Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin...

How I Heard About It:   I think I first heard about this middle-grade novel from Colby Sharp on Twitter.  I found the title on Net Galley and put in a request for an ARC.  I was lucky enough to be granted this request.  The title will be release on September 22nd.    

What It Is About:  Suzy and Franny have been best friends for years.  They promised each other they would remain "besties" no matter what.  The two girls makes fun of the "cool" girls and vow never to be like them.  As these two young girls turn twelve and begin a new school year, Franny begins to friend the cool girls which leaves Suzy stunned.  As hard as Suzy tries to keep their friendship the same, Franny is determined to fit in with the other girls.  The two friends end up "strangers" and Franny ends up having an accident while the two of them aren't speaking.  Suzy decides not to speak any longer and her divorced parents take her to see a therapist.  During this period of not speaking, Suzy finds some information about jellyfish and comes to the conclusion that Franny's accident was caused by a jellyfish sting.  Her research on the jellyfish takes her to a scientist that is across the world in Australia.  Will Suzy find the answers she is looking for?  Will Suzy make the journey to Australia?  Will she find peace with her friendship with Franny?  These are the questions she is hoping to find.

What I Thought Of It:  This novel was completely enjoyable to read.  The writing is top notch.  The character of Suzy is heart-warming and engaging.  The plot moves along at an excellent pace.  I was emotionally attached to this story from the beginning to the very end.  I'm normally not a science/nonfiction lover, but I was interested in the facts that were presented throughout the story about the Jellyfish and other science type facts.  This was a wonderful novel to end my summer with.

Who Should Read It:   Adults who love strong middle-grade stories will be quite satisfied with this novel.  It will stand up there with the "GREAT" novels for young readers.  I'm thinking of using it for a read aloud during the 2015-2016 school year.  If a reader was going to spend time with this story on their own, I think they should be a strong reader in fourth grade or a reader in fifth/sixth grade.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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