Heartfelt Chapter Book for Kids

There are sad books and there are SAD books.  The book I am profiling today is the former and is a heartfelt chapter book for kids.  Kids know life isn’t perfect and that everything doesn’t always turn out ok.   What they want in a book is to know the author understands that reality, but still gives them light, hope and humor at the end of the day.  Because really, life is fabulous and difficult and your kids get that.

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Title: The Thing About Jellyfishthe-thing-about-jellyfish heartfelt chapter book for kids

Author: Ali Benjamin

Target: Grades 5-7

Series: No

What this book is about:

Suzy has just learned that her friend Franny has drowned while on vacation. While Suzy collects and shares facts about the world around her, she can’t understand how Franny’s life could be over. Not only that, Suzy played the part of the villain in their last interchange and she wants to believe that something else is responsible for hurting Franny more than she did before Franny died. Suzy decides to stop talking until she can figure it all out and investigate the role that jellyfish may have played in Franny’s accident.

Why I love this book:

  • Ok, this one sounds pretty sad, right? But I still got sucked in immediately. Suzy has a unique voice, and Ali Benjamin teases the reader along as our understanding of Suzy grows and as she reveals how Suzy hurt Franny.
  • This story made me realize as a parent, how we don’t always have a clue what is going on in our kid’s heads. It is a good reminder that kids see the world differently and this story understands that.
  • As sad as certain moments could be, this book was loving and hopeful. I also learned a tremendous amount about jellyfish. I am tempted to also classify this book as nonfiction!

Who this book is for:

Great for kids who like realistic fiction, especially books like The Meaning of Maggie, Counting by 7s, Lost in the Sun or Just My Luck. They need to appreciate their stories with both a box of Kleenex and some laugh out loud moments.

Final thoughts:

Despite the topic, this book was a page turner from the start.  It is also a National Book Award finalist.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Thing About Jellyfish.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.