In this first book by Ali Benjamin, Stacy is trying to deal with the loss of her best friend--in more ways than just one. On a class trip to the aquarium, Stacy travels off by herself to the jellyfish exhibit, and she becomes fascinated by the mysterious animals, especially when she learns that there is a kind that can sting you and kill you before you even know you have been stung. This new knowledge becomes part of her way of coping with the tragedy that befell her friend. The Thing About Jellyfish (Lexile: 740; Interest Level: Grades 5-8) is a story of dealing with grief, reaching beyond yourself and making new friends.
Because of the topic, this is a hard book to claim to "like," but there were parts that I really did enjoy and parts that really made me squirm. Perhaps this is why this book was a National Book Award Finalist and has made it to the 2016-2017 Indian Paintbrush Nominee list. Readers who loved books such as Love, Aubrey and Eight Keys will find this book engrossing as well. (352 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.