The Thing about Jellyfish (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

A dazzling portrayal of one seventh grader’s attempt to cope with the accidental death of her best friend. Suzy, in an effort to explain the inexplicable, hypothesizes that Franny was stung by an incredibly rare jellyfish. Benjamin structures the book like a science report, with each section heading a part of the scientific method that Suzy faithfully follows to prove her conclusion. Readers will learn lots of incredible facts about jellyfish, the natural world, and world-class swimmer Diana Nyad in this fictional novel but also discover the many painful details that strained the relationship between Suzy and Franny leading up to Franny’s death. Suzy’s heartwrenchingly flawed yet wise voice is one to be shared. 8+ ~Niki *Signed copies*

— From 2015 Middle Grade

This is a beautiful book about a girl starting seventh grade in the worst way: after losing her best friend, Franny. Because of events before the accident, Suzy is tormented by guilt. But after going on a class trip to an aquarium, Suzy believes she can find an explanation for what happened. Bejamin's prose gracefully explores Suzy's emotional state as she struggles to cope. This is a fantastic debut novel with an expertly crafted character study at its core.

— From Kokie's Picks


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

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting--things don't just happen for no reason. 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.

Oddlot Entertainment has acquired the screen rights to The Thing About Jellyfish, with Gigi Pritzker set to produce with Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon.

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 GlobeMagazine, Martha Stewart's Whole Living, and Sesame Street. She lives in Massachusetts.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316380867
ISBN-10: 0316380865
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Pages: 352
Language: English