The Pull of Gravity

The Pull of Gravity

by Gae Polisner


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While Nick Gardner's family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot's final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot's father. There's just one problem: the Scoot's father walked out years ago and hasn't been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck's life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.

Characters you'll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374371937
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 05/10/2011
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: HL690L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Gae Polisner is a wife, mother, and family law attorney/mediator by trade, but a writer by calling. The Pull of Gravity is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt


A fever was what started everything. That, and the water tower, and the cherry cola. Well, also, Dad and his condition, and Mom being in Philadelphia and all.
I mean, the fever alone wasn’t the problem, or even the hallucination that came with it. I always got those when I was sick. “Febrile seizures” Mom calls them. But they were usually confined to my bedroom. Okay, once to the bathroom—unless there were actually giant spiders guarding the toilet—and once to the backyard. But there were definitely giant noodles dancing out there, so I had to join them. Which, according to my brother, Jeremy, was hilarious.
As far as Jeremy’s concerned, I’m just one big ball of feverish entertainment.
Even Mom says she never saw anyone who can spike a fever like I can. It’s like I can be fine one minute, then burning up an easy 104 degrees the next.
Jeremy is different. He’s Mr. Healthy so it’s an international crisis if he even sneezes or gets a headache. Really, the dude is never sick. Never misses a day of school or a game or, worse, his own birthday party. It’s like my folks had him, then spent the next three years saving up the sick genes and popped me out to deal with them.
But where was I?
Oh yeah, how everything got started.
So it’s the last Friday in August, and I’m a few days from starting high school, which isn’t a big deal here in Glenbrook since there’s only one elementary school that feeds into one middle school that feeds into Marshall J. Freeman High. So by the time we all get there, we pretty much know everyone by heart. Besides, I’m almost fifteen, so I’m ready to get the heck into high school.
Mom is at Rand Industries where she works, but not at the local factory here in Glenbrook like she normally is. She’s at corporate headquarters in Philly where she is the last Thursday through Sunday of every other month, on account of she’s their bookkeeper and that’s where the bimonthly audit review meetings are held. Well, also, on account of she has to since Dad doesn’t work much anymore. On account of him being so fat.
Rand Industries is a chemical-by-product storage and removal company, but other than that, there’s not much I can tell you about it. Mom’s explained it a thousand times, but honestly, I still don’t know what they do. Except that a few times a month, a big puff of black smoke comes wafting out of the building, and then a bunch of people run over there with picket signs saying it’s bad for the environment. It’s not that I disagree with them, but I feel bad for Mom. She doesn’t make the stuff. She just keeps the books for them.
Although it is kind of ironic, since clean air and clean living are the main reason she moved us up here to Glenbrook in the first place, right after Jeremy was born.
Anyway, Mom is at Rand headquarters, and Dad is belly-up on the couch in the living room like he always is. Sound asleep, like a beached whale.
I walk over and tap him on the stomach with my lacrosse stick, which I’m carrying around in my boxer shorts because I have this fever and I’m half in—and half out of—sleep, and clearly ramping up to hallucinate.
“Dad, I’m meeting Ryan,” I say. “Going out laxxing.”
No answer.
I prod him again with the stick. He grumbles and breathes heavy.
“Dad, I’m going out. But maybe I’m sick. Can you feel my head?”
He rolls on his side, his gigantic belly hanging over the edge, and for the millionth time in the last few years I wonder if he’s close to dead. But as I head to the front door he manages, “Other way, kid, you’d better go back to bed.”
Now if you think I’m exaggerating about the fat part, I’m not. My dad is seriously fat. At last count, 395 pounds of jiggling, miserable fat. And add to that, just plain miserable.
Of course, he didn’t start out that way. Sure, he was always big, which makes you wonder why I stay so freaking skinny. Barely 110 pounds soaking wet on a good day. Seriously, my ribs show. Not cool for a guy who’s entering high school. But Dad was always a jolly sort of big, like a solid 250 or something. Then, after his heart attack a few years ago, he had to take time off because of stress and depression and all, and he got fatter and fatter by the minute. Which was like a vicious cycle, because he lost his job as a desk editor for the Albany Times Union, then sat around home writing dinky editorial pieces for the Glenbrook Weekly Sun. Which made things worse since the Albany paper was already a huge step down from the New York Daily News where he used to work before Mom dragged him up here to “the Sticks.” Which is what my dad calls any place more than five minutes away from Manhattan. Where he used to live before Jeremy and I mucked it all up.
But anyway.
So the more I think about it, I guess it wasn’t just the fever and the cherry cola and the water tower that got everything started, but also Dad’s situation. Or maybe it was actually the Scoot’s turn for the worse that really set things in motion.
As hard as I try to pinpoint it, maybe it wasn’t one thing that led me to Jaycee Amato and the craziest weekend of my life.
All I know is once it started, it just was.
Spinning in motion, I mean.
And then nothing was the same.

