Synopses & Reviews
The book that inspired the hit film!
Sundance U.S. Dramatic Audience Award
Sundance Grand Jury Prize
This is the funniest book you’ll ever read about death.
It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he’s figured it out. The answer to the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl.
This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg’s mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg’s entire life.
Praise for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
“One need only look at the chapter titles (“Let’s Just Get This Embarrassing Chapter Out of the Way”) to know that this is one funny book.”
–Booklist, starred review
“A frequently hysterical confessional...Debut novelist Andrews succeeds brilliantly in painting a portrait of a kid whose responses to emotional duress are entirely believable and sympathetic, however fiercely he professes his essential crappiness as a human being. Though this novel begs inevitable thematic comparisons to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (2011), it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart.”
–Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“It is sure to be popular with many boys, including reluctant readers, and will not require much selling on the part of the librarian.”
"Mr. Andrews' often hilarious teen dialogue is utterly convincing, and his characters are compelling. Greg's random sense of humor, terrible self-esteem and general lack of self-awareness all ring true. Like many YA authors, Mr. Andrews blends humor and pathos with true skill, but he steers clear of tricky resolutions and overt life lessons, favoring incremental understanding and growth."
Capitol Choices 2013 - Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - Young Adult Fiction
YALSA 2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults
YALSA 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
"Zusak's characters, styling, and conversations are believably unpretentious, well conceived, and appropriately raw. Together, these key elements fuse into an enigmatically dark, almost film-noir atmosphere..." School Library Journal
"...Zusak succeeds brilliantly." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Funny, engrossing, and suspenseful." KLIATT, Starred
"A touching and intriguing exploration of the need to live one's life significantly, to value the richness knowing one another brings along with its terrible vulnerability." The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, (Starred Review)
"[A] wild ride of a novel..." VOYA
Meet Ed Kennedy underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he's hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That's when the first Ace arrives. That's when Ed becomes the messenger....
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?
Winner of the 2003 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.
By the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book Thief, this is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.
Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.
That's when the first ace arrives in the mail. That's when Ed becomes the messenger. Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?
This book is a 2005 Michael L. Printz Honor Book and recipient of five starred reviews.
Winner of the 2003 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, this tale is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.
Includes 6 copies of The Book Thief (TR classic edition/9780375842207) and 3 copies of I Am the Messenger (TR/9780375836671).
Markus Zusak is the author of I Am the Messenger, a Printz Honor Book and Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist, and the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which has been translated into over thirty languages and has sold nine million copies around the world. He is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens and lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children.
About the Author
Two award-winning modern classics from #1 New York Times
bestselling author Markus Zusak.
The Book Thief affirms the ability of books to feed the soul even in the bleakest of times in a story the New York Times described as “brilliant. . . . the kind of book that can be life-changing.” I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love, which School Library Journal called “unpretentious, well conceived, and appropriately raw” in a starred review. Markus Zusak is the recipient of two Printz Honor Books and the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens, and together, these two stories form an extraordinary collection to showcase the intensity and heart inherent in his storytelling.
How did you become a writer?
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a house painter like my father, but I was always screwing up when I went to work with him. I had a talent for knocking over paint and painting myself into corners. I also realized fairly quickly that painting bored me. When I was a teenager, I read some books that brought me totally into their worlds. One was The Old Man and the Sea and another was Whats Eating Gilbert Grape. When I read those books, I thought, Thats what I want to do. It took seven years to get published and there were countless daily failures, but Im glad those failures and rejections happened. They made me realise that what I was writing just wasnt good enough so I made myself improve.
Do you follow a set routine when you write?
I basically have two routines. The first one is the non-lazy routine, where I get up and work from about 7am and aim to finish by 11:30. That usually sees me through till noon or twelve-thirty (with some time-wasting in between). Then Ill take a long break and do a few more hours in the afternoon. The lazy routine usually starts at 10am and Ill write longer into the afternoon.
The only time these routines really change is at the start or end of a book, when Im more likely to work at night. I cant face starting a book early in the morning purely because self-belief levels are at their lowest for me when I wake up. When Im finishing a book, I will stay up longer and work through the night, mainly out of desperation to finally get it done.
How did you come to write I Am The Messenger?
I was sitting in a park one night eating fish and chips and saw a bank with a fifteen minute parking zone out the front, and I thought, Fifteen minutes, thats not very long every time I go the bank it takes a lot longer than that. I then thought, What if you were in that bank when it was being robbed and your car was out in the fifteen minute parking zone? How would you get out to move your car to avoid getting a fine? That gave me the bungled bank robbery scene that led to everything else in the book.
What do you do to get away from writing?
Living in Sydney, Ive taken the chance to start surfing again. One of my best memories of growing up is catching my first proper wave and surfing across it and my brother cheering at me from the shore. Many years later, Ive started up again and Im really loving it as long as the waves are small enough
I also watch a lot of movies, especially when Im struggling with a story Im working on. I like watching the same ones over and over again, so I half watch and half think about the story.
Lastly, where do you get your ideas from?
I used to lie about this, but now I actually know
I started writing when I was sixteen. Im thirty now. I get my ideas from fourteen years of thinking about it.