Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes

November 2, 2010

“The world can change in a minute, and at the same minute remain unchanged.” For Martha Boyle this summer is full of changes.
The First Change:
It began with a knock on the door, and women handing Martha a piece of paper. On it were words written by a dead girl. A girl Martha had not known well. Olive had been in Martha’s class but had died weeks earlier—hit by a car while riding her bike. The paper handed to Martha was one torn from Olive’s journal and on it Olive had written the following words
“I hope that I get to know Martha Boyle next year (or this summer). I hope that we can be friends. That is my biggest hope. She is the nicest person in my whole entire class.”
When Martha read those words everything began to change. Martha didn’t understand what she had ever said or done to make Olive think she was “the nicest person in the whole entire class.” And Martha couldn’t get over the fact that she an Olive had had so many things in common—things she never even knew. What, Olive wondered, could all this mean? The more she mulled over the coincides the more startling they became. Olive, and the coincidences that their lives shared, would haunt Martha all summer.

The Second Change
Her beloved Grandmother, Godbe, whom she visits every year at the ocean is getting older. In fact, Martha fears she may be dying.

The Third Change
Jimmy Manning. The same age as her brother—a year older than her, Jimmy suddenly seems less annoying…and, a lot more, well, cute…

The Fourth Change
Read from page 163…

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