copyright © Lucasfilm Ltd

Reading Group Guide

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Student Study Guide: Chapter by Chapter Questions

Teacher's guide created by Sarah Andersen, English teacher in Clio, Michigan

Chapter 1:

Within the first chapter, Nick tells us about his family background and leads into the story of "the craziest weekend" of his life. What predictions can you make? How did you visualize him and his family?

Building Vocabulary: Febrile seizures (p. 3), wafting (p. 4), audit (p. 4)

Chapter 2:

Describe Nick's hallucination. Recreate his hallucination by either drawing it, piecing it together with magazine pictures, painting it, etc.

Why did Nick's dad leave his family? Put yourself in Nick's place. Explain how you would react to his dad's email on page 9.

Building Vocabulary: wielding (p. 8), trapezoidal (p. 8), delirious (p. 8), pariah (p. 9)

Chapter 3:

"Mom doesn't seem all that broken up about it." Is Nick's mom really okay with his dad leaving? Explain your thoughts.

What does Nick mean when he says "Not hanging out and not caring are two very different things" (18).

Chapter 4:

What is the Scoot's real name? Why is Nick upset when Jeremy uses his real name?

Describe the dynamics of Nick and Jeremy's relationship.

Prediction: Who is Jaycee Amato? What part will she play in the story? Why do you think Nick's dad is sending him email updates? Do you think he's sending them to Jeremy or the Scoot? Explain your thoughts.

Building Vocabulary: omen (p. 19), naïve (p. 20)Chapter 5:

How would you characterize Nick's mom at this point in the story?

Nick's surprised by Jaycee's interaction with the Scoot. How do you think they know each other? Could they be friends? Explain.

Figurative Language Practice: Find examples of similes within the chapter.

Building Vocabulary: suffice (p. 27), militant (p. 27), ogling (p. 28)

Chapter 6:

Why does Nick become uncomfortable in front of his friends when Jaycee talks about his friendship with the Scoot?

Prediction: What do you think will happen on Nick's "date" with Jaycee?

Building Vocabulary: fiasco (p. 34), warped (p. 38)

Chapter 7:

Nick and Jaycee discuss money and the benefits of living with the "Doofus." Does money buy happiness? Is Jaycee happy? Why or why not?

Why do you think Jaycee has the Scoot's notebook and his copy of Of Mice and Men?

Building Vocabulary: atrocity (p. 45), ostracized (p. 48), waylaid (p. 57)

Chapter 8:

Would you help Jaycee and the Scoot? Explain.

From what we've read so far, what's your opinion of the Scoot's dad? What do you think of the Scoot's goal to find him?

Building Vocabulary: melodrama (p. 60), pendula (p. 63)

Chapter 9:

As Nick and Jaycee get to know each other, Nick learns that Jaycee currently knows the Scoot better than he does. During the conversation about how Jaycee and the Scoot met, Nick wonders why the Scoot didn't tell him. Jaycee responds "Well, I'm sure you didn't ask" (70). What does Jaycee mean by that?

What are your thoughts on how the Scoot is handling his declining health?

Building Vocabulary: deterred (p. 71), periodically (p. 72), crocheted (p. 75)

Chapter 10:

Jaycee says even though Of Mice and Men takes place pretty much over a weekend, you get to know George and Lennie pretty well. Do you feel that way about Nick and Jaycee? Do you think you feel that way by the end of the novel? Explain.

How did you react when Nick tells us the Scoot died?

How are MaeLynn and Nick's dad similar?

Nick and Jaycee discuss the foreshadowing in Of Mice and Men. Find examples of foreshadowing (so far) in The Pull of Gravity.

