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 ;, Boston :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316380867
Characteristics: 343 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


From the critics

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Nov 10, 2018

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

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.

Jun 03, 2018

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

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

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...

Feb 15, 2018

I liked this book, however I found it a little bit slow.
Suzy didn’t actually end up doing anything until halfway through the book.
I found it very emotional, and a good read, but it talked a lot about the past.
Which is totally cool, but it got a little bit tiring after a while.
I really enjoyed those cool facts ,though! I liked the part where Suzy couldn’t stop counting
To 5. I definitely relate to that. All in all, it’s a book you should try out.

Dec 31, 2017

I liked this book. It was packed full of emotion that made you feel really connected to Suzy. There were a few parts that I didn't completely understand, but other than that, a great book! Recommended for someone looking for an emotion book. 4 1/2 stars!!!!.

Dec 20, 2017

A very sad and grieving story.

LPL_MargoM Dec 18, 2017

I always find it admirable when books targeted towards children take on darker topics. The Thing About Jellyfish does this, and does it extremely well. The story follows Suzy, a 7th grader whose best friend drowns over the summer. Unable to comprehend this loss, Suzy dives deep into researching what may have happened and why. Tackling topics like divorce, death, and and and how friendships change in adolescence, The Thing About Jellyfish is a book every kid can identify with.

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Add Age Suitability

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

Jun 03, 2018

Adele_ag thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Dec 31, 2017

Constitution11 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Dec 20, 2017

anne1212li thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Dec 01, 2017

natulik1 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 29, 2017

christy_kocher thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jul 03, 2017

PCT thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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

May 20, 2016

bigcoweye thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary

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.


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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)


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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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