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After Eli [NOOK Book]

Overview

Some people die heroically, others accidentally. When Daniel Anderson's older brother dies, he wonders which category Eli's death falls into. In an attempt to understand, Danny creates a Book of the Dead - an old binder that he fills with details about dead people, how they died, and, most important, for what purpose. Time passes, and eventually Daniel is prompted to look up from his notebook of death and questions to make new friends and be swept into their imaginings. With gentle humor and genuine emotion, ...
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After Eli

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Overview

Some people die heroically, others accidentally. When Daniel Anderson's older brother dies, he wonders which category Eli's death falls into. In an attempt to understand, Danny creates a Book of the Dead - an old binder that he fills with details about dead people, how they died, and, most important, for what purpose. Time passes, and eventually Daniel is prompted to look up from his notebook of death and questions to make new friends and be swept into their imaginings. With gentle humor and genuine emotion, Rebecca Rupp examines the questions that arise following a profound loss and the moments that start life rolling again.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Though it's been three years since his older brother was killed during the Iraq War, 14-year-old Danny Anderson is still coming to terms with this senseless tragedy. His parents can't offer solace because they're deeply mired in their own grief. As a means of coping, Danny changes his middle name to Eli to keep the memory of his brother alive, and he begins cataloging a Book of the Dead in which he lists the various ways people throughout history have died. Danny is transformed the summer preceding his sophomore year when he meets 15-year-old Isabelle and her younger brother and sister, twins Jasper and Journey. He also finds comfort in his budding friendship with brainy classmate Walter. As he spends more time with this motley group, Danny feels uplifted and becomes more introspective about life and death. While processing his grief, he starts to realize the importance of moving forward ("Sometimes you have to destroy the past so that you'll have to learn how to live in the new world."). Flashbacks recalling Danny's life with Eli lend heartbreaking pathos to this story. Rupp's poignant bildungsroman is therapeutic, particularly for those readers who have experienced the unimaginable loss of a loved one.—Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA
Publishers Weekly
Daniel, a wry and thoughtful narrator, looks back on the summer when he was 14, three years after his older brother, Eli, died in Iraq at age 22. Rupp (Octavia Boone’s Big Questions about Life, the Universe, and Everything) skillfully weaves Daniel’s memories of larger-than-life Eli and his lingering anger about his death with Daniel’s day-to-day challenges, including his dysfunctional family (Daniel repeatedly clashes with his father, and his mother is all but catatonic, continuing to mourn Eli); his frustrations with his popular but conventional friends; his attraction to Isabelle, a gorgeous and free-spirited newcomer to town; and his nascent friendship with school outcast Walter. Throughout, Daniel adds to his “Book of the Dead,” in which he documents famous and infamous deaths that seem tragic, senseless, or cruel. The pain running through the narrative is tempered with hope, humor, and resilience, offering insight into the anguish of those left behind. A rich cast of secondary characters (Isabelle’s bickering twin siblings are scene-stealers) is a powerful source of support for Daniel in a story that’s as much about self-knowledge as acceptance. Ages 9–12. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
Rupp skillfully weaves Daniel’s memories of larger-than-life Eli and his lingering anger about his death with Daniel’s day-to-day challenges, including his dysfunctional family; his frustrations with his popular but conventional friends; his attraction to Isabelle, a gorgeous and free-spirited newcomer to town; and his nascent friendship with school outcast Walter... The pain running through the narrative is tempered with hope, humor, and resilience, offering insight into the anguish of those left behind.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Danny’s nostalgic first-person narration includes interestingly quirky information as well as sweet moments. Middle school readers will see the inevitable end of this first love long before Danny faces it, grieving his new loss but grateful for his healing. Far more than a summer romance, this is a tribute to those left behind.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The tone of this first-person narrative isn’t maudlin or morbid, it’s smart and searching, and the well structured story quietly builds to a moving climax and a worthy, satisfying conclusion.
—Booklist (starred review)

Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
Danny looked up to his older brother Eli and so when he volunteered to become a medic in the army, he and his parents hoped for the best but feared for the worst. So when on an April day in 2004 Eli was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, things changed in a fundamental way for Danny and his family. Danny's mother, who was once a popular and vibrant kindergarten teacher, went into prolonged grieving, gave up her job, and refused to allow anyone to enter into or change her late son's room. Danny's father had little to do with him save to criticize his grades and lecture him on how he was ruining his future. Danny turned to his "book of the dead," a journal within which he recorded facts about the death of local and historical figures so that he could better understand the seemingly random nature of death. Then, Danny got a summer job working on a potato farm owned by a close friend of Eli. There, working the soil, Danny gets to know things about himself and his brother that he might otherwise have missed. The summer also brings new neighbors in the form of a visiting professor and his family. Unexpectedly Danny makes friends with the bright and boundlessly energetic twins and their beautiful and mystical older sister. Danny also befriends Walter, a boy with quirky habits and a mind that works in mysteriously brilliant ways. Through these new relationships Danny discovers inner qualities that help him to make some sense out of the senselessness of Eli's death. Written with beauty and dignity, After Eli is a book that will make you laugh and cry as you watch Danny learn the painful life lessons thrown his way. This is a wonderful story told in a gently moving way by a talented writer.
Kirkus Reviews
Daniel (E.) Anderson looks back on the summer he fell in love and finally came to terms with his soldier brother's death. After Eli died in Iraq, Daniel added his initial to his own name and began compiling a Book of the Dead, a binder filled with his research on famous deaths. Three years later, still angry at his brother for joining the Army, the 14-year-old still keeps his book. Relevant entries, ranging from the princes in the Tower to Isadora Duncan and the 9/11 victims, begin each chapter of this poignant novel. Danny's father is detached and displeased by everything; his mother, silent and withdrawn. But in the course of an idyllic summer spent with the beautiful Isabelle and her younger twin siblings, visiting from New York, Danny comes to terms with his brother's death, finds a new, true friend in his dorky, formerly despised classmate Walter, and discovers that working on an organic farm is something he's good at and cares about. Danny's nostalgic first-person narration includes interestingly quirky information as well as sweet moments. Middle school readers will see the inevitable end of this first love long before Danny faces it, grieving his new loss but grateful for his healing. Far more than a summer romance, this is a tribute to those left behind. (Fiction. 11-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763661946
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/14/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 745,189
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Rebecca Rupp is the beloved author of more than a dozen books for young readers, among them The Dragon of Lonely Island, Sarah Simpson’s Rules for Living, and Octavia Boone’s Big Questions About Life, the Universe, and Everything. She and her family live in Swanton, Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(43)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    3.5-4.0 stars 9/11 happened and Eli wanted to help at ground ze

    3.5-4.0 stars

    9/11 happened and Eli wanted to help at ground zero but Eli’s dad said no. Feeling that he had to do something to help he enlisted in the army instead. About a year or so after he dies in Iraq while on duty. Eli’s death has left Danny alone, his dad even less sociable and mom has checked out. While coping with the death of his brother, Danny begins the “Book of the Dead” a book where he records famous people and the cause of their deaths.

    I think the most interesting part of this book was the “Book of the Dead” and how the author used it to tie it back to certain events in Danny’s life and/or to show his thought process on the topic of death. This definitely made After Eli a very unique story.

    I liked the story well enough. I thought it was written well. I liked the characters especially the twins who were a hoot! I especially liked that you could noticeably see the growth within these characters. The flow of the story was right on point and the ending was just right. Yet something didn’t sit well with me.

    I’ve read a few contemporaries as of late and they were heart wrenching and I guess I was expecting this book to be that way. It’s not. There are some moments and I did cry during those moments but it was hard for me to connect in that way the entire time.

    Another thing, I felt like I was reading the wrong era. The book reads like the TV show the Wonder Years. This is not a negative, people. I loved Wonder Years. My thing was that this is supposed to be the present, you know 2012. Although there were parts that felt like 2012, there were other parts that felt like the 1960’s.

    I don’t know. It could just be the emotional overload I’ve felt reading other types of books in the last few months. Also, it could just be a figment of my imagination about the era switch up I felt often in this book…figment or lack of sleep. Or it could just be that this book is just a different type of grief and it doesn’t always have to be over the top and the town is rural and could possibly still feel like the 1960’s even if it is 2012.

    Bottom line: I still recommend this read to everyone because it was an overall enjoyable read. After reading it let me know your thoughts on it.

    ARC was provided by Candlewick via NetGalley.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2014

    Glen

    ((Dam.nit!! Gtg.))

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2014

    Ava

    I moan more

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2014

    Madi

    No hugs james back

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2014

    Joy

    Strips out of my clothes and gets closer to Tess so she can do wha he wants

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2014

    Cristina

    Someone please fuq me hard

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2014

    Madi

    Im killing myself cuz if yall i love u tess but u dont love me bye

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2014

    Tess

    Is alone

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2014

    Kiki

    Monkey res 1

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    To Tess

    Ok.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2014

    Nya

    Gimme a book title

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2014

    Lex

    Drinks beer

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2014

    Ana

    "My tool kit. Human beings are annoying."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2014

    Lace

    "Well, who's it?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2014

    Pat to naomi

    Lol

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Jen

    Walks in.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2014

    Skylar

    Skylar nudged her. "Ask him!" She whispered back.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2014

    Lila

    Grabs a beer

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2014

    Rachel

    ((Gtgtb, bbt babe))

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2014

    Kristen

    "Hello, Eli!"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews

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