Post by Mark T. Locker.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Happy Monday! Some people are all a-twitter about the upcoming Superbowl game; others are talking about the Grammys. And then there are those who have been awaiting the REAL big news. I’m talking (as if you don’t know) about the ALA Midwinter Conference, at which all the literary awards are announced: Newbery, Printz, Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, and many others. Nothing quite as vindicating as having read a book just before it is awarded a medal. That proves real youth librarian stuff. Well, I’m not really a youth librarian and the book I just read didn’t win, HOWEVER I have just learned that Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell just won a Printz Honor! Yayyyy!
The place: Omaha, Nebraska. The time: 1986. Eleanor is the new kids. She’s fat, poor, has vibrant red hair and pale skin. She would love to be invisible but instead she is highly visible. Park is the only Asian kid in school, half Korean. He’s just cool enough to be left alone. And despite whatever damage may be done to his standing, he is the only one who makes space for Eleanor to sit down on the bus. So it begins.
Told in alternating voices of the two main characters, we watch the awkward, emotional and painful blossoming of a relationship. Built initially on interest in comics and all the alt bands of the 80s, Joy Division, The Smiths, U2, it’s a sweet and upsetting and funny novel for teens. The audio version is fun as it has two narrators, one for each point of view. Definitely worth a read/listen.