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Publisher's Summary

"Olive Barstow was dead. She'd been hit by a car on Monroe Street while riding her bicycle weeks ago. That was about all Martha knew." Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends. But they weren't, and now all that is left are eerie connections between two girls who were in the same grade at school and who both kept the same secret without knowing it.
Now Martha can't stop thinking about Olive. A family summer on Cape Cod should help banish those thoughts; instead, they seep in everywhere.
And this year Martha's routine at her beloved grandmother's beachside house is complicated by the Manning boys. Jimmy, Tate, Todd, Luke, and Leo. But especially Jimmy. What if, what if, what if, what if?
The world can change in a minute.
Olive's Ocean was a 2004 Newbery Medal Honor Book.
©2004 Kevin Henkes (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

Newbery Honor Book, 2004
"With his usual sensitivity and insight, Henkes explores key issues of adolescence." (Publishers Weekly)
"Rich characterizations move this compelling novel to its satisfying and emotionally authentic conclusion." (School Library Journal)
"Like Henkes' Sun and Spoon, this is another lovely, character-driven novel that explores, with rare subtlety and sensitivity, the changes and perplexities that haunt every child's growing-up process....Its quiet art and intelligence will stick with readers, bringing them comfort and reassurance as changes inevitably visit their own growing-up years." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Elizabeth on 02-26-05

Terrific Book!!

An American Library Association Best Book of 2005 and a Newbery winner. I highly recommend this book. It is a wonderful character study of a young girl dealing with the loss of pre-pubescence, lost of a potential friend and the potential loss of a dear family member. A great story full of hope.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Patti on 07-16-13

Too Many Possibilities

Although this book wasn't awful, it wasn't terrific either. The characters are wonderful, very believeable in their realities. She captures teenage moodiness, sibling rivalry and grandmotherly love. I didn't quite like the parenting she put out. But my frustration was that there were several themes, none of which she gave enough attention or detail to. The missed opportunity with Olive is the most central but also the most uneven. The ending accentuated that. The sea water was for naught, the mother having moved was more like a cliff hanger... Come on! I can see someone moving away after a spouse dies, and there is certainly untold trauma after a child dies but why the move?

But also left out there hanging was her entry into liking boys and her discovery of her grandmother having a life of her own. Both of those themes were very pleasant and real but did not get to go far enough. It seems like the author did not or could not keep this story going any longer. He ran out of steam. Maybe because it was an adult man writing about an adolescent girl.

Regardless, overall it was okay. Narration was good, nothing outstanding either positive or negative.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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