Building Vocabulary: migrant (p. 78), alienation (p. 87), oversimplified (p. 90)

Chapter 11:

Nick really enjoys listening to Jaycee read to him. Do you enjoy being read to? Did anyone read to you as a child? If so, who?

When have your plans gone awry? Are you a planner like Jaycee, or are you more like Nick when it comes to making plans?

Building Vocabulary: aberration (p. 96), awry (p. 97), infamous (p. 105)

Chapter 12-14:

Define foil character. How is the Scoot's dad (what we know about him) a foil to Nick's dad?

On page 123 Nick says "To its right are cans of Cherry RC Cola. Just like in the vending machine. And that's when it hits me. The water tower. The cherry cola. And, now, the fever. I should have seen it coming." What is he referring to? Why is this important?

How are the dynamics of Nick and Jaycee's relationship changing?

Building Vocabulary: contribution (p. 109), freelance (p. 111), trifecta (p. 125), rouse (p. 128), valor (p. 132), stupor (p. 133), melancholy (p. 137)

Chapter 15-16:

Prediction: What do you think is the name of the luncheonette?

Should Nick tell Jaycee about the poster? What do you think of the poster and its connection with the restaurant and possibly the Scoot? Explain.

Building Vocabulary: vortex (p. 140), affiliate (p. 141), haughty (p. 145), vestibule (p. 152)

Chapter 17-18:

Much is uncovered and discovered in chapter 17 (i.e. Nick's dad with MaeLynn). Did you predict any of this happening? Find examples of foreshadowing that lead us to this point in the novel.

What do you think of Nick's response to his dad's relationship with MaeLynn? To MaeLynn's information about Guy Reyland? How did you respond?

How has Nick's attitude changed in chapter 18? Why is he acting this way?

How do you think the conflicts in this novel will be resolved?

Building Vocabulary: immaculate (p. 166), urgently (p.166)

Chapter 19-20:

How could Nick or Jaycee be characterized as a hero?

Define comic relief. What examples do we have in these two chapters?

Building Vocabulary: concierge (p. 172), idling (p. 175), gloating (p. 180), embankment (p. 184)

Chapter 21-22:

Do you think others would catch Jaycee's reference to Of Mice and Men when she tells the new bus driver, "'We were killing a dog and buying a ranch to tend bunnies!'"

What do you think the Scoot has written to Nick?

How would you feel about the Scoot's letter? Was the Scoot's plan a good idea? Explain.

What do you think Nick will do with the book? What would you do with it?

How do you feel about the end of the story? What do you predict will happen with Nick and Jaycee? How about Nick's family?

Building Vocabulary: damper (p. 191), claustrophobic (p. 198)

Character Analysis Essay

Choose a character from The Pull of Gravity and think about how that character developed throughout the story. What motivated him/her to action? How did the character influence other characters? What are his/her positive and negative traits? This essay is an opportunity to examine and understand a character you related to, loved, or even a character you didn't like.

Gender Issues

The Pull of Gravity is a novel that both male and female readers will enjoy because it has male and female main characters. For your essay, think about how gender influences the actions and personalities of Nick and Jaycee. How would these characters, and the story, be different if their roles were reversed?

Realism and Setting

Nick and Jaycee are written as pretty average teenagers, who go on a journey to fulfill the wish of their dying friend. Most of the setting takes place in upstate New York over a long weekend. As teenagers, do you think you could set off on a journey like Nick and Jaycee? For your essay, think about how prepared, or not prepared, Nick and Jaycee are for this trip. How would you compare on a similar journey? How would you prepare for this? What would you pack? What should Nick and Jaycee have packed that they didn't?

Essays Comparing and Contrasting The Pull of Gravity with Of Mice and Men

These suggested essay topics are provided in the following Connections section of the guide.

Discussion Topics

Both Of Mice and Men and The Pull of Gravity explore themes of friendship and loneliness. How have the characters in both novels displayed important acts of friendship? What other common themes do the two books share?

How have plans gone awry for George and Lennie? For Nick and Jaycee? Do plans ever pan out?

How are the timelines in both books similar? How have Steinbeck and Polisner created characters that invoke strong emotions in the reader in such a short time period?

Jaycee's reading of Of Mice and Men aloud to Nick is a means of carrying Nick from Glenbrook to Rochester in much the same way as the telling of the story of the new ranch with rabbits is a means for George to carry Lennie to the new ranch. Explain.

