Elsewhere – Gabrielle Zevin (2005)
Liz Hall is dead.
At fifteen she died after she was hit by a car, which is how she ends up on the S.S. Nile bound for Elseworld.
Elseworld is the place everyone goes when they die, a place where everyone ages backwards.
In Elseworld Liz meets her grandmother Betty who died at 50, before Liz was born. Betty is now 36, the same age as Liz’s mum back on Earth.
Liz has trouble adjusting to her death, thinking of all the things she will never be able to do: learn to drive, go to prom, go to college, fall in love, and as a result refuses to take part in her new life in Elseworld.
Gradually Liz begins to adjust to her new life, recognizing that a life lived backwards is still a life, and a story half-lived is still a story.
Possibly the best original story idea since Harry Potter, Elseworld is beautifully written, heartwarming, and bittersweet.
Tenderly deals with life, loss, and the fact that a sea-green cashmere sweater can be the most important thing in the world.
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FSG Kids, August 2005
Suggested Reading Level: Grade 7-10
Zevin, G. (2005). Elsewhere. New York: FSG Kids.
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