Olive's Ocean

Olive's Ocean

by Kevin Henkes


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Sometimes life can change in an instant

Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends, but they weren't. Weeks after a tragic accident, all that is left are eerie connections between the two girls, former classmates who both kept the same secret without knowing it. Now, even while on vacation at the ocean, Martha can't stop thinking about Olive. Things only get more complicated when Martha begins to like Jimmy Manning, a neighbor boy she used to despise. What is going on? Can life for Martha be the same ever again?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060535452
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/26/2005
Series: HarperClassics
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 123,774
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.56(d)
Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Kevin Henkes is an award-winning author and illustrator of many books for children of all ages. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten’s First Full Moon; Caldecott Honors for Waiting and Owen; two Newbery Honors—one for Olive’s Ocean and one for The Year of Billy Miller—and Geisel Honors for Waiting and Penny and Her Marble. His other books include Egg, Old Bear, A Good Day, Chrysanthemum, and the beloved Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Kevin Henkes lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. www.kevinhenkes.com


Madison, Wisconsin

Date of Birth:

November 27, 1960

Place of Birth:

Racine, Wisconsin


University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Olive's Ocean 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
gymnast More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and now it is one of my new favorites! even though you never get to talk to olive, it fells like you know her as much as the main charecter, martha. it is a sweet book and i think it should be made into a movie!
Kayla_V_WV More than 1 year ago
Olive's Ocean is a realistic fiction book. It is written by the author, Kevin Henkes. This book is a great book. I hope you will learn enough so that u will want to read it. Olive's Ocean tells the story of a 13 year old girl named, Martha Boyle. Martha is struggling with the fact that a girl she never really knew but saw at school, was riding her bike when a car hit her and killed her on Monroe Street. The girls name was Olive Barstow. Things really took a turn when Martha and her family went on vacation at the ocean. Then Martha starts to like Jimmy Manning, a neighbor boy she used to despise. Martha starts to get mixed feelings but, the whole time she can't stop thinking about Olive Barstow. While at the beach to visit her aunt and uncle, Martha hangs out at the Manning's house a lot and gets to know Jimmy and Tate Manning. Martha's family is very loving at all times. During these tough and confusing times Martha, gets the time to find her true self. Kevin Henkes does a fantastic job in writing this book. Henkes involves all the characters well. Henkes also does a great job of describing the characters personality. I have and will continue to tell everyone about this book because if anyone is looking for a good book to read they should try Olive's Ocean.
nayeoneunicepark More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I'm 11years old. I think kids in 4th or 5th grade will love it. It really shows how a girl will feel with all going on in her life. Even some of the feelings were same as how i would've felt. Again, i thought this book was great!!!! You must read it!!!i also really hope that we can read this book at school with my friends. it makes you think a lot! A MUST READ IS RIGHT HERE!!!
mhlover More than 1 year ago
this book inspired me in soooooooooooo many ways
Guest More than 1 year ago
Olive's Ocean is written by Kevin Henkes and I rated it three stars. This is a book about a girl named Martha Boyle and she has toubles within her when a girl, named Olive, dies in a car accident while riding her bike. Olive's mother gives Martha a note that Olive had written saying that she wanted to be friends with her. Martha is shocked because she has never talked to this girl Olive. Olive had no friends and never talked much at all. Martha then realizes how many things they had in common. Martha now wishes she got to know Olive more, so that they could have been friends earlier. Included in the letter was also that Olive wishes she could see the ocean one day. Martha and her family then go on their trip to Martha's grandmohter's house down near the sea. While there Martha encounters many things. She wants to become a writer, she has her first kiss, and she becomes closer than ever to her grandmother. Martha in the end of the book ends up liking someone else rather than the boy who kissed her. This book is very like modern familys today as in how brothers and sisters talk to eachother and have conflicts between eachother like Martha has with her brother, Vince. I rated this book three stars because this was a pretty good book. I don't really like this style of writing but I really enjoyed this book. So if you are a person who really likes this style of writing, you should read this book.
anna_love More than 1 year ago
