Thing about Jellyfish (Prebound)

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Staff Reviews

— Little Brown

It is really difficult to write an honest novel about the experience of grief for kids, but Ali Benjamin proves that she is more than up to the task in this startlingly authentic debut for middle readers. Starring a headstrong, investigative girl, The Thing About Jellyfish illuminates how grief, denial, and questions of (im)mortality can confuse and even consume the most "clear-headed" and scientific of us. Deeply perceptive, Benjamin's novel will become a new favorite of fans of highly acclaimed novels such as MockingbirdCounting by 7s, and Bridge to Terabithia.; Ages 9-13, give or take a year. — Aubrey Restifo

"How do you say goodbye?" asks Suzy after months of silence as she struggles to understand how her best friend could have died in a swimming accident when she was, in fact, an excellent swimmer. Ali Benjamin nails the grief process as well as the painful shift of middle school friendships and the crushing battle of trying to fit in. I was nearly hyperventilating during the last 20 pages as Suzy comes to terms with her loss. As a parent reading this, my heart broke over and over again for Suzy's parents, her best friend's parents, and those I've known who have lost a child. Five stars, for sure.

— Gail Cosgriff


Now available in paperback, this stunning debut novel about grief and wonder was an instant New York Times bestseller and captured widespread critical acclaim, including selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist Oddlot Entertainment has acquired the screen rights to The Thing About Jellyfish, with Gigi Pritzker set to produce with Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon.
Everyone says that it was an accident... that sometimes things "just happen." But Suzy won't believe it. Ever. After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.
*"An uncommonly fine first novel." -- Booklist, starred review
*"Has appeal well beyond a middle school audience." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*"Reminiscent of works by Jennifer L. Holm and Sharon Creech... a shining example of the highs and lows of early adolescence." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review.

About the Author

Ali Benjamin is a National Book Award Finalist for The Thing About Jellyfish, and the co-writer for HIV-positive teen Paige Rawl's coming-of-age memoir Positive as well as Tim Howard's New York Times bestseller The Keeper. She is a member of New England Science Writers and has written for The Boston Globe Magazine, Martha Stewart's Whole Living, and Sesame Street. She lives in Massachusetts.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780606402187
ISBN-10: 0606402187
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Pages: 352
Language: English