Figurative Language

Both novels have strong examples of foreshadowing, imagery, idioms, symbolism and more. Do a mini-lesson and/or PowerPoint or Prezi presentation comparing the figurative language used in both novels, possibly using one of the following "jumping off" points:


In Of Mice and Men Steinbeck foreshadows the ultimate act of friendship and the demise of George and Lennie's dream.

In The Pull of Gravity Polisner foreshadows an upheaval with Nick's family and problems with the journey.


Both Of Mice and Men (Chapter 1)and The Pull of Gravity (Chapter 2)use a form of the idiom "bust a gut." Compare and contrast idioms found in Of Mice and Men and The Pull of Gravity. Does the use of idioms create a particular voice or feeling in these books? Do idioms "date" a story? Are they particular to setting? Or are they able to transcend place and time?

Using Graphic Organizers

For better understanding of the two novels, use Venn diagrams to compare Nick and Jaycee to George and Lennie. Use Venn diagrams to compare major themes in both novels such as friendship, loneliness & loss, loyalty, etc.

To understand the plot development of both stories, fill out story maps. by NCTE and the IRA) supplies a number of graphic organizers that can be used in the classroom.

Suggested Essay Topics

Joseph Campbell introduced the concept of the Monomyth or "Hero's Journey"—the main elements being Departure, Initiation, and Return (also sometimes referred to as Separation, Initiation and Return), and each main element having sub-elements such as The Call to Adventure, Refusal of Call (both during Separation or Departure) and Belly of the Whale (at outset of Initiation). Both Of Mice and Men and The Pull of Gravity follow this monomyth in many ways. For example, both stories have strong examples of "The Belly of the Whale," defined as the final separation from the hero's known world and self, a/k/a a character's "lowest point," ("Often the hero will appear to actually be physically swallowed up in something much larger than he is"). It is the point when the character is transitioning between worlds or selves.

Give examples of The Belly of the Whale in Of Mice and Men and The Pull of Gravity, or choose another element of Campbell's Monomyth to discuss and compare and contrast between Of Mice and Men and The Pull of Gravity.

Suggested Essay Topics (continued)

Write a compare/contrast essay focusing on common themes in both Of Mice and Men and The Pull of Gravity such as The American Dream, Friendship, Loyalty, Loneliness, etc.

Write a compare/contrast essay focusing on common elements of story telling e.g. figurative language, idioms, etc

Using Technology

Google Maps

Have students make the journey with Nick & Jaycee and George & Lennie.


Prezi is a wonderful (and free!) alternative to PowerPoint that students can access at home since everything is stored online.


Students can create presentations about the different uses of figurative language, their favorite character, author biographies, etc.

Character Journal

This project allows you to show your creativity while also showing your ability to analyze the characters more thoroughly.

First, choose a character from The Pull of Gravity. It does not have to be the main character. Stepping into the mind of a minor character can make it more interesting to write and read!

Next, write journal entries from this character's point of view. Your journal does not have to cover the entire novel. You may choose to begin the journal in the time before the novel begins or end it after the novel ends. However, some of your journal entries should take place during the time of the novel. Make your choices based on how interesting the journal would be to write and read. Tease the reader of your journal into reading the book.

Your journal should be 3-5 pages. However, this is a guide for length. You should be creative with the format you use to present the journal. There is no set number of journal entries required; put in as many as appropriate.

Please include a cover page with the novel's title, author, character name, as well as your name and class hour.

Remember, be creative! Make the emotions of the character come alive for the reader!

Redesigned Cover

Many covers lately have models that "look" like the character(s) in the novel they're representing. Create a new cover for The Pull of Gravity without using models. Your cover must include the following:

1. The title and the author's name.

2. An "advance praise" blurb-the type another author would offer for the back cover of the book . This can be either your own, or one from another student or friend who has read the book.

3. Symbol(s), key ideas, objects/tokens from the novel.

4. Your own jacket flap (book description/hook) that will grab a reader's attention and interest.

5. An explanation of how your cover connects to The Pull of Gravity (use formal writing, paragraph form, one page minimum, and stapled to the back of your cover).

