Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes

I love Kevin Henkes's picture books and I loved this novel! Not surprisingly it won a Newbery Honor a few years ago and it was quite an impressive from an author best known for Lily Purple Plastic Purse! This was also one of my choices for the Triple 8 Challenge.

Martha and her family are preparing to go on their yearly summer beach vacation to her grandmother's house, when the mother of a deceased classmate shows up at Martha's door. Olive passed away several months ago after being struck by a car and though Martha felt terrible, she barely knew Olive. The girl's mother hands Martha a page out of Olive's diary, professing Olive's want of being friends with Martha. This turns Martha's summer upside down, leading her to realize that if Olive can die, so can anyone.

Martha's summer consists of making sure her grandmother is not dying and getting the attention of Jimmy, one of the brothers from the beach that her family has known for years. Jimmy helps Martha keep her mind off dying, until he takes advantage of her crush on him and turns what should be a great moment in Martha's young life into one of the most humiliating experiences she has ever faced. Martha then proceeds to almost drown, which really solidifies her thoughts that anyone can die at any moment and it looks like her entire summer will be completely ruined until her grandmother, and a boy named Tate turn everything from rotten, to perfect.
This was a very enjoyable novel, one that I believe any 12 year old girl could relate to and love. I hope Kevin Henkes continues writing novels! Another challenge book down!

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Hi Amanda-
My young 11 year old wants to read this book. Both the cover and you are vague in one aspect- how does the young man in the story take advantage of the girls crush- I dont think she is ready for adult like themes and would like to know if this will be over her head or inappropriete. Thank you
Heidi