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Elsewhere

by Gabrielle Zevin

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005
275 pages
ISBN: 0374320918

Ages 12-17

Liz Hall has died. “Elsewhere,” Liz soon learns, is what happens next. Gabrielle Zevin’s quirky, funny and tender story is about a fifteen-year-old who must mourn the family and friends she has left behind—and the future she has lost-- before she is able to notice that life is going on, if not quite as she expected. People in Elsewhere continue to age, but in reverse, the years rolling back one by one until they’re infants ready to be reborn. Liz’s grandmother (dead at 50; now 34) died before Liz was born, but now they are getting to know each other. Liz gets a job doing something she loves—working with (recently deceased) animals. Love is even in the air after Liz meets Owen (dead at 26, now 17), who teaches Liz how to drive. Liz and Owen’s budding relationship is temporarily sidetracked when Owen’s beloved wife dies (they’re reunited but it doesn’t work out. Life—and death—has changed them both too much). And so Liz and Owen are free to grow young together as Liz comes to understand that death is another dimension of life, and it, too, is surely worth living. (MS) ©2006 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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