Novel/Movie Soundtrack

Create a soundtrack for The Pull of Gravity. Choose music that relates to the theme, mood, an event, a character, an idea, etc. Remember, as this is a school project, please use school-appropriate song selections! Please include the following in your Novel/Movie Soundtrack project:

1. Design a cover jacket for your CD soundtrack. You will need to examine other album jacket covers in order to do so. Consider the title, cover art, artists included, etc.

2. Choose at least five songs that you would include on the soundtrack. Place these selections on your CD cover along with their artist.

3. Include an explanation of the connection between each song and the book, including when each song would be played and excerpts from the lyrics that demonstrate why it should be played.


Be creative!

Extra Credit: Turn in your actual soundtrack burned on a CD (10 pts.)

Book Trailer

Using a program like Windows Moviemaker or JayCut (, develop your own book trailer for The Pull of Gravity. Book trailers can serve as a "preview" of the book to grab a potential reader's attention, or it can be created to highlight the main points of the novel. A great book trailer includes images and text that fit with the novel, along with music that suits the mood of the novel.

Book Trailer Checklist:

Is your book trailer 1-1 ½ minutes long?

Does it include pictures that fit with the story?

Is there audio? (This is a MUST for a good book trailer!)

Do you have text to go along with the pictures?

Is this text easy to read (font/color)?

Are the transitions timed long enough for others to read?

Have you included the major points/themes?

Have you checked for any grammatical/spelling errors?

