One Book, One Library, One Fabulous Discussion
6 September 2011
The Business of Books
13 September 2011

NothingNothing by Janne Teller (translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken)

When Pierre Anthon declares that life has no meaning and leaves school to live in a plum tree, his classmates beliefs are shaken to the core.  Determined to prove to him, and themselves, that life has meaning, they begin to gather items of significance to build a heap of meaning in the abandoned sawmill.  But as the heap grows, the items they request of each other grow more demanding and brutal.

A dark story, with themes similar to those found in Lord of the Flies, Nothing is recommended for readers high school aged and up.  Raising  questions not only about life, but issues such as peer pressure as well, it lends itself well to discussion and would be a good book club selection.

Nothing is Michael L. Printz  Honor Book (for Excellence in Young Adult Literature).  Other books that have received this award include Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi and Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King. Nothing can found in Young Adult fiction collection on the Teen Mezzanine in YA TEL (YA).


— Reviewed by Children’s Library volunteer Jennifer Dobson