The Thing About Jellyfish

The Thing About Jellyfish 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 ANational Book Award Finalist 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 Universeand The Potential For Love And Hope Right Next DoorOddlot Entertainment Has Acquired The Screen Rights To The Thing About Jellyfish, With Gigi Pritzker Set To Produce With Bruna Papandrea And Reese Witherspoon 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

Ali Benjamin has written for the Boston Globe Magazine, Martha Stewart s Whole Living, and Sesame Street She is the co writer for HIV teen Paige Rawl s coming of age memoir, Positive, which will be a lead title for Harper Teen this coming Fall, and which will feature an introduction by Jay Asher She is a member of the New England Science Writers See at

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  • Paperback
  • 352 pages
  • The Thing About Jellyfish
  • Ali Benjamin
  • English
  • 20 May 2017
  • 9780316380843

10 thoughts on “The Thing About Jellyfish

  1. says:

    Usually, I m annoyed with books that present a dead character in a story and even make them part of the main cast, because WE don t know them as well as the characters in the book do.But Ali Benjamin succeeded to make me care about Suzy s best friend who drowned and died, leaving her friendless and feeling alone.Except Suzy was already friendless even before her best friend died In the story, there is the past and the present The past focuses on the relationship between Suzy and her best friend, as if she were writing in a journal to Franny The present focuses on Suzy trying to find an explanation to Franny s death.In her own way, she is coping with her best friend s death, but not in the right way She s not moving on It s like she s not able to move past this until she is able to prove that Franny could not have really perished in a drowning accident, seeing that she was a great swimmer It s a very moving story And very sad, also I cared so much for Suzy, and although my heart was breaking every time Suzy made a connection between Franny s death and jellyfish which was always , I kept on reading with the hope that things will turn out okay for Suzy Ali Benjamin s writing is simply beautiful It s easy to get lost in her words, to let them envelope us Congrats to her for writing a wonderful, realistic story with the theme of grief and loss.Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin

  2. says:

    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, 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 After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy refuses to speak, and she is determined to discover the true cause of why the unthinkable happened As she processes her grief and the journey at the point from when she and her friend first met, until her tragic death, Suzy begins to learn about the complexities of friendship, and of the beauty and heartache in life.This is a beautiful, middle grade novel that happens to be a great read for all ages, and especially meaningful if you have undergone the loss of a loved one It is not depressing, but is instead hopeful, with many moments of humor Scientific facts involving jellyfish are woven in with a lyrical writing style that is so moving and powerful, and that provide parallels to daily life At times, I was smiling through my tearsthis book brought back memories of a time when wonder, excitement, and the ability to believe are foremost in your mindA special mention to Neil and his inspiring review of this lovely book.

  3. says:

    Update Kindle 2.99 special today Its wonderful This is THE BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK.If you want a book to feel uplifted and inspired this is a terrific choice written by very bright talented author Thank you Little Brown Young Readers , Netgalley, and a new favorite author Ali Benjamin for the opportunity to read this Ali Benjamin wrote a book to be very proud about she makes science come alive and has us fall deeply in love with our young narrator Middle School years are challenging years for kids My own 34year old daughter says they were the most painful years of her life we ve read books on the theme before about The awkward years Or the bully ,, or friendships falling apart But you ve never read any of them that with the marvels of the jellyfish You ll be surprised how much you ll learn fascinating You ll read about the scientistsJamie Seymour, and Diana Nyad s historic swimming from Cuba to Florida The entire last half of the book I was completely mush crying all the way through Suzy delivers an oral science report to her class..,on JellyfishShe teaches her class about jellyfish lifecycles jelly start off on us as a plant, cleaning to the bottom of the sea, and how in that phase of life, they are a planula But that when they are grown up, when they break away from the seafloor and are free to pulse through the ocean, they have taken the form of a medusa She has so much to say this is the first time she has spoken at all since before the beginning of the school year She has a message she desperately wants to get across but her teacher stops herthey have run out of time She lets her continue a little.but she still never finishes Jellyfish don t get logged down by drama, by love or friendship, or sorrow They don t get stuck in any of the stuff that gets people in trouble Suzy s best friend, Franny, since kindergarten, died the summer before 7th grade There is to this story which will have any young readers looking at their own friendships and School community connections Parents will question themselves wondering what might they have done to help prevent some of the painful lessons child face on their own Where do we as parents step in and where do we back off Suzy short for Suzanne called Zu , by her mother, Suzy Q, by her brothers partner, and Belle by Justin ,.is the most bright lovable 12 year old girl you could ever want to meet I miss her already If I could fly to Boston and visit the touch tank, jellies exhibit and giant ocean tankI would If I ever do get to Boston, one of my wishes , The aquarium is one of first places I want to visit This book, and Ali Benjamin, opened my interest deeper I m fully inspired Oh.and for fun informationdid you know that jellyfish are immortal A jellyfish called Turritopis Nutricula can grow younger which is something no other creature on earth can do Pretty cool, don t ya think A jellyfishy lovely book

