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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This book tells the story of two teens who fall in love, teens who don't believe in the love stories like Romeo and Juliet. Yet, that is what they are—a Romeo and Juliet, without the death part. This book reminded me of the good parts of high school and falling in love. I wish I could reread this book for the first time over and over again just to experience Eleanor and Park's story for the first time.
Eleanor & Park received the 2013 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Fiction Book and the Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013, among other awards. It was also named a 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book. The novel is set in the 1980s and draws on important cultural artifacts of the time (e.g., cassette tapes, the WalkMan, comic books), some of these may not be even known by today's adolescents.
You may read more about the novel and its use in the ELA classroom in M. Cook and L. Pitre's Exploring Relationships and Connections with Others: Teaching Universal Themes Through Young Adult Novels (2021).