The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin (2015)

Sometimes you want to change things so badly, you can’t even stand to be in the same room with the way things actually are (p 12).

TheThingAboutJellyfishUsing the scientific method, Suzy plans to debunk her mother’s theory that sometimes things just happen. Her former best friend, Franny, was an excellent swimmer. She couldn’t have drowned.

During a school field trip to the aquarium, Suzy wanders off to the jellyfish room and, based on the information she learns there, conceives of a new hypothesis for Franny’s death.

Tired of small talk and other meaningless communication, Suzy remains mostly mute as she sets out to prove her hypothesis, enlighten her classmates and bring closure to the sad and abrupt way her friendship with Franny ended.

A solid structure, tenderly drawn and wholly developed characters, good use of intermittent flashbacks, the interweaving of scientific reasoning, and layered emotional struggles throughout make this an exceptional read. 

Personal copy | 987-0316380867 | 334 pages | Ages 10 +

Read More:

Science Plays Lead Role In New Book Aimed At Young Adults

New York Times review

BookPage review

Kirkus review

Publisher’s Weekly review

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