Novel: Eleanor & Park


Bibliographical Information:

Title- Eleanor & Park

Author- Rainbow Rowell

ISBN- 1250012570

Publisher- St. Martin’s Press

Copyright- 2013

Genre(s): YA, Romance, Contemporary

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Two misfits, Eleanor & Park, find solace in each other at their high school in 1980’s Omaha.

Plot Summary:

Park is half-asian and begins by letting us know that he has lost someone. He feels like an outsider, in his very white town of Omaha. He sees Eleanor, who has bright red hair and dresses in men’s clothing. He offers her a spot on the bus, and they silently sit next to each other for weeks. Eleanor is poor, and has an abusive step-dad and Park feels like an outsider at school and in his own home with his sports obsessed dad. Eleanor and Park begin to hang out more and more and eventually fall for each other. Eleanor grows fearful of her step-dad and decides to leave. Park decides to drive her to Minnesota, where she does not contact him for 6 months. The book ends with her sending him a postcard.

Critical Evaluation:

Rainbow Rowell writes with an incredibly realistic voice, and allows her readers to connect very well with her characters. I really liked the relationship between Park and Eleanor. I did not always like the decisions that Eleanor makes within the book, but that just shows we have different personalities. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I think teens will too.

Author Bio/Information:

“Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.
When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.
She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons” (“Rainbow Rowell”, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

How does Eleanor’s Mom’s relationship effect her relationship with Park?

Challenging Issues:

I would say the only issue that might come up is Eleanor’s step-dad and his abuse, but I will explain to parents that it is a realistic portrayal of some teen’s home lives and can benefit them by allowing them to see that they are not alone.


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