Nothing

Nothing

Translated by: Martin Aitken
For Ages: 12 and up
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When Pierre-Anthon realizes there is no meaning to life, the seventh-grader leaves his classroom, climbs a tree, and stays there. His classmates cannot make him come down, not even by pelting him with rocks. So to prove to Pierre-Anthon that life has meaning, the children decide to give up things of importance. The pile starts with the superficial—a fishing rod, a new pair of shoes. But as the sacrifices become more extreme, the students grow increasingly desperate to get Pierre-Anthon down, to justify their belief in meaning. Sure to prompt intense thought and discussion, Nothing—already a treasured work overseas—is not to be missed.
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  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416985792 | 
  • February 2010 | 
  • Grades 7 and up | 
  • Lexile 1000
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Read an Excerpt

I

Nothing matters.

I have known that for a long time.

So nothing is worth doing.

I just realized that.

© 2010 Janne Teller
II

Pierre Anthon left school the day he realized that nothing was worth doing, because nothing meant anything anyway.

The rest of us stayed on.

And although the teachers had a job on their hands tidying up after Pierre Anthon in the classroom as well as in our heads, part of Pierre Anthon remained stuck inside of us. Maybe that was why it all turned out the way it did.

It was the second week of August. The sun was heavy, making us slow and irritable, the tarmac caught on the soles of our sneakers, and apples and pears were just ripe enough to lie snugly in the hand, the perfect missiles. We looked neither... see more

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