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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

15 September 2015

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is a beautiful book of friendship and love - the winner of the YA Printz award for best book and as good at the previous winner Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

It is 1986 in Omaha, Nebraska when Park sees the new girl get on the school bus for the first time. Since the school year already started, everyone else on the bus has already claimed the seat they wanted. And no one wants to share with a new kid - especially one who is dressed oddly. After a moment's hesitation, Park slides over and shares his seat with her. But he doesn't look at her or talk to her. He just didn't want her to make it to the back of the bus to the bullies.

Eleanor just moved back in with her family. Her mom's boyfriend (now husband) kicked her out a year ago. She went to her mom's friend's house to stay for a few days - and stayed a year. She has not seen her four siblings in all that time.

Eleanor doesn't know why the Asian kid moved over for her and then ignored her. But she didn't try to talk to him either. During her first day of school, she notices that he is in a few of her classes.

After a few days sharing a seat on the bus, Park notices that Eleanor is reading his comics while he does. A couple of days later, he brings her one to borrow.

So slowly begins a friendship between Park and Eleanor, one that grows into first love in this amazing novel. Rowell has created great characters in this must read story.

Rowell, Rainbow. (2013). Eleanor and Park. New York: St. Martin's Press.

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