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Book of the Month: March

Samantha Neiswonger, Contributor

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Elanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is a story about two broken lives that combine and then fade away. Elanor is a girl that just moved in with her stepdad Richie and mother Sabrina.  She absolutely despises her stepfather, and her stepsiblings aren’t noticing how Richie is being very rude, drinks and abuses their mother.

Elanor is also struggling in her new school and already hates it. The first day no one lets her sit where she’d like on the bus, and they make fun of her size and really bright red hair. She has no choice but to sit with Park, who will eventually become her best friend.  Park is already a disliked by many of his classmates because his family is one of the very few Asian families in the area. Elanor and Park don’t get along at first. Park thinks she’s crazy and hates having to sit with her. Over time, they get to know each other and hang out together. Elanor knows if her stepdad finds out she is friends with Park, he will object based on his bigotry and ruin the only happiness she has in her life.

One night Park decides to go see Elanor,  and Richie sees them together and chases Elanor out of the house. Elanor has no where to go.  She decides she has to go to Minnesota where her aunt and uncle could take care of her until she could go out on her own. Park drives her from Omaha, Nebraska, to Minnesota, but on the way, he tries to make her change her mind.

This story features two different characters but shows how they bond over similar family problems. Elanor and Park learn something from each other that is very important. You will just have to read the book to find out.

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