Jellicoe Road
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Jellicoe Road

By Melina Marchetta

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Format: Paperback, 419 pages
Published In: United States, 01 March 2010
Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award * ALA Best Book for Young Adults * Kirkus Best BookJellicoe Road is a dazzling tale that is part love story, part family drama, and part coming-of-age novel. Described by Kirkus Reviews as "a beautifully rendered mystery" and by VOYA as "a great choice for more sophisticated readers and those teens who like multifaceted stories and characters." Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs, the boy who might be the key to unlocking the secrets for Taylor's past, is back in town, moody stares and all.In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her; Hannah finding her; Hannah's sudden departure; a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear; a boy in her dreams; five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago; and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her she thinks he does.If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she just might be able to change her future.


When she was 11, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother at a convenience store. At 17, she resides in a boarding school on Jellicoe Road. The closest person to her is Hannah, a nearby resident and would-be foster mom to the school's misfits. Now Hannah has disappeared when Taylor needs her most. She has been chosen to lead the school in its war with the local "Townies" and visiting "Cadets"-the cadets being led by a smoldering Jonah Briggs, with whom Taylor has a past. Looking for a clue to Hannah's whereabouts, Taylor reads a manuscript she left that tells the story of five friends united by a fatal accident on Jellicoe Road 22 years earlier. Why It is a Best: Set in rural Australia, the story of Taylor and of the five friends is permeated by a sense of place and time. Readers will smell the trees and taste the dust. Why It Is for Us: This is rich and layered domestic fiction that requires patience and careful attention as it spins a story of parents, children, and the legacy of tragedy. Readers of Anita Shreve and Wally Lamb will find much to enjoy here.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Gr 8 Up-For years, three factions-Townies, Cadets (city kids doing a six-week outdoor education program), and Jellicoe School students-have engaged in teen war games in the Australian countryside, defending territorial borders, negotiating for assets, and even taking hostages. Taylor Markham, a 17-year-old who was abandoned years ago by her mother, takes on leadership of the boarding school's six Houses. Plagued with doubts about being boss, she's not sure she can handle her Cadet counterpart, Jonah Griggs, whom she met several years before while running away to find her mother. When Hannah, a sort of house mother who has taken Taylor under her wing, disappears, Taylor puzzles over the book manuscript the woman left behind. Hannah's tale involves a tragic car accident on the Jellicoe Road more than 20 years earlier. Only three children survived, and Taylor discovers that this trio, plus a Cadet and a Townie, developed an epic friendship that was the foundation of the many mysteries in her life and identity, as well as of the war games. While the novel might put off casual readers, patient, thoughtful teens will remain to extract clues from the interwoven scraps of Hannah's narrative, just as Taylor does, all the while seeing the collapse of the barriers erected among the three groups over the years. Elegiac passages and a complex structure create a somewhat dense, melancholic narrative with elements of romance, mystery, and realistic fiction.-Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

A beautifully rendered mystery. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"

EAN: 9780061431852
ISBN: 0061431850
Publisher: Harper Teen
Dimensions: 20.07 x 13.46 x 2.79 centimeters (0.32 kg)
Age Range: 10-14 years
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Janina Zabitzki on
I'm at a loss for words. This book has made me cry and laugh out loud. It has made me fall in love with its characters, no matter how small their role. It is a book that I'm not likely to forget at any time.

Jellicoe Road deals with death and loss, with abandonment, drug-addiction and suicide. Each character has her or his own terrible past to come to terms with, and sometimes I wondered: How do these people manage to live on when even I almost can't cope with what they've been through?
But above all, Jellicoe Road is a book about forgiveness and moving on, and about the love and friendship that helps you on this journey. As, beautifully said: "What's the difference between a trip and a journey? [...] When we get there, you'll understand."

If you are contemplating giving up on this book after about 100 pages, don't do it. Even though I loved this story right from the start, I have heard from so many people who struggled. I can understand that the beginning may seem a little confusing with its eerie, almost dream-like quality, but it's definitely worth reading on.

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