her to clean her room, Maryellen usually picks it up haphazardly. However, today she is careful and neat as she puts her clothes away in her drawers, puts her shoes in the closet, and makes her bed. She also likes to draw, so she sketches Joan and Carolyn and writes "welcome." She tapes the drawing to the mirror and dusts the bureau. She tries to impress her mother with her work, and Mrs. Larkin answers approvingly if absentmindedly. She is distracted as she is busy standing on the bottom bunk bed, tucking a sheet under the mattress on the top bunk bed. Maryellen looks around and finds more to tidy up to impress her mother, including Tom's trucks and Mikey's blocks. Joan arrives with her tennis dress, bobby pins, cold cream, and books and magazines. Carolyn arrives with clothes, rock 'n' roll records, and a portable record player.

Chapter Three: Extraordinary, Not Extra Ordinary[]

Chapter Four: In the Pink[]

Chapters Five-Nine can be seen as the equivalent of "Book Two."
Setting: Daytona Beach, Late Summer/Early-to-Mid Fall 1954

Chapter Five: Being Noticed[]

Chapter Six: Unique[]

Chapter Seven: Tickled Pink[]

Chapter Eight: The Lunch Bunch[]

Chapter Nine: Maryellen's Cold War[]

Chapters Ten-Thirteen can be seen as the equivalent of "Book Three."
Setting: Daytona Beach, Winter 1954

Chapter Ten: Christmas Is on Its Way, Hurray![]

Chapter Eleven: Four Wishes Rolled into One[]

Chapter Twelve: All Aboard[]

Chapter Thirteen: The Skaters' Waltz[]

Inside Maryellen's World[]

Discusses life in America during the 1950s. Topics covered:

  • The exuberant growth Americans experienced during the 1950s, with the economy booming, the birth rate increasing, and jobs being plentiful as industries switched from making wartime products to goods for families.
  • Popular television programs families enjoyed watching together, such as I Love Lucy, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Lone Ranger.
  • The power newscasters and advertisers had to shape the public's view of life, as most people watched the same newscast, programs, and advertisements due to the lack of channels available.
  • Ways TV depicted life inaccurately, such as portraying women as housewives and having almost everyone on TV be white.
  • Advertisers and manufacturers got Americans to buy more new goods by encouraging consumers to buy cars, furniture, and appliances that were as nice as their neighbors'.
  • The Cold War, which was caused by political tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, as both countries were deeply suspicious of each other and had a hostile relationship.
  • People suspected for having friendly feelings toward the Soviet Union might be blacklisted, resulting in losing their jobs and being questioned by the government.
  • How middle class children of the era lived comfortable lives, as they had more opportunities for education and entertainment than any previous generation of children.
  • How TV not only encouraged conformity, but also broadened people's views by showing how other people lived and bringing the whole world right into viewers' living rooms.

Items Associated with The One and Only[]


  • This book was also sold in Spanish as Especial y única: Un clásico de Maryellen.
  • Unlike other characters released either during or after BeForever, Maryellen's first volume can be divided into the six-book format; Volume One is similar to the first three books. This may be due to the series being in development prior to the BeForever redesign.

See Also[]