Its a really great book and I can see why Kevin Henkes won the medal-thingie on the front of the book. All the characters are believeable, and you can make them out in your mind (even Olive Barthstrow getting hit by a car) by all the detail. Although, even though the theme is stated right on the backcover, it was kinda hard to figure out the theme of Olive's Ocean. I mean, you can see why they called it this if you read the whole book, but you have to really think, to figure out the theme.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. I had a hard time putting this book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i really liked this book, i thought that the plot was very suspenseful, i definitely recommend this book.
IGB More than 1 year ago
I loved Olive¿s Ocean. I thought it was a very good book. It is one of my favorite books. It is the best book in the world. I would recommend this book to girls who are in middle school. I recommend this to them because I think it is a very appropriate book for people that age. I liked it because it was a very detailed book and it was descriptive witch made it very interesting. Also it kind of had a romantic thing going on in the middleish, end part of the book. It was really good. Also the book was kind of sad because of what happened to Olive. It made me upset when she told, what had happened to Olive. I felt bad for Martha because she was never friends with Olive, but she could not stop thinking about Olive. But still overall it was very go even if it was sad. I think that is what made the book so much better is because; it had so many different things in it. Such as romance, sympathy, and humor. I would defiantly read this book it is amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book lots of nice detail the characters are alsorts of kinds of different ways too describe them
booklover8 More than 1 year ago
i had to choose a book for school, and said why not choose this? i LOVE it! The day i bought it is the day a finished it! i absolutely LOVE the cover and how it feels. i recommend you buy it.
carlottacc More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my grandson to read as an assigned summer reading book. He did not think he was going to like it from the title. He thought it would be about dumb girl stuff. He read it in a very short span of time during the last few weeks of summer vacation and said he really liked it. From what I heard from him, it was a really good book!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good. Also you would love it if you love oceans. This book is a sad book but with a romantic twist at the end. Kevin Henkes really makes you feel like you were there and experiencing it. I would recommend it to everyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There were some funny parts about a baby throwing a fit, but really it wasn't a funny story. It was a ho hum story with a disappointing ending. Some girls may identify with Martha's negative first kiss experience, but I don't think sludging through the rest of the book is worth the time. Thank goodness it was a short book. Now I can move on to something more interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how there all so many questions to ask and you have answers for all of them! I just love how Tate came out to Martha about his feelings, but what Jimmy did wasn’t that cool to me. That was selfish, it’s like your tricking someone to falling in love with you but don’t like them at all and your brother is saying his real feelings for her. I love this wonderful book! I hope you make more just like this but not exactly like the same thing with the same idea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am the medicine cat and am looking for an apprentice.
leepam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!! It was so touching. I loved the description of the smells of Godbee¿s house as she was leaving to go home. I can remember how much I loved the way my grandmother¿s house smelled. Each time I would leave her house, I would walk through and breathe in deep so that I wouldn¿t lose the smell. Although I really enjoyed this book, I would not read it to my students because of some of the language that Vince used. Olive¿s Ocean is about a twelve year old girl, Martha, whose life is touched by a girl that she barely knew. Olive, a classmate of Martha, had died a couple weeks before; she had been hit by a car while riding her bicycle. As the story begins, Olive¿s mother brings an entry of her daughter¿s journal to Martha. The entry states some of her dreams and mentions that she wants to be friends with Martha because she was so nice to her. Martha feels very guilty because she barely even spoke to Olive. As Martha is packing to go on vacation to see her grandmother, Godbee, she cannot stop thinking about Olive. When the Boyle family gets to Godbee¿s house, Vince, her older brother, runs off to his friends¿ house (The Mannings), so Martha is able to spend time with her grandmother. They agree to share one secret that no one else knows to each other each day they are there. While on vacation, Martha starts to like Jimmy Manning and she gets her first kiss. She is so excited until she learns that she was just part of a bet; she is heartbroken and embarrassed. Tate, Jimmy¿s younger brother who really does like Martha, understands her humiliation and steals Jimmy¿s video tape that he recorded the kiss on and gives it to her so that she can destroy it. While she is on vacation, Martha learns many things about herself and her grandmother and begins to develop a deeper understanding for her family. One of the things that Olive said in her journal entry that she wanted to do one day was go to the ocean. While on vacation, Martha puts ocean water in a baby jar and brings the ocean home to Olive¿s mother. When she gets home from vacation she learns that Olive¿s mother has moved. Martha takes the water and writes Olive¿s name on the front steps of her house where she always sat and wrote before she died. Martha finally forgave herself for not being a friend to Olive and finally learns how lucky she is to have her family.
