Owen and Eleanor Make Things Up is the second in a series of books for young readers starring cheeky Eleanor and her neighbor and sidekick Owen, both second graders.
In this installment, Eleanor has a school assignment to write a true story about one of her experiences. She is required to keep a journal, and her teacher promises to enter the stories in a library contest. Although Owen is homeschooled and doesn’t have the same assignment, he decides to enter the contest as well. The kids talk their parents into joining a martial arts class, thinking that this would provide exciting content for their stories. But then Owen has another idea: Is it okay to “’imagine” a little drama?
Owen and Eleanor’s dialogue is advanced for second graders, but their schemes are intriguing and active. Their ability to understand and resolve ethical dilemmas is a main theme, with a nod to the power of imagination. Another underlying theme is the importance of friendship; a background story concerns the falling out of two other friends, and Owen and Eleanor are astute observers of these troubles.
Eleanor and Owen themselves depict a friendship that works, despite their differences in gender, race, personalities, and schooling situations.
Illustrations complement rather than tell the story, depicting, for example, the kids practicing their karate moves, or a pensive Owen writing in his journal. Owen’s and Eleanor’s handwritten journal entries enhance the story well.
Blending just the right amount of heart and life lessons, Owen and Eleanor Make Things Up is entertaining and educational.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.