Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

If you’re looking for a clever novel for a grade 9-11 student, then I’d recommed Elsewhere. Here’s the plot:

Do you ever wonder what happens to you when you die? Is there a long white tunnel you go through before the pearly gates and angel wings? In this imaginative look at the afterlife, when you die you go to Elsewhere, a place where you age backward until, as an infant, you are returned to Earth. Liz dies at age 15, right before her birthday and her driver’s license. She is really mad that now she’ll never get to be 16. She does everything she can to try and get back to Earth. She spends all her days at an observation post watching her family and friends until she finally accepts where she is and begins to “live”. This book fascinated me. I’ve done a lot of reading about what happens when you die and Elsewhere makes a lot of sense to me. If you believe in reincarnation, thiis book makes a case for it. I also like that while you’re in Elsewhere you continue to learn and grow and hopefully take that back to Earth when you go again.

From: Orion Library Teen Blog

The book would work well as a choice with another clever text about “closure” —London Calling by Edward Bloor.

They’d be an interesting counter point to the film What Dreams May Come.

2 Million Minutes


I expected this documentary to be filled with cheap shots at our superficial culture, but it’s much richer than that. It follows 6 high achieving students from 3 very different cultures…and in the end doesn’t offer any simple solutions. Without being moralistic it succeeds in being very challenging. Canadian high schools students will have a lot to say after spending an hour with theses students. The video can be purchased with public performance rights for only $100…and those are just US dollars.