Author(s): Ali Benjamin
It's peculiar how no-words can be better than words. How silence can say more than noise, or a person's absence can occupy even more space than their presence did. Suzy is 12 when her best friend, Franny, drowns one summer at the beach. It takes two days for the news to reach Suzy, 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 realizes 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 - cause: a jellyfish sting; effect: death. 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.
An extraordinary debut about a 12 year old girl coping with the death of her best friend. And jellyfish.
Short-listed for UKLA 7-11 Category 2017 (UK).
The writing is stunning and so magical. Reese Witherspoon This is a heartbreakingly touching debut about friendship, loss, fear and love that is funny, clever and beautifully written. Daily Mail An accomplished debut that skillfully charts the pressure growing up puts on friendships The Bookseller [an] intense and nuanced tale of friendship, revenge and youthful resourcefulness Guardian the kind of book you just want to hug it's so good Irish Independent
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, runs some, 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.