The Thing About Jellyfish

The Thing About Jellyfish

Book - 2015
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Twelve-year-old Suzy Swanson wades through her intense grief over the loss of her best friend by investigating the rare jellyfish she is convinced was responsible for her friend's death.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, ©2015
ISBN: 9780316380867
Branch Call Number: BENJAMI
Characteristics: 343 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm

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k
kmobuckeye
Feb 12, 2019

If I could describe this with emojis it would be a bunch of hearts. I can't wait for this to be a movie.

k
kadBookworm
Jan 25, 2019

After Suzy Swanson's best friend, Franny, unexpectedly dies during summer break in a drowning accident, Suzy refuses to talk. She struggles with making friends now that Franny is gone and she isn't satisfied with the last memory she has of Franny, crying and carrying her wet bags down to the office. But she doesn't believe that Franny just died, because things don't just happen. One day, at an aquarium field trip with her class, Suzy spies a poster describing a jellyfish that has migrated far from it's natural habitat, is nearly transparent, and the sting kills almost immediately. Convinced that Franny was stung, and looking for closure, Suzy elaborates a plan to run away from her home, her brother, her mom and fly to Australia to meet with a jellyfish expert and find out the truth about Franny's death. After what she had done to her best friend when she was only trying to help, it was the least she could do. A first perspective novel, with short chapters, and a really good message. A few excerpts from the past years of Suzy's life that explained all the events leading up to Franny's last moment with Suzy really help move the book along, but can be a little confusing at times. Really cute and complex characters. I would recommend this book to my friends.

s
SHAZIAKHAN23
Dec 25, 2018

Really intresting and enjoyable

m
Maarif Rehman
Dec 22, 2018

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

I thought the ending sucked. First of all, she never even ended up going to Australia. Second, she was dumb enough to think that she could make to another FLIPPIN’ continent! Third, she stole a lot of money from her parents. In the least sense, she doesn’t feel guilty at all, and there’s a very small chance she could contact that scientist guy. Look, I know it’s hard to get over it when a friend dies, but still, she should have SOME common sense!

k
Kaelynmcintyre
Nov 10, 2018

This book is so meaningful, and deep.
It has the perfect combination of happy,sad,and relaxing.
🙂

g
GillDLewis
Aug 21, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of The Fault in our Stars, which I also really liked.
Even though they are supposed to be read by teenagers, I loved them (aged 54). The book is funny, makes you think about life, and moves you. It is well worth reading.

a
Adele_ag
Jun 03, 2018

I loved the book and I think that it would be a great book to read to a class.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
May 24, 2018

I read this book a month ago, and when I first started the book I had no idea what it was about, but the book was excellent! The book “The Thing About Jellyfish” is an emotional book about Suzy’s best friend who dies in a drowning accident, but there was no information on how she drowned or why she drowned. Suzy crafts a plan to prove her theory of how her best friend didn’t just drown because things don’t just happen for no reason, even if it means traveling the globe alone for answers.This book brings you on a roller coaster of emotions, and really connects you with the characters. The book starts off with Suzy talking about her childhood memories with her best friend, then transitions into the time Suzy is spoken to about her best friend’s death. The rest of the book after is an adventure full of excitement because Suzy starts to unravel the puzzle. Rating 4.5/5.
- @momo of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

DCLteens Mar 29, 2018

This really shows how to overcome a loved one's death and how to get closure from it. You get a peek at the inner emotion of a girl who tries to overcome such events.
Reviewed by Ayati, a Teen Library Council member

s
susanchyn
Mar 22, 2018

I discovered this surprisingly insightful book through an 8th grade girl, who chose The Thing About Jellyfish as her independent reading selection. This book is on the surface a story about a nerdy kid (7th grader) grieving over a (relatively "cool") classmate's death, but Jellyfish contains a rich and nicely crafted exploration of many topics:

Do things “just happen” (randomly) or are there (scientific) causes? How does science, and the scientific method, help us discover, not just the world around us, but our inner selves? Why are friendships in middle school and high school so painful and downright messy? And finally, how can teens deal with death and guilt issues related to death?

The chapters are little diary-vignettes and so this "chapter book" does not seem intimidating to kids who are reluctant to choose "long" books. :)

Given the themes, I would recommend this book be read under the watchful eye of a sympathetic teacher or parent, just to make sure the reader will have a structured opportunity to talk out any fears...

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Age Suitability

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k
kadBookworm
Jan 25, 2019

kadBookworm thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

violet_butterfly_8881 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 12

a
Adele_ag
Jun 03, 2018

Adele_ag thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

c
Constitution11
Dec 31, 2017

Constitution11 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

a
anne1212li
Dec 20, 2017

anne1212li thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

n
natulik1
Dec 01, 2017

natulik1 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

c
christy_kocher
Nov 29, 2017

christy_kocher thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

p
PCT
Jul 03, 2017

PCT thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

l
lbnemi
Jun 17, 2017

lbnemi thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

red_horse_2441 Aug 15, 2016

red_horse_2441 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Summary

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k
kadBookworm
Jan 25, 2019

After Suzy Swanson's best friend, Franny, unexpectedly dies in a drowning accident over summer break, Suzy refuses to talk. She struggles with making friends now that Franny is gone. She can hardly live with the last memory she has of Franny, crying and carrying her wet bags down to the office. But Suzy doesn't think that Franny really just drowned because things don't just happen. One day, at an aquarium field trip with her class, Suzy spies a poster describing a jellyfish that has migrated far from it's natural habitat, is nearly transparent, and the sting kills almost immediately. Convinced that Franny was stung, and looking for closure, Suzy elaborates a plan to run away from her home, her brother, her mom and fly to Australia to meet with a jellyfish expert and find out the truth about Franny's death. After what she had done to her best friend when she was only trying to help, it was the least she could do. A first perspective novel, with short chapters, and a really good message. A few excerpts from the past years of Suzy's life that explained all the events leading up to Franny's last moment with Suzy really help move the book along, but can be a little confusing at times. Really cute and complex characters. I would recommend this book to my friends.

l
LibraryGal82
Jun 10, 2016

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.

Notices

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p
PCT
Jul 07, 2017

Other: Suzy is going through a difficult time in her life so the story is quite sad in some parts. She refers to the end of the world a lot too. as well as stealing from her family (which she later almost entirely gives back)

Quotes

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l
LibraryGal82
Jun 10, 2016

“If people were silent, they could hear the noise of their own lives better. If people were silent, it would make what they did say, whenever they chose to say it, more important. If people were silent, they could read one another's signals, the way underwater creatures flash lights at one another, or turn their skin different colors.”
― Ali Benjamin, The Thing About Jellyfish

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