In the beginning Eleanor moves back in with her stepfather Richie (who she hates, due to the fact he abuses her mother and is an alcoholic), mother, and four younger siblings. Life if the Douglas house isn't easy, Richie has set up harsh rules for the family to live by as well as all seven of them live on a low income.
On the other hand Park lives with his mother, father, and younger (but taller brother). Park's family is very different from any other in Omaha, Nebraska; his mother is Korean (which leads to racist name calling) and his father is a huge believer in having his sons be as strong and manly as possible. And from the beginning the reader can tell that Park is a misfit in his own home because of the fact he isn't like his brother or father, he prefers things like music over sports.
In the very beginning of the story the new kid Eleanor gets on the school bus only to be harassed by other students. No one of the bus let Eleanor come sit with them for two reasons: 1. she was new 2. she dressed differently than most. Finally Park- who witnessed Eleanor be shunned by everyone on the bus- he lets her come sit with him, despite the fact he didn't want to.
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