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Fish in the Sky Hardcover – September 11, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-The awkwardness of being a 13-year-old boy is candidly shared by protagonist Josh Stephenson with humor and compassion. Erlings writes with poignancy; Josh's experiences are raw enough to be embarrassing, sweet enough to evoke empathy. There is no American slang and no pop culture, but the emotions the teen feels are universal. He despises school, has his first ejaculation (while browsing National Geogaphic), and has a crush on a girl who doesn't know he's alive. Erlings handles the events beautifully. When Josh's sexy, older cousin moves in, he lusts for her. He watches with longing and horror as she kisses her boyfriend. "They go for each other's mouths like wolves gobbling up a carcass." Some difficult issues come up: divorce, rape, teen abuse, and bullying, but they seem like the author's own memories, not ploys to create plot. Josh struggles to find meaning in the small world he knows. He misses his father, worries about his cousin, and is annoyed by his preachy aunt. When he finds out that his father is having another baby, he wonders what his new half sibling will be like. He takes time to think by playing hooky. When he is finally caught, he admits he needs direction on his journey to freedom, and in the end decides to live with his dad. The target audience for this book is sensitive, intelligent, and postpubescent males who have a self-effacing sense of humor.-Pamela Schembri, Newburgh Enlarged City Schools, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author

Fridrik Erlings is a screenwriter, graphic designer, musician, and author of the YA novel Benjamin Dove. In 1986 he founded the Sugarcubes with Björk before leaving music to pursue writing. He lives in Iceland.
"Fish in the Sky is about the extreme pains and joys of being a teenager, the curious period in our lives that we all experience in more or less the same way regardless of our culture, country, race, or gender. Perhaps it is the one time in our whole lives when we are in fact the most perfect human beings we’ll ever become. The question is: where will we go from there?" — Fridrik Erlings

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076365888X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763658885
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,098,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Janessa, Age 15
This book was a lot like the movie "Moonrise Kingdom" and was pretty good. Josh just turned thirteen and is starting to think more about life and where he fits. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mom, though he misses his dad a lot and is jealous of his friend Peter, who has a dad and spends a lot of time with him. He is changing a lot and the boys at school are bullying him about it so he stops going, and his teenage girl cousin moves into the room connected to his and has to go through his room to get to the bathroom that she spends a lot of time in. So life for him is just too much sometimes, so he spends most of his time in his secret place in a big rock by the ocean, trying to figure out who he is and if it is normal.
"Before I know it, my ears have dragged me to the kitchen door."
This was a good book. I think most kids can relate to Josh in many ways, as being a kid can be tough and having your own space is important, but having family that really loves you means the most.
*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review*
*You can view the original review at Musing with Crayolakym and San Francisco & Sacramento City Book Review
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Format: Hardcover
osh has just turned 13 years old, and begins questioning his role in life while his problems seem to multiply. His parents are divorced, and he misses his dad. He’s jealous of his best friend Peter’s relationship with his father. He questions God and religion. His body is starting to change, which causes great panic as he’s afraid of being different from the other guys. He has a huge crush on one of the most beautiful girls in his class, but is too tongue tied to tell her about his feelings. When his 17 year old cousin comes to live with him, the female body becomes of great interest, and life gets even more confusing for Josh.

“Fish in the Sky” is a coming-of-age story for boys aged 12-14 who are on the cusp of manhood. As they read about Josh’s confusion, and fearfulness for what he’s becoming, they will also see themselves and realize they are not alone. Growing up is sometimes painful, but is a necessary cycle of life.
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