Common Sense Media says

Gentle, moving coming-of-age story.

Users say

(out of 28 reviews)
age 11+
Review this title!
Parent of a 10, 11, and 11 year old Written bybookchick September 11, 2009
I must totally disagree w/ the parent review above. Although Olive's Ocean does have some mild curse words, and one suggestive line, it is the other 99.9% of the book that I choose to focus on. It portrays an average 12-yr old coming to terms w/ growing up, love and mortality. The messages are positive and heartfelt. Anyone focusing on anything else it totally missing the message and point of this entire piece of literature. Hyper sensitive reviewing is what gives the entire reviewing process a bad name and very hard to really know the nature of a story. Please leave the genuine BAD reviews to the violent, graphic, depressing, dark, disturbing and sexual stories that *truly* deserve them. Parents - Olive's Ocean is a wonderful story for your children - age 10 and up will be able to appreciate and understand.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 5, 7, 9, 14, and 18+ year old Written byjoshie11832001 March 3, 2009

watch out!

Olive's ocean is a well written book and it certainllly will make you stop and realize that life isn't just about you. But, this book has a multitude of curse words, sexual references, and constant disrespect for parents. Even though the book may have a good message, it is so tainted with profanity and disrespect for autority that I would not recommend it especially younger more impressionable grades. Signed, concerned teacher and mother.
Adult Written byVampriccat August 27, 2009

Great

I really enjoyed this book, but the downside for young children is that there are bad role models and bad language.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written bydana m. April 9, 2008

A powerful, emotional masterpiece

When I picked up this book at the bookstore, I intended to read the first couple of pages to see if I wanted to get it. I couldn't stop. I finished it right then and there. And still, I am haunted by the emotional power that Kevin Henkes (author) displays in his writing. Many books these days are about abnormal children. This books was not. Martha (main character) is totally, completely normal and I liked that. I would suggest this book to any preteen or teen that is ready for an emotional whollop and powerful, beautiful read.
Kid, 12 years old March 24, 2010
I read the book in 7th grade and it is a very interesting book. It deals with things we are going through as young teens. Martha is like any other 12 year old girl who goes through the same things we do: relationships, family hatred, friendships, betrayal, and love. I recommend this to any person who is going trough any of these difficulties.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bywondergal November 16, 2008

Missing something, but it was good anyway.

It was a really good book and i liked it a lot. Even so, i felt like i wanted to know more about Olive and more on the relationship between Tate and Martha. It was kinda sad in many ways (olive's death, martha wasnt friends with olive, martha wastes her fist kiss, martha was used, she left before tate and her could have a relationship, she didnt give olive's mom the water...) well. yah. BUT HEY IT WAS A GOOD BOOK ANYWAY!
Teen, 15 years old Written bybig booty girl May 3, 2011
i like it . Its a very intresting story nothing bad really
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 9, 10, and 12 year old Written bydbatura July 5, 2010
Teen, 15 years old Written byallimarie94 April 29, 2010

perfect for kids starting junior high

i loved it...im a freshman and i had to pick a book at our school library...i thought "okay cool title ill get it i guess." after i read it though it was the best...deffinately not what i thought it would be...it was soo much better. i am so greatful that my teacher had me pick out a book to read
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byanbamber June 11, 2009
Kid, 11 years old April 28, 2009

It is a great book

I forgot my book in my class so I was finding a review online.
Teen, 17 years old Written byTouchingSweetly October 28, 2011

Love,& Death

It touches those hearts whose lost someone and give a clue on how the healing process worked for Martha
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old March 8, 2011

very chill book

I loved this book. The plot is easy to follow, and the characters are written in a way that you can relate to one, if not all, of them. This novel gives a positive message about a girl who was always nice to another (late) girl in her class, and that it made her day. It's very important for us to take in account this novel, and think, maybe just maybe, if we exchange a smile or some kind words, we might make someone else's day... maybe even their life. The strongest word this book uses is the S word. There's not a lot of romance, and what is there isn't overwhelming. Overall, a great read for people of all ages! (:
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byharrypottergirl February 7, 2011
I loved this book. I also think that the sex is not as big an issue as they make it seem. Martha's older brother just mentioned once that her parents had sex earlier.And the kiss is not described.
What other families should know
Great role models
Adult Written byTlore January 30, 2011

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.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Educational value
Adult Written byms0504 October 12, 2009

Issues kids can relate to

As a teacher, I love that there are issues throughout the book. Whether we like it or not, children deal with many issues. We can't take a book and say it isn't suitable. Children hear and see a lot more than you may think. Books like this allow them to think about issues and learn from the characters. The main character is a great role model.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byalissa_morgan February 23, 2009

A must read for 5th grade and up!

Well written, the more you read the harder it is to put it back down. Very heartwarming and eye-opening. Life, Death, Romance, and life changing experiences all take place in this one book.
Kid, 12 years old September 20, 2011

A wonderful must read book.

Well I think this book is a good book. I'm 12 and I read this book for a book project in school and in the book they barley mention sex or kissing, It all happens in one sentence. There is no violence in this book and there are many good messages in this book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byTeen_Reviewer October 6, 2010

Perfect for Tweens and up

I absolutely love this book! The content is wonderful and I feel there are lessons that can be learned from this book.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old April 26, 2013

Really Good Book

It was really good. There was one part in the book that got on my nerves, but it ended quickly, and some people might like it. The book was really good, though! I finished it in two days!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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