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Owen and Eleanor Move In — 18 Comments

  1. Old and New…Gold and Silver…Friendships forever and ever. As the children in this story share their adventures….the students in our classrooms can relate first hand. The ups and downs and the memories. These are real-life experiences-where children can escape into the book characters and relate to them. 4 of 5 stars.

  2. I enjoyed this story of a budding friendship between two very different personalities. I really loved the characters and could envision using this book as a great resource for teaching character traits. I also thought about using it for teaching the comprehension skill inferring. For example, we are never directly told why Eleanor’s family is moving into a duplex…but can infer it was due to financial reasons. I did feel like the religious references were a bit heavy at times, but could see it facilitating some great conversation about differences among families.
    I rate this book 4/5 *

  3. This was a cute book. The story was engaging, and I think it could be used to discuss a lot of different things, death (the goldfish), moving, change, and friendship. I don’t see myself using it in my public library programming setting, however I could see myself recommending it to young patrons. I definitely see it as a good recommendation for younger readers who are reading above their reading level, or for kids whose parents are picky about what their children read.

  4. I’m not sure how I feel about this book and how to use it. It seems to be a good starter chapter book for 1st – 2nd graders. The topics are of interest such as adjusting to life changes, moving households, friendships, and celebrating personal differences. But it also left me with some unanswered questions. I personally have difficulties talking about faith to elementary students so I would never use it as a read aloud. I have no problem putting it on my shelves. It would be a great option for parents who are very selective in their kids reading choices.

  5. I liked the many lessons found in this book — friendship, peer pressure, adjusting to new situations, etc. It was a sweet story, but I don’t think I will add this to my second grade classroom library as it will be above the reading level of most of my students.

  6. This book was so much fun to read. I recommended it to my 2/3 grade daughter. She read it before bed each night and is asking for the next books in the series. It is a simply written book addressing big ideas with humor and love and parental patience. I love that we get child views and opinions about the ways that the parents and familiarly lives are different and yet “ok” at the same time. The friendship is beautiful and wonderfully accepted and supported by the parents. I would recommend this book to others and would use it in the classroom. 5/5 stars

  7. I enjoyed the characters in this book. Second and third graders would be able to identify with them. The themes of friendship, family and loss are handled in a humorous way. Who would think a dead fish would tie it all together. I may choose to read it to my second grade. I think that the parts that deal with religion could be used to ask what students do with their family that is the same or different then Owen and Eleanor. I look forward to reading the next book.
    4/5 stars

  8. I enjoyed the story of this developing friendship and the reality of trying to balance your personality with another person’s personality, especially if one person tends to be more reserved and the other more outgoing. I wished that Owen would have been able to voice his concerns to Eleanor in a kid-appropriate way. I liked how the book showed that there were going to be a lot of positives to her new living situation, but that Eleanor couldn’t see that at first because she was so sad about what she left behind…that is really realistic and important for kids to read. They’ll realize it before Eleanor in the book and that might help them in the future.
    I felt like the religious parts of this book felt heavy-handed…there are ways for a character to look to their faith as a guidepost without it feeling overly didactic…I feel like this fell short on that.

  9. I loved this book. Student who have moved can relate to wanting to move back to their old house. Others will relate to telling a friend a secret or wanting help running away from home(something most kids have thought about at one time or another). I like how the author had the parents become friends too. I’ve lived in areas where my neighbors didn’t even try to talk to us. This sense of community is an important lesson for students. I give this book a 4/5.

  10. This is one of my favorites this year! I liked that Eleanor called herself an engineer. It was great to see both Eleanor and Owen trying to work out their worries. It seems like the families will be great friends. I was happy to see how the parents worked together to find the kids. I would definitely have this in my classroom and could even use it as an author study. I’ll have to check out the other books in the series!

  11. This book was another favorite of mine. The character development is incredible. You really relate quickly to each of the people in the story. The book is so funny, however there is so much room for discussion on themes of what a good friend is and how to adapt to new situations. All my 2nd graders could certainly connect with this book. If I read it aloud I would have to discuss before hand the reasons for the many references to God and the religious practices each family had. Perhaps how it might be different if a family were Muslim or Jewish. It would be a good book for our church library.

