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Olive's Ocean
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About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the award-winning creator of many books for children, including the Caldecott Medal Book Kitten's First Full Moon, the Caldecott and Geisel Honor Book Waiting, the Newbery Honor Books The Year of Billy Miller and Olive's Ocean, and several bestselling books about mice, including Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Chrysanthemum. www.kevinhenkes.com

Reviews

"The ever versatile Kevin Henkes dazzles with this spare yet profoundly touching coming-of-age novel." -- Family Fun Magazine "An eloquent journey into adolescence." -- Florida Times-Union "Few girls will fail to recognize themselves in Martha." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Martha Boyle is one of the memorable 12-year-old girls of fiction, smart, confused, compassionate." -- KLIATT (starred review) "With his usual sensitivity and insight, Henkes explores key issues of adolescence." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Lyrically written." -- Seattle Times "Rich characterizations move this compelling novel to its satisfying and emotionally authentic conclusion." -- School Library Journal (starred review) "Henkes's story is subtle and satisfyingly untidy. Grabs you right from the start." -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "With beautifully defined characters, events, and emotions that will tug at your heart, this novel is flawless." -- Daily Item

With his usual sensitivity and insight, Henkes (The Birthday Room) explores key issues of adolescence, through the observations of aspiring 12-year-old writer Martha Boyle. In the opening scene on an August morning in Madison, Wis., Martha receives a visitor: the mother of her classmate Olive Barstow, who was hit by a car the month before. The woman hands Martha a journal entry, in which Olive describes her own wish to be a writer-and to "get to know Martha Boyle next year... the nicest person in my whole entire class." Since Olive kept to herself, these revelations forge an unexpected bond between Martha and this classmate she never knew. The other hope Olive confides in the entry is that she could "one day... go to a real ocean such as the Atlantic or Pacific." Martha begins an unwitting pilgrimage of sorts: she strolls with her toddler sister to the corner where Olive died and, when she goes to visit her grandmother, Godbee, on Cape Cod, Martha experiences the ocean for Olive and for herself. In brief chapters, Henkes reveals Martha's discovery of life's fleeting qualities, her deepening bond with Godbee, and her first stirrings of romantic feeling and betrayal. Readers can peer through this brief window into Martha's life and witness a maturation, as she becomes a young woman, appreciates life anew and finds a way to give something back to Olive. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"The ever versatile Kevin Henkes dazzles with this spare yet profoundly touching coming-of-age novel." -- Family Fun Magazine "An eloquent journey into adolescence." -- Florida Times-Union "Few girls will fail to recognize themselves in Martha." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Martha Boyle is one of the memorable 12-year-old girls of fiction, smart, confused, compassionate." -- KLIATT (starred review) "With his usual sensitivity and insight, Henkes explores key issues of adolescence." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Lyrically written." -- Seattle Times "Rich characterizations move this compelling novel to its satisfying and emotionally authentic conclusion." -- School Library Journal (starred review) "Henkes's story is subtle and satisfyingly untidy. Grabs you right from the start." -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "With beautifully defined characters, events, and emotions that will tug at your heart, this novel is flawless." -- Daily Item

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