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Parents' Guide to

Olive's Ocean

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Gentle, moving coming-of-age story.

Olive's Ocean Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 11+

Nothing Out of the Ordinary in Olive's Ocean

I read the book for an assignment in college, and because it was listed on the banned books list, I thought it was going to be worse than what it was. The book had mild language issues, and one scene where sex is openly mentioned, but otherwise nothing that I would consider to be anywhere near inappropriate for young minds who are looking for ways of expressing themselves. In fact, I wish I would have read this book as a child because I believe it would have accelerated my thoughts of becoming a writer and made it seem like a more attainable goal in my mind. With these facts in mind, I would have no problem using this book in my curriculum or having it in my classroom library if I were a teacher. It was well written and had a positive message, I recommend it.
age 11+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (14 ):

In addition to his picture books, Kevin Henkes is the author of moving little character studies like this one, in which not much happens, except in the hearts of the characters, and the readers. It is the kind of novel much beloved by librarians, who tend to give them awards, and a certain kind of child, one who is an avid reader and loves stepping into someone else's heart and mind for a while.

Here Henkes is dealing with that moment of change, often painful, when family is not the safe haven it once was, the outer world seems less than welcoming, and mortality is all too evident. He captures it with great delicacy in a novel that will appeal to those experienced readers who are not looking for a uniform diet of fantasy and adventure.

Book Details

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