yorkie1887 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A heart touching novel about life.
Ctorm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5Q 5PA beautiful and poetic story of a 12 year old grappling with the death of a schoolmate during a summer at her grandmothers seaside home. Short paragraphs and lovely bursts of introspective musings will captivate readers, especially those who appreciate strong characters.
ginarentz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I haven't read a book this fast in years! This is the kind of book that creates "young magic" that we all have had at some point in our lives. The author of this book Kevin Henkes, surely has retained that magical imagination that is found in Olive's Ocean via Martha Boyle and her family summer vacation at Godbeys coastal home. I enjoy reading again!
RaKr625 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this story because Olive is very smart and down to earth. It's a coming of age book that can relate to girls everywhere.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Olive's Ocean is a 2004 Newbery Honor award winning book.While many of the Newbery Medal and Honor books are insightful, this one zipped right on past, leaving me with a hollow feeling. The story is somewhat typical of a YA book wherein the main character has a coming of age experience that changes them, however, the characters in this book seem one dimensional and limp like.Martha is 12 years old when she learns that her classmate Olive died in a bike accident leaving behind a journal wherein she mentions that while other classmates paid no attention to her, Martha was kind.Martha and her family vacation at the cottage of her grandmother in New England. During this particular vacation, Martha is drawn to a young man who in turn leads her on and embarrasses her.Martha has a wonderful relationship with her grandmother and as they spend time together, the beauty of the elder teaching the younger is a theme of the story.All the events listed above were portrayed in a cookie-cutter fashion wherein the events are noted, stamped out and then moved along -- no sugar on the cookies, no fancy shape-- just the process of robotically going through the motion of doing a job.Not recommended.
NicolesBubble on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Olive¿s Ocean is about a girl named Martha that visits her grandma, Godbee in California. Right before Martha lives home she got a letter in the mail from a fellow school mate Olive's mother telling her that Olive has died. Martha didn't really even know Olive. During her summer at Godbee, Martha learns so much more than she could have ever imagined. Martha soon develops a crush on one of neighbor boys while at her grandmother¿s. Martha get revenge on a crush and before Martha leaves she gets a bottle and fills it with the ocean to give to Olive's mom. It said in the letter that Olive's mother had given her that she had always wanted to go to the ocean. This would be "Olives Ocean." This story was great because it made me feel like I was watching a movie. I was able to imagine every scene and it brought many emotions to mind. I never thought that I would enjoy a story like this, but as I began to read I couldn¿t stop. This is a great story to have a discussion session over.This is a story that could help younger girls deal with appreciation, crushing on boys and learning something new about growing up.
Sandra305 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a bittersweet novel with very real characters. I particularly loved Martha's relationship with her grandmother, but I thought all the characters and their relationships were very realistic. There are way too many "Olives" in the world and hopefully young readers will respond with more sensitivity to the "outsiders" in their own social milieu after reading this book. The book could facilitate some great classroom discussions in several areas and on several levels.
BiZMamma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to this book on my ipod, and I chose it because (a) I had wanted to read it before, and (b) I have enjoyed this narrator's work before (Blair Brown). The story begins when 12 year old Martha learns that a classmate (Olive) has been killed while riding her bicycle. Olive appeared to have very few good friends, although Martha seemed to be unsure why. She spoke with Olive occasionally in school, but is surprised when Olive's mother brings Martha some of Olive's writing. Martha's family spends the summer at her grandmother's house on the beach in New England, where Martha continues to wonder about Olive as well as her own destiny. I thought the story was well-written (and narrated), but it is not an on-the-edge-of-your-seat page-turner by any means.