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Worser by Jennifer Ziegler
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Worser by Jennifer Ziegler
Paperback $9.99
May 09, 2023 | ISBN 9780823454563

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  • May 09, 2023 | ISBN 9780823454563 | Middle Grade (8-12)

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  • Mar 15, 2022 | ISBN 9780823449569 | Middle Grade (8-12)

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  • Mar 15, 2022 | ISBN 9780823452835 | Middle Grade (8-12)

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Product Details


“Funny, clever and compassionate, Jennifer Ziegler’s ‘Worser’ is a brilliantly constructed account of a journey to self-knowledge.”—The New York Times

★ “This wonderfully layered story unfolds its many facets gently: finding refuge, garnering peer appreciation, questioning the way things were, and facing the toll of untreated trauma. . . . The author has developed her main character so well it’s hard to believe it’s not biography—but it can certainly pass as the most entertaining New York Times crossword artillery you’ll ever read.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

★ “Full of SAT-worthy vocabulary and wordplay, this is a touching story about grief, trauma, and embracing change. This story is especially powerful due to its sensitive depictions of non- death-related grief, which Ziegler accurately captures.”Booklist, Starred Review

★ “Although his voice suits his age and emotional development, Will’s prolific vocabulary and witty linguistic games—such as arranging state abbreviations into longer words or appreciating the perfect wetness (and etymological origin) of galoshes—should delight more advanced readers and inspire others to word play, too. A compelling and semantically delightful story for lovers of language and flawed protagonists.”—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

★ “[A] memorable depiction of grief, loss, and life-altering change. . . . [Ziegler’s] nuanced portrayal of [Worser’s] changing relationships with his family and friends make this character-driven narrative a cathartic and emotionally charged experience.”Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“[Ziegler] has created characters that are so real readers will readily connect and empathize with every one of them. . . . With themes of friendship, kindness, loss, forgiveness, and acceptance woven throughout the well-written chapters, this is the quintessential middle school story. Middle school librarians, teachers, and students will love this this well-crafted coming of age tale.”—School Library Connection

“Ziegler ably delineates how words help Worser to find a place in the world and evolve from Worser into ‘Worder,’”—The Horn Book

“Worser . . .  possesses a charming awkwardness that will endear him to readers, and his character arc is satisfying. Outcasts and oddballs of all sorts will find Worser’s story relatable, and fellow word nerds will be especially thrilled by his thoughtful observations on the many eccentricities of the English language.”—BookPage

“With tenderness and authenticity, Ziegler delivers an emotional gut-punch for language-loving readers.”—Shelf Awareness


Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Children’s Book of the Year SELECTION 2023

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year SELECTION 2022

New York Times Best Book of the Year SELECTION 2022

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