The Theory of Everything

by J.J. Johnson

Sarah has not been able to turn off what she calls “the snark box” in... read more

Sarah has not been able to turn off what she calls “the snark box” in the months since her best friend Jamie died. Sarah was the only one present during the freak accident that killed Jamie, and her grief and guilt come out in the form of sarcasm and cutting attacks as she pushes people away. It’s affected Sarah’s relationships with everyone, from her almost-too-perfect boyfriend to Jamie’s twin brother to her own brother and parents. She’s also started to fail classes, and that’s when her parents fight back, threatening to take away things that she’s relying on, like getting her license, until she tries to pull it together. When Mr. Rowan offers Sarah a job helping cut and sell Christmas trees, she takes it against her mother’s wishes, but Sarah senses it’s just what she needs. Although her parents are truly trying, it turns out Mr. Rowan understands Sarah in a way that few people can, because he, too, has experienced the unthinkable. J. J. Johnson focuses on the very real feelings of Sarah and the people around her in a novel that deftly balances depth and humor. Johnson’s story is also distinguished by incredibly vivid moments and intense revelations that are never sensationalized. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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