Grade 5–8—Seventh-grader Gianna Zales loves art and cross-country running. She is not so crazy about research projects or anything involving time-management skills, and has somehow gotten to within a week of the due date of a huge science assignment with no work to show. But how hard can it be to find and catalog 25 different varieties of leaves—especially in Vermont, where Robert Frost was inspired to write "Birches" and countless other poems about nature. However, family obligations keep interfering. Her father runs the town's funeral home, but even a close proximity to death can't prepare her for her own grandmother's decline. Suddenly, Nonna is forgetting everything. Also, Coach Napper has told Gianna that she must bring her science grade up to participate in sectionals, and beautiful, arrogant Bianca would love to take her place as the team's star runner. Gianna's mother means well, but is struggling with Nonna's failing health. Youngsters will find much to relate to in this likable protagonist's struggle to balance family and academic commitments. While it is no surprise when it all comes together in the end, plot twists keep readers engaged, and Messner's warm and humorous tone will capture even reluctant readers.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z is Kate Messner's first book. She teaches junior high in Plattsburgh, New York, where she lives with her husband and two children.
This is a very honest and warm book about a talented middle school girl navigating the waters of growing up, at home and school. Read morePublished 5 months ago by susannah
My 9 year old has enjoyed this book. I bought this book as it is my daughters name. Definitely happy with my purchase.Published 15 months ago by Janelle Paul
My daughter loved this story, she keeps reading it over and over. Great book for any kid. Thank you very muchPublished on April 12, 2013 by Montes
I got this book for my daughters kindle. Every time I get her a book, I read it myself to make sure it's appropriate. I, a 33 year old woman, really enjoyed this book. Read morePublished on March 5, 2013 by DDz
hi my name is alyssa i am in fith grade and thi book i recentl read it is really good. whenever im readin i just sa keep on eading keep on reading but with this bookididnt even... Read morePublished on April 9, 2011 by David Howard
I have never written an Amazon review before, but I loved this book too much not to.
Gianna Z. is going through some adolescent drama, and handles it beautifully. Read more
Those who've enjoyed Linda Sue Park's novel, Project Mulberry, may like entering the world of Gianna Z too. Read morePublished on April 20, 2010 by Oleanna