  4. says:

    The Thing About Jellyfish, Ali BenjaminThe Thing About Jellyfish is a 2015 children s novel written by Ali Benjamin, her fiction debut The book follows Suzy Swanson, the protagonist and narrator, who theorizes the death of her friend, Franny Jackson, was caused by a jellyfish sting Suzy has just started the seventh grade, which is the second year at Eugene Field Middle School in fictional South Grove, Massachusetts During their sixth grade year, Franny became interested in boys and started to join a popular social circle than the sometimes awkward Suzy, who had been best friends with Franny starting shortly after they met, when they were both five years old After the two had a falling out in the sixth grade year, Franny died during the ensuing summer before they had a chance to heal their friendship 2017 1395 288 9786008111474 21 1395 264 9786003532380 1395 306 9786002964564

  5. says:

    The Thing About Jellyfish is the heartrending tale of Suzy Swanson, a little girl who just encountered the Worst Thing death To make sense of her grief, Suzy turns to the wonders of the universe and the dazzling expanse of her imagination Suzy s take on the world is both academic and poetic, despite her young age She has one of the most romantic worldviews yet encountered in a children s book I liked the way patterns repeated themselves in this universe, the way a solar system could resemble an atom, or a mountain range seen from outer space could look just like a fern leaf covered with frost I liked the thought that three billion bugs fly over my head in a single month in summer or that an inch of soil might contain millions of creatures from thousands of different species. This book is targeted at a middle grade audience, yet it offers several profound life sentiments Sometimes you want things to change so badly, you can t even stand to be in the same room with the way things actually are. In the end, Suzanne, she continued, it s a gift to spend time with people we care about Even if it s imperfect Even if the time doesn t end when, or how, we expected Even when that person leaves us Even Suzy s musings on people and social behavior give the reader something to think about If people were silent, they could hear the noise of their own lives better What my dad wanted, I suspect, was the thing everybody seems to want small talk I don t understand small talk I don t even understand why it s called that small talk when it fills up so much space. The Thing About Jellyfish is a beautifully crafted tale about beginnings stemming from pain and blooming into a life worth cherishing.

  6. says:

    Find all of my reviews at SPOILER ISH That s a boldface lie I read this book months ago, but I suck at keeping up with reviews so I m just now getting around to saying something about it First things first this is a MIDDLE GRADE novel In case you re wondering I rate books according to how I feel they hold up when compared with others in their genre That being said, this is a very important middle grade story and y all can just color me impressed At surface level The Thing About Jellyfish is the story of Suzy a young girl who is informed that her best friend died in a drowning accident Convinced that could not be the case because said friend was a good swimmer, Suzy believes the drowning must have really been an altercation with a jellyfish and becomes determined to meet the world s foremost expert on the creatures in order to prove it This story was so much deeper than that, though It was an amazing journey through the grief process not only through the death of Suzy s friend, but also when the story cut through the first layer to talk about the changes that happen as children morph from elementary schoolers to pre teens and middle graders It tackled the issue of finding yourself on the outs with your former bestie, of finding yourself in general, and was chock full of sage advice in disguise Having venom doesn t make a creature bad Venom is protection The fragile the animal, the venom it needs So the venom a creature has, the we should be able to forgive that animal They re the ones who need it most Highly recommended to youngsters and their oldster counteparts ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Thank you, NetGalley

  7. says:

    I liked the narrative voice, and at first I was intrigued by the connections drawn to jellyfish But there were a LOT of jellyfishy facts, and I kept wondering why I didn t feel anything for this story of a girl who s so traumatized by her former best friend s death that she will no longer speak Then I finished it, and found the author s note at the end, which says that the story was born from failure because it started out as a nonfiction essay about her fascination with jellyfish That made a lot of things click into place for me, because the alternating chapters with the actual story that told of Suzy s fractured friendship with Franny were much less emotional, which is a weird thing to experience I did like the realistic way that the author handled certain things, including the family especially Suzy s relationship with her brother and his boyfriend , and the ending to her quest view spoiler for once, the kid does not get to go on a big crazy trip by herself and is stopped by people in charge hide spoiler

