Olive's Ocean 2004 Honor Book ***

Martha spends her summer vacation visiting her grandmother just after the death of a school mate she hardly knew, Olive. Just before the vacation Olive's mother drops off a page from her journal where she mentions Martha and her wish to see the ocean. As Martha spends her summer pondering death and life she decides to try to help Olive fulfill her wish.

As soon as I heard one of the first sentences, "Olive Bristow was dead." I thought "Oh boy, another book about death and despair, a popular theme for this decade." Thankfully I was wrong. It is a sweet coming of age story about 12-year-old Martha. The writing is beautiful and very descriptive. While she doesn't waste her time describing outfits and hair color, I feel that I can picture each character in my mind. I listened to this story on CD read by Blair Brown who did a wonderful job. Definitely a good read for children ages 12 and up.

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