Eleanor and Park

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Eleanor and Park

Eleanor returns home from another family's house that her mother had left her at for six months. On her first day at a new high school, Eleanor cannot find a seat on the bus and this Asian boy Park angrily tells her to sit down next to him. Throughout her first months at this school, Eleanor is disliked and teased by the other teenagers. She does not have a loving family or many friends, except for the friendly, small relationship between her and Park. By Christmas, Eleanor and Park have a romantic relationship and enjoy seeing each other more than just the bus. Unfortunately, her mother and step-father do not want her to have a romantic relationship with a boy, so Eleanor has to be more reserved with her visits with Park and lie to her parents. She thinks she has been secret enough with her relationship with Park to not have her parents know. However, Eleanor is wrong and eventually Richie (her Step-father) finds out what she’s been up to. Extremely frightened, Eleanor plans to run away, and go live with her Aunt and Uncle in St. Paul Minnesota. The book ends as Park drives Eleanor to Minnesota, and knows he will never see her again.


At first, when I chose this book I was not sure I would like it. By the end of it, I thought that it was one of the best teen genre books I have ever read. Even though I don’t read many books, out of all the ones I have read, this was definitely the best. This book made me feel a variety of emotions and kept my mood balanced, meaning I never felt constantly depressed or extremely happy. I think because of the book’s balanced mood, I enjoyed every chapter of this book. Also, the book involved dialogue and the characters thoughts, which made me more interested in the book and want to keep reading until the end. To top the book off, the author included small bits of humor and all of them were very amusing.

Main Characters

Multimedia Book Reivew

Year of Publication2013

Rainbow Rowell

The 1980s in a middle to low class neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska. The neighborhood has been around for many generations.


Eleanor DouglasGender: FemaleAge: 16Grade: 11thInterests: Listening to music of the 1980’s, reading books, and reading comics.Talents: She is very intelligent in English. She is also an exceptional reader and poetry writer.Bad Qualities: She is not that polite or cordial and is more often quiet and sarcastic. She dresses like a shabby man. She is rather dirty.Friends: Eleanor has no one except Park, Beebi, and Denice.

Park SheridanGender: MaleAge: 16Grade: 11thInterests: Listening to music of the 1980’s, doing martial arts, and reading comic books.Talents: Martial ArtsBad Qualities: Weaker than his father and brother. Has a quiet personality.Friends: Eleanor, and Cal. Also, he is sort of pals with Steve and Tina.

DescriptionEleanor Douglas acts like a normal teen, but her looks and home life are very out of the ordinary. Eleanor has very bright and curly red hair, and dresses very shabby and boyish since her family is poor. She lives with her family of 4 siblings, her mother, her step-father, and this shabby cat. Her siblings names are Ben, Maisy, Mouse, and Little Richey; her mother’s name is Sabrina and her step-father’s name is Richie. The family lives together in this small, old, dirty house near the elementary school that her siblings attend and in the same neighborhood in which Park’s family lives. In her lower class home, Eleanor does not receive the love and caring most parents give. In fact, Richie is down right abusive and controls the family to the point where the entire family is more like his prisoners.

DescriptionPark Sheridan is more like the average teen than Eleanor, but even he his still perceived by his peers as different. Park is half Asian, he likes to wear all black, and put on eye liner. Being half-Asian and dressing in a style that is not common for the 1980’s, Park sort of stands out. Park also has a quiet and independent personality, therefore he does not hang out with many friends or social groups. As far as his home life, Park’s family is the normal loving and supportive family. He lives in the same neighborhood as Eleanor, but his house is more middle class. In his home he lives with his younger brother Josh, his father Jamie, and his Asian mother Mindy.

Standing up to Obstacles

Enduring UnderstandingsEnduring Understanding #1: One makes the choice to stand up and face obstacles. As the new girl and because of her abnormal style, Eleanor is bullied and teased by many other girls. One day in gym class Tina (Eleanor’s major enemy) and her friends assault Eleanor by sticking maxi pads to her gym locker. Eleanor is extremely embarrassed and very hurt. Despite her feelings inside, Eleanor knows being a wimp and getting upset will only make this situation worse. Instead, she chooses to stand up to this obstacle by walking “past the girls, with her chin as high as she could manage, and [then] methodically [peeling] the pads off her locker” (Rowell 698).Enduring Understanding #2: In literature and in life, satisfying resolutions are not always the norm when standing up to obstacles. Eleanor has been secretly hiding her relationship with Park from her parents. Unfortunately, Richie discovers Eleanor's secret, calls her many bad names, and threatens to hurt her. Eleanor knows she does not have any support from her siblings or her mother, so her only choice to get away from Richie is to run away and live in Minnesota with her Aunt and Uncle. Eleanor knows she will not be with Park, but she chooses to go with her abnormal solution anyway. She also knows that running away is often an abnormal solution to one’s problems, but in this case this is the only way she can escape Richie’s violence.Enduring Understanding #3/Explanation: How a person stands up to obstacles reveals the nature of his/her character. Eleanor and Park become boyfriend/girlfriend, but this does not change how Eleanor is treated by her peers. Eleanor continues to get bullied and this makes Park furious. One day, Steve bothers Eleanor more than usual, and Park lashes out at Steve by shouting, “Leave... my girlfriend... alone” and beating him up (Rowell 1915). After this incident, the reader discovers Park’s other personality. Before, the reader only saw Park as having a quiet and weak nature, but after the incident they now see he can also be very violent and very strong.

Overall Opinion

Likes/DislikesLikesThe assault to Eleanor by the girls in her gym class of the pads on the locker.Eleanor has someone that really cares about her and will do anything to protect her. Park stands up for Eleanor by beating up Steve even though he knew he could get into big trouble.Eleanor's baby brother’s name is Little Richey.DislikesEleanor's horrible home life.Eleanor sends a postcard to Park with three words on it but the author does not say what those words are. I want to know what the author had intended for those words to be.At the end of the book Park can never see Eleanor again.Too many curse words were used in order to write the book.


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