“Both a hymn to the joys of “being different” and an earnest exploration of the serious traumas suffered by teenagers who are lucky enough, and unlucky enough, to be unconventional.” - The Guardian
Sitting by himself on a bench during recess, fashion-loving Francis is joined by Jessica. He’s surprised when he learns that she’s a ghost and that Francis is the first person who has been able to see her since she died. When they become friends, then meet two more outsiders who can also see Jessica the questions arise: Why are they the only ones who can see Jessica? And how did she die?
“Narrating this humorous, beautifully written story taught me that when someone is depressed, instead of trying to fix things, it can be more helpful to just shut up and listen.” -Alison Larkin
Releasing on September 10th - National Suicide Prevention Day
The audiobook is followed by a candid discussion with three American teenagers about depression, anxiety, bullying, suicide, social media and the healing power of friendship.
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“Narrator Alison Larkin is superb at presenting the heavy topics of bullying and suicide with an audible sense of hope, optimism, and even a bit of humor. The principal characters speak with varied British accents and are also discernible by their personalities. Francis speaks slowly…When he meets the effervescent Jessica, a ghost visible at first only to him, listeners hear her playfulness…Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”
“A sensitive novel that illustrates how easy it is to feel alone, the ways differences can be isolating, and the power of friendship and connection. This memorable story will leave readers thinking about how small actions can have a significant impact.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Without shying away from the bullying, clinical depression, and deep despair that affect his young characters, Norriss employs a sensitive and light touch, balancing moments of sadness and pathos with others of joy and humor.”
— Horn Book
Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
A Parents' Choice Award Recommended Book
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
Friends for Life Listener Reviews
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About Andrew Norriss
Andrew Norriss is the author of several books, including the Whitbread Award-winning Aquila. He taught English for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. He has created and co-written several successful British sitcoms, including a few adaptations of his children’s books.
About Alison Larkin
Alison Larkin is a playwright, stage actress, stand-up comic, voice artist, and Earphones Award–winning narrator whose wide range of voices can be heard in cartoons and movies, including Pocahontas and The Wonder Pets.