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The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. (Paperback)
Autumn 2009 Kids' Indie Next List
“Gianna's family is definitely quirky. Dad runs a funeral parlor out of the basement, mom is a health-food freak, her brother is a budding paparazzo, and Nonna doesn't remember where she's left her teeth. This is a warm and wonderful family story with a whole lot of heart.”
— Jennifer Laughran, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
In the mountains of rural Vermont, fall is a season of beauty and transformation . . . but not for Gianna Z. With less than one week to collect twenty-five leaves for a science project, her spot at cross-country sectionals is in serious peril. Plus with a dad who runs a funeral parlor out of the basement, a grandma who keeps losing her teeth, and a rival trying to steal her spot on the team, Gee just wishes life could leave her alone to finish her project. But when Nonna disappears one afternoon, suddenly some things seem more important than projects and races.
Gianna Z. will have readers rooting for her-and maybe even for science projects-from the very first page of this funny and poignant novel about family, friendship, and being true to yourself.
Winner of the 2010 E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers
Bank Street College of Education Best Books of 2009
IndieBound Fall 2009 Kids IndieNext List
Kids' IndieNext Pick
New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award Nominee
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Nominee
Missouri Mark Twain Award Nominee
New York Charlotte Award Nominee
About the Author
Kate Messner is the author of The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. She teaches junior high in New York, where she lives with her husband and two children.
"Laced with humor and heart . . . an insightful and affecting read." - Booklist
"An engaging saga." - Kirkus Reviews
"Plot twists keep readers engaged, and Messner's warm and humorous tone will capture even reluctant readers." - School Library Journal
"Kate [Messner] juggles a bundle of fairly heavy plotlines as if they weighed no more than a pile of leaves, managing her story with humor and grace." - Writing and Ruminating (Online)
"An empathetic, beautiful, magical, fiercely necessary book that stares unflinchingly at the very real challenges contemporary kids face and gently assures them they are not alone. Kate Messner gives her readers a story to cherish." - Anne Ursu, author of BREADCRUMBS on THE SEVENTH WISH
"Hopeful, empathetic, and unusually enlightening." - starred review, Kirkus Reviews on THE SEVENTH WISH
"It's no surprise that Kate Messner’s magic pen could write a charming, moving, funny, and ultimately very surprising story about a magic pencil!" - Wendy Mass, New York Times bestselling author of 11 BIRTHDAYS on ALL THE ANSWERS