The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.
Autumn 2009 Kids' Indie Next List
— Jennifer Laughran, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
View the List
In the mountains of rural Vermont, fall is a season of beauty and transformation . . . but not for Gianna Z. With less than one week to collect twenty-five leaves for a science project, her spot at cross-country sectionals is in serious peril. Plus with a dad who runs a funeral parlor out of the basement, a grandma who keeps losing her teeth, and a rival trying to steal her spot on the team, Gee just wishes life could leave her alone to finish her project. But when Nonna disappears one afternoon, suddenly some things seem more important than projects and races.
Gianna Z. will have readers rooting for her-and maybe even for science projects-from the very first page of this funny and poignant novel about family, friendship, and being true to yourself.
Winner of the 2010 E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers
Bank Street College of Education Best Books of 2009
IndieBound Fall 2009 Kids IndieNext List
Kids' IndieNext Pick
New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award Nominee
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Nominee
Missouri Mark Twain Award Nominee
New York Charlotte Award Nominee
Praise For The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.…
"Laced with humor and heart . . . an insightful and affecting read." - Booklist
"An engaging saga." - Kirkus Reviews
"Plot twists keep readers engaged, and Messner's warm and humorous tone will capture even reluctant readers." - School Library Journal
"Kate [Messner] juggles a bundle of fairly heavy plotlines as if they weighed no more than a pile of leaves, managing her story with humor and grace." - Writing and Ruminating (Online)
"An empathetic, beautiful, magical, fiercely necessary book that stares unflinchingly at the very real challenges contemporary kids face and gently assures them they are not alone. Kate Messner gives her readers a story to cherish." - Anne Ursu, author of BREADCRUMBS on THE SEVENTH WISH
"Hopeful, empathetic, and unusually enlightening." - starred review, Kirkus Reviews on THE SEVENTH WISH
"It's no surprise that Kate Messner’s magic pen could write a charming, moving, funny, and ultimately very surprising story about a magic pencil!" - Wendy Mass, New York Times bestselling author of 11 BIRTHDAYS on ALL THE ANSWERS
Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 9781681195476, 224pp.
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
About the Author
Kate Messner is a former middle-school English teacher and the author of E. B. White Read Aloud Award winner The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. and its companion, The Exact Location of Home; Sugar and Ice; Eye of the Storm; Wake Up Missing; All the Answers; The Seventh Wish; Capture the Flag; Hide and Seek; the Marty McGuire chapter book series; the Ranger in Time chapter book series; and several picture books. She lives on Lake Champlain with her husband and two kids. When she's not reading or writing, she loves hiking, kayaking, biking, and watching thunderstorms over the lake. www.katemessner.com