Obe is an honest sixth grader who cares deeply about the environment and his best friend Annie, who suffers from frequent nose bleeds, so when he encounters this slimy creature eating plastic and producing toxic waste, he wants to keep its presence under wraps. He quickly decides not to tell anyone about what he found – which explains his desire to remain anonymous!
This book covers an impressive variety of topics, ranging from environmental considerations and growing anxiety to the necessity of showing kindness. Narrated by an endearing child with great emotional awareness, readers will also feel their author’s empathy with these issues.
Sixth grader Obe Devlin is witnessing his family land slowly transform into housing developments. Once roaming freely on its acres of property, now his house is surrounded by construction, and he cannot access his favorite place of solitude–the creek–without supervision from an adult. New kids also come into his neighborhood and tease (nay, bully) him by throwing trash in his favorite place of solace. Keeping Obe going is only friendship with Marvin Gardens from the creek, which helps feed plastic-eating animals found there, which allows him deal with new issues brought on by newcomers with different priorities–others start by teasing (nay bullying him).
Middle-grade readers will love this story because it tackles environmental concerns while exploring other struggles typical of middle school life, such as bullying and shifting friendships. The author masterfully weaves all these elements into an engaging yet powerful read.
The story follows Obe, an endearing boy with a deep appreciation of nature and his surroundings. When his home and the creatures that call it home come under threat from humans, Obe is determined to protect his cherished land with all his might. His love and commitment for his friends Annie and Marvin Gardens (named after a Monopoly property) make them an admirable pair.
Obe’s father may be addicted to playing Monopoly, but unlike the developers building on their land, he does not purchase properties when winning and refuses to develop them – much like investors are taking over Devlin Creek.
Obe’s character will likely inspire many young readers to take action when they see environmental problems in their community. Additionally, his story is well written with gorgeous vintage Monopoly pieces at the beginning of each chapter and makes for an engaging read with relatable characters like Obe. Altogether, this book makes an excellent addition to any middle-grade shelf!
The King of Marvin Gardens
Marvin Gardens in Monopoly is the only Yellow property not located within Atlantic City; instead, it’s an entire housing community outside. Additionally, Marvin Gardens boasts the highest rent at $2200 and was misspelled in its film adaptation; this was corrected with the 2010 Mega Edition that now reads as “Marven Gardens.”
Jack Nicholson stars as David Staebler, an insufferable Philadelphia radio talk show host who regales listeners with sotto-voce tales of his life. Meanwhile, his brother Jason (Bruce Dern) runs an Atlantic City gambling club chain and employs Sally (Ellen Burstyn), an ex-beauty queen who works for crime boss Lewis (Scatman Crothers).
Rafelson movies often explore specific American settings – California oil fields in Five Easy Pieces and Miami in Blood and Wine as examples – with great anthropological interest; here, however, it seems curiously indifferent about its setting; even hotel rooms and boardwalks appear devoid of people; an empty Miss America pageant featuring Dern is staged without an audience present.
Marvin Gardens of Seattle created some of their era’s most dynamic and captivating music during their brief existence. This collection presents all available evidence – unheard Warner Bros. audition demos, self-released EP, and inspired live performance at San Francisco’s Matrix club – to paint an insightful portrait of this talented and influential group that never reached its full potential.
Marvin’s Organic Gardens produced USDA Certified Organic gardening products between 2008 and 2013, such as homemade compost, natural fertilizers, insect and weed control solutions, and soil amendments. All of their non-toxic offerings can now be found at their online storefront.
Marvin’s Organic Gardens opened a state-of-the-art compost facility, certified as Class II, in 2012. This recycling operation recycles food scraps, yard waste, and manure into high quality compost that is then distributed locally – supporting agriculture while decreasing landfill waste volumes.
The Story of Marvin Gardens
Marvin Gardens is the yellow property on the Monopoly game board that stands out as being outside Atlantic City; it was named for a housing area in Margate, New Jersey, and thus known by some as having a misspelled name.
John McPhee used Marvin Gardens as an allegory for how some individuals spend their entire lives searching for something they don’t possess. Through metaphor, description, and narration, he depicted how some cannot find happiness like that found in Marvin Gardens; McPhee explained this as occurring because citizens and businessmen become caught up in Monopoly rules rather than keeping an eye on what matters in life.
Jack Nicholson stars as Jason, an emotionally distant late-night radio talk show host who becomes involved with real estate scams alongside his brother David. This film version explores the hopes and aspirations of wayward America more deeply than Five Easy Pieces did, featuring Ellen Burstyn as Jason’s bitter aging beauty-queen squeeze.
Joseph Brisben’s novel Marvin’s Garden also takes place in small-town America and examines how lust and greed can destroy family and community. Obe Devlin stands out, mainly due to his unwillingness to admit his feelings to others despite their compelling pleas; furthermore, this work also deals with racism and discrimination against gays and lesbians and how these attitudes have affected those associated with him and his families.
Coach Marvin Wood was immortalized in the movie Hoosiers as one of its featured high school basketball coaches, with many members from his Milan 1954 state championship team joining Mary Lou Wood to dedicate the park. Additionally, Mishawaka City Council honored Coach Wood by naming an entire street after him, and former mayor Mayor Marvin Wood was appointed a Member of the Indiana House of Representatives.