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Belzhar by [Wolitzer, Meg]
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Belzhar Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Length: 273 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Devastated by the death of her first love, 15-year-old Jam Gallahue is having difficulty moving on with her life. After nearly a year of being mired in grief, her parents send her to a boarding school in rural Vermont that specializes in "emotionally fragile" teens. Once there, she is surprised to have been one of five students selected by the legendary Mrs. Quenell for a class called Special Topics in English. It seems that the entire semester—Mrs. Q's swan song before retirement—will be devoted to the works of Sylvia Plath, and the students are given special red leather journals in which to record their reactions to the assigned readings. Jam is unenthusiastic at first until she realizes that these are no ordinary journals. When she and her classmates, all of whom have endured debilitating losses, begin to writing in their pages, they are transported to their former lives, at least for a while. The teens bond over their experiences in what they call Belzhar, and are able to share their stories and look out for and protect one another. As the semester progresses and the notebooks begin to fill up, they must each confront some inner demons and make some tough choices about their future paths. Wolitzer spins a smart and engrossing tale of trauma, trust, and triumph. She is respectful of the intelligence and sophistication of the teens while acknowledging their vulnerability and lack of life experience. Their voices ring true and the emotional truths are authentic—even for those readers unwilling or unable to embrace the magical realism. Exploring the themes of self-reflection and the recurring notion that "words matter" make this title a perfect choice for book groups and discussions.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal

Review

Entertainment Weekly’s Best YA Book of 2014
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014
TIME magazine Top YA of 2014
NPR’s Book Concierge 2014 Great Reads List
Newsday 2014 Best Books for Young Readers
BookPage Best Children’s books of 2014
Bustle.com Top 25 YA Novels of 2014
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
2015 CBBC Choice List

 
 
"It’s been a long while since a book has pulled me in this way; I read it leaning forward, figuratively on the edge of my seat with my heart in my throat. I had no idea what was coming, but I was hungry to get there. So subtly plotted and painfully beautiful, I couldn’t put it down. Meg Wolitzer is a an amazing storyteller.” —Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming

"Wolitzer has imagined a world for young readers that celebrates the sacred, transcendent power of reading and writing." —The New York Times Book Review

“Expect depth and razor sharp wit in this YA novel from the author of The Interestings.” —Entertainment Weekly

“A prep school tale with a supernatural-romance touch, from genius adult novelist Meg Wolitzer.” —Glamour

“Basically everything Meg Wolitzer writes is worth reading, usually over and over again, and her YA debut…is no exception.” —TeenVogue.com

“Demonstrates the power of words to heal.” —The Washington Post

“A riveting exploration of the human psyche…Wolitzer's teenage characters are invigorated, flawed, emotionally real and intensely interesting. Even as readers fold back the layers of the story and discover unexpected truths and tragedies, the plot maintains an integrity that has come to be hallmark of Wolitzer's novels.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A smart and engrossing tale of trauma, trust, and triumph.” —School Library Journal, starred review

"A strong, original book." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Wolitzer handles Jam’s increasingly complex psychological state with delicate, nonjudgmental nuance …teen readers, especially rabid Plath fans, will relish Wolitzer’s deeply respectful treatment of Jam’s realistic emotional struggle.” —Booklist

Enlivened by humor, memorable characters and a page-turning mystery only revealed in its final pages, Belzhar explores the role of trauma in young lives.” —BookPage

"But Jam herself is a fantastic portrait of a girl somehow younger than her own age, unable to cope with the hardships of being a teenager, and the final twist of the novel reveals an unexpected aspect to her character that makes her all the more heartbreaking." —The Daily Beast

Product details

  • File Size: 928 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (September 30, 2014)
  • Publication Date: September 30, 2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00INIQQE0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,469 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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