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The thing about jellyfish

The thing about jellyfish

Benjamin, Ali, author

Suzy is 12 when her best friend, Franny, drowns one summer at the beach. It takes two days for the news to reach her, and it's not something that she can accept: Franny has always been a strong swimmer, from the day they met in swim class when they were just 5. How can someone all of a sudden, just no longer be there? Suzy realises that they must have got it wrong: Franny didn't just drown - she was stung by a poisonous jellyfish. This makes a lot more sense to Suzy's logical mind than a random drowning. Suzy's journey to acceptance is quiet. She resolves to either say something important, or say nothing at all. But it's also bursting with bittersweet humour, heart-breaking honesty, big ideas and small details

Paperback, Book. English. Fiction 9+. General. Children's stories.
Published London: Macmillan Children's Books, 2016
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Statement of responsibility: Ali Benjamin
ISBN: 1447291255, 9781447291251
Intended audience: Juvenile.
Note: Originally published: 2015.
Physical Description: 343 pages ; 20 cm

Author note

Ali Benjamin has written for the Boston Globe Magazine, Martha Stewart's Whole Living, and Sesame Street. Ali is a member of the New England Science Writers.

When not working, Ali wrangles children, drinks too much coffee, sometimes runs, hangs out with friendly dogs, gazes at electron microscopy images of bugs, and teaches kids about storytelling and writing. She serves scrambled eggs for dinner far too often.


A painful story smartly told, Benjamin's first solo novel has appeal well beyond a middle-school audience
Kirkus Reviews Starred Review||A moving portrayal of loss and healing
Publishers Weekly Starred Review||Benjamin explores the heartbreaking subject of grief in the young with dreamy, meditative and elegiac prose
The New York Times||This is a heartbreakingly touching debut about friendship, loss, fear and love that is funny, clever and beautifully written
Daily Mail||[an] intense and nuanced tale of friendship, revenge and youthful resourcefulness
Guardian||One of the most beautifully written debuts I've read in a really long time
So Many Books, So Little Time