Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 8Y5.046150
This stunning debut novel about grief and wonder was an instant New York Times bestseller and captured widespread critical acclaim, including selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist! Oddlot Entertainment has acquired the screen rights to The Thing About Jellyfish, with Gigi Pritzker set to produce with Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon.

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don't just happen for no reason. 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.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published on September 22, 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0316380865
ISBN-13: 9780316380867
71 Book Reviews
  • paxthefox88
    paxthefox88about 1 month55 stars
    Amazing, @yummylarkragiou explained it way better thant i could have!
    • yummylarkragiuo
      yummylarkragiuo6 months55 stars
      Jellyfish are strange creatures. They have no eyes, no bones, and no heart. Also, they are one of the deadliest creatures on earth. Just one sting can kill you. And one of the deadliest jellyfish is the Irukandji. Suzy learns all of this on a field trip to the aquarium with her class. Suzy's best friend, Franny, drowned the year before in Maryland. Or did she even drown? Could her death be caused by something else? Like a jellyfish? The more she learns, the more Suzy is convinced that Franny didn't drown. Instead, an Irukandji sting killed her. But how will Suzy prove it? Suzy begins researching and finds a jellyfish specialist. Jamie Seymour, a professor in Australia. But Australia is thousands of miles away. How can Suzy ever reach him?
      • dolphinqueen18
        I just finished reading this book, and this was great! The main character, Suzy, is really smart. She loves sharing facts with her best friend, Franny, until everything changes in 6th grade. Franny starts to hang out with the more popular and girly girls, and wishes that Suzy would start acting "normal." So Suzy tries to tell her how she's acting. However, this does not help their friendship. Later, Suzy finds out that Franny has drowned. She resorts not not talking and blames Franny's death on a jellyfish. Suzy decides to prove that her theory is correct. This book was wonderful, and I recommend this to anyone looking for a book with friendship, loss, and of course jellyfish.
        • bsc
          bsc10 months44 starsFeatured
          This book made me think a lot more on coping from losses as well as an emotional book. When Suzy Swanson's best friend, Franny, (or was) died during a vacation at the beach, Suzy has became mute. But deep down Suzy knows that there must be more to the story. So during a field trip to the local aquarium, it's there Suzy learns about the Irukandji jellyfish, whose sting can make the victim be in so much pain and even drown. This must be the reason why Franny tragically drowned. Giving a detailed and passionate presentation about jellyfish, she's sure that people will understand at what she's getting at. Unfortunately, they don't. Instead, they think she's weird and crazy. Persisting, Suzy is doing her own research. A special scientist that studies specifically on the Irukandji jellyfish might be the key for Suzy. But getting there might not be so easy. This book isn't just about jellyfish: it's about understanding, forgiveness, hope, and coping. Happy reading!
          • emmakatepascual
            emmakatepascualover 1 year55 stars
            I absolutely adored this book! If you are interested in realistic fiction, mystery, adventure, or really any kind of genre!
            • indecisive
              indecisiveover 1 year55 stars
              Twelve year old Suzy doesn't talk anymore. To anyone, really. Ever since Franny (her best--well, former best friend), passed away, she doesn't feel like it. As she deals with loss, she develops a theory about how Franny died. She knew that Franny couldn't have just died while on a sunny beach vacation; it seemed too unlikely. But if she was stung by a jellyfish in the ocean . . . Well, that's what Suzy's thought process was, anyway. As Suzy spends endless days researching jellyfish, she becomes obsessed. She discovers that one-hundred-fifty million people are (painfully) stung by jellyfish every year. She researches various jellyfish specialists, and what they do. She needs to know why Franny died. She'll do all this research for Franny. And partly for herself because, well, Franny and Suzy weren't getting along well right before Franny's death, and she feels guilty about it. As Suzy struggles through hardship, loss, and pain, she has yet another terrible/wonderful idea that might require her to travel far, far away across the globe alone (and away from her family). I would rate this (ever-so-slightly depressing) book five stars because it was well written and entertaining to read. Phenomenal story!
              • hedgeguin2
                hedgeguin2almost 2 years
                I saw this book on my library’s website, and I want to read it so bad! The summary of the book sounds like this book will be amazing! I can’t wait to try and check this book out! :)
                • lovetoread26
                  lovetoread26about 2 years55 stars
                  This book is very well written, and very inspiring. I think that one of the themes/main ideas of this book is dealing with loss. 12 year old Suzy loses her best friend, Franny, to the ocean. But Suzy feels terrible about it, because she had a fight with Franny right before she died. Join Suzy on her journey through dealing with loss and trying to make friends. I don't think it is extremely sad, but if you are very emotional you might not want to read this book.
                  • ccswishingstar
                    ccswishingstaralmost 3 years33 stars
                    Suzy Swanson has always known many things that other people don't. She knows about the sleep pattern of ants, that there are about 150 million jellyfish stings on Earth every year, and knows that every average middle school kid contains about 20 billion of Shakespeare's atoms. But, Suzy couldn't understand why Franny Jackson's life had to be so short, and before she could make up for the worst thing she ever did to her. She then goes into her silent world in her imagination and discovers that the world wouldn't let her escape into her sorrow and grief...
                    • ajg16
                      ajg16about 3 years44 stars
                      Suzy Swanson's best friends Franny Jackson died while on vacation, she drowned. This last time Suzy saw her she was crying because of something Suzy did. She'll never have a chance to say sorry now. Suzy will not give up on trying to prove exactly what happen to frankie , frankie was a strong swimmer, so she couldn't have just drowned. Suzy comes up with the conclusion that it had to be a deadly jellyfish sting. She hasn't spoken since and the people around her try to make her happier again. This was an amazing novel, it was a sad story with an interesting twist and it had amazing facts recommended for 12+ Thanks for reading -Ajg16's reviews

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