71 pages 2 hours read

Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2012

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Chapters 1-12Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary: Park

In the opening chapter of the book, we are introduced to the main character, Park, as he rides the bus to high school. He is listening to music on his Walkman in order to distract himself from the other people on the bus. Meanwhile, two of his schoolmates, Steve and Tina, make offensive remarks about Park’s ethnicity, but Park merely shrugs them off.

Park’s bus makes a new stop and picks up a passenger. The girl walks up and down the aisle but no one on the bus is willing to give her a seat. Park notices that she is red-haired and awkward-looking and that “[n]obody would look at her” (4). When the girl seems on the verge of tears, Park scoots over and gestures for her to sit beside him. Park knows he will catch flak from his peers later for giving her a seat, and the two ride the rest of the way to school in silence.

Chapter 2 Summary: Eleanor

The second chapter of the book begins with Eleanor sitting outside on the front steps of her school. She creates a mental checklist of things she can do to avoid riding the bus to and from school again.