Saturday, May 19, 2007

Who wouldn't want to be younger?

That's the question that 15-year-old Liz Hall faced after she got hit by a taxi in Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. One day Liz was crossing the street and the next she was on a boat. Liz died and was on her way to Elsewhere, a form of afterlife. While traveling on the boat, Liz made a few friends, one being the lead singer to her favorite band who died of an overdose and the other, a young girl who was killed accidently in a shooting. When she landed, Liz found her grandma that she never met waiting for her at the dock, who appeared to be about 35 years old. Betty, her grandma, explained that Elsewhere is the place people go after they die. Everyone ages backwards until they are babies and then they are reborn on earth.

There were lots of things to keep Elsewhere residents busy. Everyone is required to find an avocation or job. Liz discovered that she can speak Canine and got a job in the Division of Domestic Animals of the Department of Acclimation where she places newly dead animals with new owners. There are also Observation Decks where people can watch their loved ones who are still alive, but those can be dangerouly addicting. Despite everything around her, Liz has a problem getting into the swing of things in Elsewhere.

All Liz wanted was to turn 16 and get her driver's license. Now she won't ever reach 16 years old.

This book is on the 2008 Read for a Lifetime list. Any questions about the program or how to sign up, visit the Youth and Teen Reference desk.

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