  12. What a sweet book! There was so much depth to all of the characters in the story, which is sometimes unusual in a young reader’s book. I loved the characters Eleanor, and her perfectly matched sidekick, Owen. It was also really cool to have the setting of the book be Minneapolis and especially Lake Harriet, which is very close to the school that I teach at.

    There was a lot of story packed into this little book. Why was Eleanor’s dad so sad? Why did they have to move? Themes of friendship, loyalty and family change abound. I would love to read this book out loud to my whole class, but I think using it for a book club book for one of my advanced reading groups would also be interesting. I am sure the discussion would be very rich. After thinking about it, I will use this book for a read aloud with my whole class, so that I can edit some of the references to God. I am totally fine with the presence of faith practice in this book and have the type of relationship with my students that we can talk about God (I teach at a public school). However, what I think would have been really meaningful (and realistic) would have been if there had been a diversity of religions presented. For example, if Owen’s family was Christian, then maybe Eleanor’s family could have been Jewish or Muslim. That is the reality of south Minneapolis. In any case, I loved the book and I can’t wait to read more of Eleanor and Owen’s adventures!

  13. I loved the characters of this book. I loved Eleanor’s quirkiness and strong imagination; I loved Owen’s thoughtfulness and flexibility. I also really liked how the reader got to see the character’s thoughts and inner turmoil when they struggled with what it means to be a good friend and considered what they really wanted. I think that was one thing that really made this be a strong book, especially considering that this book is geared toward younger children who are still learning to navigate friendships.

    After reading the back cover the book, I was apprehensive about the mention of important faith and values lessons. I’ve encountered a few books were authors have dealt with faith lessons gracefully, but many of the ones I’ve read have had that component of the story feel pieced-in. I found this book to be the same way. I was quick to read these sections so that I could return to the rest of the story that felt more seamless. Even though the mention of faith was limited to only a handful of times, it still lowered my enjoyment of the book quite a bit.

    I really liked this book for its handling of a difficult transition and building new friendships, however the way faith was handled in this book would make me hesitant to use in the classroom or recommend to any student. I would be more careful about who I recommend this book to, and would even then preface it with a conversation about individuals having different beliefs, values, and family traditions.

    Overall rating: 3.5/5 stars

  14. I really enjoyed this book. It was cute and sweet and funny. I appreciated the creativity and imagination of the children. I would recommend this book for pleasure reading, for a classroom read aloud, and for book club use. Not sure that it has curriculum use but it would make a great read for the whole class.
    4/5 stars

    Side note for those who mentioned all the God and prayer references: it is okay to talk about religion and God in public schools! There is a HUGE difference in talking about and teaching about. It is not okay to practice a religion or pray with your students or to teach them that one religion is better than another. It’s a fine line I realize but the answer is not just to pretend it doesn’t exist. That doesn’t help anyone.
    https://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/religion-in-public-schools/curriculum

  15. H.M. Bouwman’s website and she herself are hilarious! https://hmbouwman.com/bio/ She will be a great speaker at our camp for sure! Her humor is reflected in this series and some scenes make me laugh out loud! The characters have great depth which allows her to build a series around them! It is a great book about moving forward, making new friends, being open to new ideas, and keeping the faith. I would rate this book 5/5 for readability.

  16. I enjoyed this book. Development of friendship and helping through good times and bad.

    Rated 4/5

  17. I really enjoyed this book! It’s great story of friendship, love, death and family. I would love to use this in the classroom, but with so much reference to God & praying it may be hard to use.
    I also really enjoyed that the author is from Minnesota! Great to read books from local authors!
    I really feel like kids could connect with this book. If I could use this in the classroom, I would have students brainstorm what they could have done differently if they were Owen.
    I rate this book 4/5 stars.

    • This book was absolutely adorable. I love how it teaches the themes about doing the right thing, friendship, and new students. The only issue I do have with this book is the God references. I can not have this in my public school library. Therefore I would only rate this a 5 out of 10.