Customer Reviews

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The Pull of Gravity 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Pull of Gravity is sweet, honest and touching. It has moments that will make you laugh out loud and even become teary. Those teaching Of Mice and Men will want to read this and add it to their library, if not their curriculum. John Steinbeck’s novel isn’t part of our curriculum in my district, but I will be including The Pull of Gravity in my classroom library. My favorite character is the unique and completely honest Jaycee Amato. Her witty dialogue and comebacks with Nick had me giggling multiple times throughout the book. She’s the one that introduces Nick to Of Mice and Men by reading it to him as they head out on their journey to fulfill the request of The Scoot, their dying friend. They’re looking for Scoot’s father (without telling their parents), and the chances of finding him are slim, but Jaycee is prepared and optimistic. You’ve gotta love a girl who can plan an entire secret trip and stay optimistic while doing so. :) The trip itself is fun to read because so many aspects of the story unravel and come together there. Besides Nick and Jaycee looking for Scoot’s dad, we watch Nick take chances (on love and his family) and become more independent. And even though Scoot isn’t on this journey with him, we get to find out more about his life and character. Plus, there’s all of his great Yoda and Star Wars references. Steinbeck and Yoda together?! AWESOME! If you’ve read John Green’s Paper Towns (I’m thinking of Quentin’s journey to find Margo), you’re sure to enjoy The Pull of Gravity. A great element to the story are the emails Nick receives from his dad. Nick and his dad lack a strong relationship because his dad has pretty much checked out as a father. The emails appear in between some chapters and give us insight that we otherwise wouldn’t have. We know why Nick is upset with his dad, but I wish these feelings were more developed before we read the emails. I also wish we could have read more of his emails simply because they’re a cool element to the story. I definitely recommend reading this. Girls will enjoy the relationship between Jaycee and Nick. Boys will love the Star Wars references and will easily relate to Nick. Teachers and librarians will, of course enjoy the story, but will also appreciate the ties to Of Mice and Men and Polisner's wonderful writing!
Cariblogs More than 1 year ago
Before I get started, I want to say that The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner made me cry! Gae can go from wacky to emotional in the flip of a page. When we first meet Nick he is surrounded by chaos. His father has lost his job and he spends his days on the couch sleeping and gaining weight. Nick's neighbor Scoot was once Nick's best friend, but he is sick and spends most of his time at home. Nick also distanced himself from Scoot because he just wants to be normal. Nick is pretty normal except he gets really high fevers that sometimes cause him to have hallucinations. During one of his fevers Nick feels he is being attacked so he runs out of the house and tries to climb a water tower. Scoot sees him and calls to him causing Nick to react before he can get seriously injured. Nick's parents fight about how close they came to loosing Nick and his dad sets off on a quest to walk to New York City in hopes of changing his life. While this might be great for Nick's dad, Nick can't help but feel that his dad has bailed on him. Jaycee, Scoot's friend, hopes that Nick will help her find Scoot's dad who left when Scoot was young and started getting sick. Scoot confided in Jaycee that he would like to see his dad before he passes away. (Insert tears) Jaycee and Nick work together to find details and agree to find Scoot's dad. During the journey we find out the bubble that is Nick's life and how much he grows as a person. He learns not only about himself, but about his family and Jaycee. Jaycee reminds me a lot of Lorelai Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls because she is quirky and can always figure out what to do or say next. You will come to love Nick, Jaycee, Scoot and the adventure they go on! I love the Of Mice and Men and Star Wars references through out the book. My only regret is that I waited so long to read it. I loved The Pull of Gravity so much and I hope you pick it up soon. This will be one of those books I re-read again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AS_Youngless More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's short and sweet and simply wonderful. The story warmed my heart and to be honest, it's sitting on my night stand because I like to revisit it on occasion. I'm glad I took the time to check it out and I can't wait to read more from Gae Polisner. If you haven't read this book yet, order it today. Order two and give one to your library. Order three and give that one to your friend. It's a beautiful story that anyone can relate to and shouldn't be missed. My only complaint - which isn't about the book - but I don't understand why my local Barnes and Noble doesn't carry it. I've looked for it, even spoke to a person about ordering it (which they never did or never called me if they did... this makes me sad. Good books should be on book shelves, no only in cyber space.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish I could give this six stars, another  star for the author being hot. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
novelreader4ever More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very sweet and sincere. The writing was crisp, clear and engaging. A great read for all ages!
epicrat More than 1 year ago
The Pull Of Gravity may not sound too extraordinary, but the characters definitely make this story come to life with their Slinky bracelets, feverish dreams of evil cherry cola monsters, and wise Yoda-isms. Nick’s “nice guy” personality keeps Jaycee’s larger-than-life eccentricities at bay, and together they make the journey to find Scoot’s dad as memorable and one-of-a-kind as the destination. Every time they seemed to get a hold of a sticky situation, there always seemed to be another one on the ready to cause more hijinks. I would have liked to see the story go on a little longer if only to have more loose ends resolved, but a more charming and heartfelt book I do not think you will find. A perfect bedtime snack of a read or quick road trip – and MORE perfect if you are in dire need of a good book to keep your reading morale up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are reading this in my englishnclass hope its.good