  8. says:

    There s no single right way to say goodbye to someone you love But the most important thing is that you keep some part of them inside you The Thing About Jellyfish is a heartfelt and touching story of grief, acceptance, friendship, family and fitting in A profound novel with a plausible voice of a girl who grieved of her loss and sought for the answers at the same time.It is a middle grade novel that centers to Suzy Swanson and her mission to unravel the mystery or prove her theory behind her ex best friend s death She can t accept the idea of sometimes, things just happen that her ex best friend died of drowning when she s a good swimmer She didn t believe in this During a school trip in an park full of aquatic animals, she learned about invisible jellyfish And she assumed that maybe her best friend has been killed by a jellyfish sting.What I loved about this book is how believable Suzy s voice and feelings were The way she narrated the story is gripping and at the same time, flowing smoothly Her thoughts of the past some of them sends a fluttering joy in me but most of them later on tug and linger at the deepest part of my heart It s heart aching Her thoughts of the present, however, reminds me of how sad and painful losing a loved one.This book obviously is about jellyfish, too It offers knowledge and facts about these animals and opens a new perspective about jellyfish and the way we see things It shows how people are so much invested with big things and sometimes forgot to acknowledge the small things around them Small things that matter, too Small things that also can bring change if one knows where to look.

  9. says:

    Review also on But a person doesn t always know the difference between a new beginning and a forever sort of ending Suzy Swanson stopped talking when her best friend Franny died in a drowning accident Channeling her lingering guilt over her last encounter with Franny and grief, Suzy turns to silence and science Refusing to take her mother s stoic explanation that things just happen, Suzy shuts everybody out and obsessively works out a grandiose plan to prove that a jellyfish sting is the real reason for her best friend s death.I hate to say this, but we ve all been or will be Suzy Swanson at some point in our lives We all have our first times with grief I remember mine at twelve years old when I lost a cousin in a drowning accident, just like Franny, so reading The Thing About A Jellyfish deeply resonated with my own experiences Grief isolates,it makes you think that no one understands what you re going through, and your brain becomes an endless stream of whys and what ifs Ali Benjamin perfectly captured this sense of isolation in The Thing About A Jellyfish.Suzy Swanson is an oddball she likes science and statistics, she spouts animal facts about bodily fluids like nobody s business and, often than not, misses social cues The story is told through her POV and her voice is authentic and heartbreaking Being most comfortable with science for explanations, Suzy attempts to bring structure to her grief by focusing her energy on jellyfish facts and statistics, and on planning to get her theory about the real cause of Franny s death validated by a jellyfish expert.Through Suzy s quest to prove her theory, the reader is treated to a handful of fascinating facts about jellyfish I now know that jellyfish don t have brains, that some species can clone themselves and the various fatal effects of a jellyfish sting I am sure my new found jellyfish expertise will come in handy someday, but for now they re just making me paranoid of swimming in open water No swimsuits for me Lookit these graceful bastards swimming like they own the ocean Maybe this is what happens when a person grows up Maybe the space between you and the other people in your life grows so big you can stuff it full of all kinds of lies Suzy s drastic vow of silence puts a strain on her relationship with her family While in school, Suzy is all too painfully aware that she s considered that weird kid who has no friends and doesn t talk The Thing About Jellyfish poignantly explores the pains of social anxiety and the general awkwardness of puberty.This book is meant for middle schoolers, and despite the delicate topics explored, Ali Benjamin s introspective prose remains middle school appropriate My only issue is that even after all the build up for Suzy s closure doubling as a grand adventure, the denouement felt somewhat rushed and all too convenient To sum it up, despite being out of middle school for than ten years, I loved this wonderfully pensive book about grief and coming to terms with it.Highly recommended with a side of Sesame Jellyfish.

  10. says:

    The thing about this book, The Thing About Jellyfish, is that it didn t quite turn out to be as good as I expected it to be The story was not original, that is one thing for sure There are several other novels which I ve read belonging to the same brotherhood, blindly following the same storyline, the central character working on some sort of a science project, dealing with death and dark demons and yada yada Initially, I felt that the facts about jelly fish weren t properly stitched into the fabric of the novel They were just stated plainly and I felt as though I was reading a scientific research work Additionally, the characters were sketchy and the chemistry between Franny and Suzy was also average The sole reason for which I did not DNF this book was because I very much appreciate learning a word or two while reading fiction Hence, for me this novel was just okay ish.

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