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This one will knock the wind out of you. The Thing About Jellyfish is a book about a lot of different things. It's about grief, and the different ways that humans handle the immense pain that comes with losing someone they love. It's about friendship, and the complicated ways that relationships can change as teens leave their childhood behind. It's about bullying, social anxiety, and how it feels to be different and not understand why. These topics are nothing new in the world of young adult literature – what sets Jellyfish apart is that the issues are narrated by a passionate (and eccentric) budding scientist. Thanks to a kind teacher and a field trip to an aquarium that puts her face-to-face with a dangerous jellyfish, Suzy uses an obsession with science to try and escape from the pain of loss. Author Ali Benjamin gives us an authentic glimpse into the enigma that is grief – which, much like a mystical jellyfish at the center of this novel, is constantly evolving and eluding, billowing and collapsing along with the tide, somehow both utterly ordinary and completely unique. A perfect book to share with a tween facing heartbreak – but it may be too heavy for elementary readers. #bookreview #amreading #book #library #librarian #childrensliterature #yalit #ireadya #grief #socialemotionallearning #youngadultbooks
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