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The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Nelson, Jandy.  The Sky is Everywhere. Dial.  2010. ISBN 0803734956

Reader’s Annotation: The death of Lennie’s older sister, Bailey, pushes Lennie into the spotlight as she must deal with her grief.

Plot Summary: Lennie has always lived in her older sister, Bailey’s, shadow and was happy with the state of things.  When Bailey dies suddenly Lennie finds herself pushed into the center of attention as she must deal with her grief as well as the attention from both her sister’s boyfriend, Toby, and a new boy in town, Joe.

This is a heart wrenching read but is written so beautifully that I highly recommend it especially for those who are dealing with grief of their own.  Lennie’s grief is so painful to read that you want to cry your own heart out and yet you get sucked into her maelstrom of feelings and won’t want to put the book down.

The story itself is so real and fascinating as we learn along with Lennie that the sister she felt so close to was hiding secrets that now come to light.  Lennie has to deal with these shocks as well as having all eyes on her including those of her sister’s boyfriend.  Their shared grief push them towards a relationship I had a harder time accepting and yet I can see why the overwhelming emotion can fool people into misinterpreting their feelings.  On the other hand, Joe Fontaine’s character is a true ray of light in the story.  His character is so much fun, energetic and as odd as it sounds just so happy that he will bring a smile to your face.

I can’t recommend this book enough times and if you can get your hands on the UK version I would highly suggest it.  It’s gorgeously designed to look like a diary and contains illustrations of Lennie’s notes on scraps of paper or whatever other material she jots her notes down on.

About the author

Jandy Nelson’s book The Sky is Everywhere was chosen as one of five best books for teens in 2010 by NPR, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults book and numerous other awards.

Nelson started off in publishing as a literary agent at Manus & Associates Literary Agency before becoming an author herself.  She lives in California and is currently working on her second novel.



Curriculum Ties


Book talking idea

Talk about dealing with grief as a teenager.

Read some of Lennie’s notes and use props by actually printing them on the materials/items Lennie wrote on.

Reading level

Ages 14 and up.

Challenge Issues


Why did I include this book?

It was a book that was recommended to me over and over with the warning that you will cry your eyes out.  Jandy is also a local author which is also an added perk.


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Filed under Fiction, Realistic/Contemporary