Saturday, October 2, 2010

Olive's Ocean
by Kevin Henkes

Olive's Ocean
Kevin Henkes
Grades 5-8

The story begins with 12 years old Martha preparing to leave on a family vacation to visit her grandmother, Godbee. The day before they are to leave she is given a page from a journal from a mother of one of her classmates who had died by getting hit by a car. After reading the journal page Martha is amazed at the similarities between the two girls. From that point on her summer is destined to change. Her family goes to the beach to visit with her grandmother but she cannot forget Olive. While at Godbee's, she begins to change through explorations of her thoughts and feelings, her expanding relationship with her grandmother and through circumstances revolving around boys and a near drowning accident.

This is a thought provoking novel. It makes you question how you treat others and whether or not you should examine relationships in your life and give others who you may have written off as “weird” another chance to get to know them. It may be slow going for some because it could come off as too complex of a novel or not a "fun" read. I think if they can stick with the book, it could be well worth the effort. We did this book for Novel Thoughts and it received mixed reactions. Some of the girls liked it but it did not sit well with the boys. Overall, I think the writing was well done and the story was compelling enough to make me want to finish the book.

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