EdGoldberg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Scooter Reyland has Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, the disease that accelerates the aging process. Chronologically fifteen, physically Scooter is 80 and does not have long to live. One of his wishes is to find his father, who left when Scooter was a baby, and return the autographed first-edition of Of Mice and Men his father left him. His best friend and next door neighbor, Nick, has problems of his own. His obese father just sits on the couch, while his mother works. After a screaming match between Nick¿s parents, his father decides to walk from upstate New York to Manhattan, reminiscent of Fat Man Walking. When the local news show films a segment on Nick¿s dad, he meets Jaycee Amato, the newscaster¿s step-daughter. Unbeknownst to Nick, she¿s a good friend of the Scoot. She convinces Nick to help her find Scooter¿s dad. While they plan, Scooter dies, but they decide to embark upon their quest.While The Pull of Gravity is nicely written, the story is not compelling. The Scoot is a character people will enjoy; his love of life and his Star Wars addiction. He is a bundle of hope in a hopeless situation. Readers will identify less with the uncertain Nick and the mind-reading Jaycee, although they will cheer on their budding romance. The trek to Rochester, Mr. Reyland¿s last known residence, as well as the action in town is unrealistic and somewhat predictable. Much of the book, especially the ending seems disconnected. The Pull of Gravity is not essential to your collection.
JenniferMReads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
We all hate required reading. In fact, anyone who says they love required reading is lying. Yes, we may love it later but we do not love it at the time we are required to read it.IMHO, the best thing for required reading is companion novels. So, if you have to read Of Mice and Men, also read The Pull of Gravity. Steinbeck, Star Wars, friendship, and a road trip: realistic teen characters will relate Steinbeck¿s epic messages to today¿s teens in a fun way. Yoda gets quoted just as much (maybe more?) as Steinbeck. Yes, there is some heaviness here (pardon the pun, Nick¿s Dad): friend with terminal illness, depressed Dad, abandonment. But all is relayed with a lightness that is refreshing.The shorter chapters and keeping it at just barely over 200 pages, reluctant readers will be able to enjoy this while also being introduced to a key piece of American literature.
theepicrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Pull Of Gravity may not sound too extraordinary, but the characters definitely make this story come to life with their Slinky bracelets, feverish dreams of evil cherry cola monsters, and wise Yoda-isms. Nick¿s ¿nice guy¿ personality keeps Jaycee¿s larger-than-life eccentricities at bay, and together they make the journey to find Scoot¿s dad as memorable and one-of-a-kind as the destination. Every time they seemed to get a hold of a sticky situation, there always seemed to be another one on the ready to cause more hijinks. I would have liked to see the story go on a little longer if only to have more loose ends resolved, but a more charming and heartfelt book I do not think you will find. A perfect bedtime snack of a read or quick road trip ¿ and MORE perfect if you are in dire need of a good book to keep your reading morale up.
AnnaKay21 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So I could not possibly love this book more. If one of John Green's books had a baby it would be this book. And that would be so much more than okay! This is such an odyssey and I loved Nick and Jaycee by the end so much, I didn't want it to be the end!!! Plus the Scoot was so real to me that it made my heart hurt. I laughed so hard when Nick had the fever hallucination of the Cola Can chasing him.....not enough words in the world. I think I want my own copy of this book and the author is totally on my watch list. Cannot WAIT to see where she goes next!
TeacherAnn More than 1 year ago
Beautiful, sweet, realistic. All you want in a realistic story.
pittccbulldogs More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book! Gae Polisner is a great author, reading her other book, The Summer of Letting Go now. Can't wait to see what else she writes in the near future :) I've never read a book and cried like I did when I read The Pull of Gravity, it really showed the meaning of true friendship! 
wscalfaro More than 1 year ago
Rarely do I read a book more than once. This book is the exception. I read it once, loved it, put it down, misplaced it, found it, and then read it again. It’s not your typical coming-of-age novel, but then again it is. Nick reluctantly follows Jaycee on a journey, fights some demons (internal), and comes out stronger in the end. I loved the characters immediately. Nick is funny and insecure, and Jaycee is quirky and adorable. Polisner gets into the head of a 15-year-old boy, conveying convincing inner dialogue, and adeptly relaying his fear of uncharted territory: first love, the potential for a first kiss, staying in a hotel with a girl, and wandering around an unfamiliar city. Nick feels most comfortable when faced with Jaycee’s fever because he’s been through it himself. He is the Fever King! However, he still feels a bit of anxiety over whether he’s doing the right thing. Polisner does not portray him as an over-confident, unbelievable teen. Just when he’s starting to feel comfortable with the idea of being away from home with a girl, he makes a discovery that turns his world upside down. He’s angry and depressed and resentful. Just like a typical 15-year-old would react in this situation. Get this book. Read it. And maybe read it again. And then you might want to go out and get Of Mice and Men and read that again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good, i could read this book over and over agian. Mrs.Gae is so easy to talk to. Thank you Mrs.Gae for everything. She ls such a great role model. Mrs.Gae you are my role model now and forever. Thank you for coming to my school today 5-28-14. You are so awesome. Like the scoot would say May the force be with you!!!!!! LOL but this book is really good it makes you feel like you have know nick and jaycee and the scoot forever. Its like your on the adventure with them from the beginning to the end of the hole book. P.S my teacher is Mrs.Taylor.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
This nifty little tale tells the story of Nick, a teenager with an obese father, an insensitive older brother, and a next-door neighbor named Scooter, who’s dying of progeria. Not exactly your typical teen. He also has a new friend/crush named Jaycee, whose stepfather is a cardboard cut-out of a TV newsman. Unbeknownst to Nick, Scooter and Jaycee become friends, and Scooter entrusts her with a mission or—as the book jacket calls it—a “dying wish” involving a signed first-edition of Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and Scooter’s estranged father. Nick’s adventure with Jaycee becomes a turning point in his life—it encompasses many “firsts” for the likeable protagonist (including his first kiss). Polisner’s charming prose will probably appeal to teens and tweens (this novel’s true audience) more than it will to adults, but adults will also enjoy this sweet, touching story despite some narrative loose ends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read  by new author. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waiting for the author's next book. She has a beautiful way of telling a tough story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Solid story about teenage love and struggles. A worthy read for any classroom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a well written story I can recommend to any teenager. Ms. Polisner takes a serious subject and allows you to connect with the main characters. She is quite gifted and I hope to see more of her books.