Gabrielle Zevin

Square Fish

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Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice.
     Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?
     This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.
Elsewhere is a 2006 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Praise for Elsewhere

“A work of powerful beauty. This inventive novel slices right to the bone of human yearning, offering up an indelible vision of life and death as equally rich sides of the same coin.”—Booklist, Starred Review

“With an intriguing and well-developed premise, thoughtful characterization, and refreshing style, Zevin’s poignant novel rewards readers with a view of death that celebrates the rich complexities of being alive.”—The Horn Book, Starred Review

“Intriguing. Surely guides readers through the bumpy landscape of strongly delineated characters dealing with the most difficult issue that faces all of us. Provides much to think about and discuss.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Zevin’s touch is marvelously light even as she considers profundities, easily moving among humor, wisdom and lyricism. . . . No plot synopsis can convey what a rich, wise spell this book casts.”—The New York Times Book Review

Elsewhere is a funny, fast-paced, and fascinating novel. The concept is completely out there and yet the emotions are so weirdly realistic. I loved reading the story of Liz’s life (death?).”—Carolyn Mackler, author of The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things and Vegan Virgin Valentine

“An unusual premise and a thoughtful treatment make Zevin’s first effort at writing for young adults a success. Will captivate teens ready for a thought-provoking read. Hopeful and engaging.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Funny and pensive, happy and heartbreaking. Readers from a broad range of beliefs will find this a quirky and touching exploration of the Great Beyond.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Fascinating. Zevin, in her first novel for young people, bends the laws of physics and biology to create an intricately imagined world.”—Publishers Weekly
“A fun and thought-provoking page-turner. Readers . . . will relish Zevin’s lively imagination and her fast-moving plot. Buy this book for them.”—VOYA
“Great humor and speculation, on pets as well as people.”—Chicago Tribune
“Zevin presents an intriguing concept of the afterlife in her first novel for young adults.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer (paperback edition review)
“A charming story about growing up, Elsewhere encourages the reader to look toward the future and to expect the unexpected.”—Armchair Interviews (paperback edition)

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin is the author of award-winning books for young adults including Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, and books for adults including The Hole We’re In and Margarettown. She was also the screenwriter for Conversations with Other Women, which received an Independent Spirit Award nomination. Of her writing, The New York Times Book Review said, “Zevin’s touch is marvelously light even as she considers profundities.” A dog lover and Harvard graduate, she lives in New York City.

Gabrielle Zevin


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Gabrielle Zevin


American Library Association Notable Children's Books, American Library Association Popular Paperbacks for Young Readers, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Amazon.com Top 10 Editor's Picks: Teens, Booklist Editors' Choice, Horn Book Magazine Fanfare List, Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, Connecticut Nutmeg Children's Book Award, Georgia Peach Book Award Master List, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, Tennessee Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award Master List, Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List, Wyoming Soaring Eagle Book Award Master List

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Square Fish
May 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312367466
ISBN10: 0312367465
Young Adult Fiction
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages
Age Range: 12 to 18
Grade Range: 7 and up Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians

Lexile: 720LL
F&P Level A-Z: Y
AR Quiz Number: 102017
AR Points: 9


e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
September 2005
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429956253
ISBN10: 1429956259
Young Adult Fiction288 pages
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Range: 7 and up

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Square Fish

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