Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Book Summary

Suzy is stunned to discover that her former best friend has died. She decides not to speak to most of the people in her life, and makes an elaborate plan to explain why her friend's death. After all, her mother’s explanation “sometimes bad things just happen” is grossly inadequate and un-scientific. There has to be a reason that makes sense.
The Thing About Jellyfish book cover
The Thing About Jellyfish

Book Review

I really liked this book. The main character is memorably different from other characters (some might find her a bit too strange). There are some non-traditional text features mixed in with the traditional novel text. Suzy's heroes are scientists, including female scientists, and the book includes some of the information Suzy discovers through research, artfully blended into her personal story. This is a book worthy of read-aloud or small group discussion, as it explores what it means to care - about others, about the beauty in the world, and about the lives we lead.

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Coping with the Death of a Friend
  • Family Relationships
  • Selective Mutism
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Action vs. Acceptance

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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