99 pages 3 hours read

Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2002

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The Lovely Bones

  • Genre: Fiction; mystery/psychological
  • Originally Published: 2002
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 809L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 23 chapters plus unnumbered chapters “Snapshots” and “Bones”; approx. 368 pages; approx. 11 hours on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Set in 1973 in Norristown, PA, this novel features a 14-year-old girl, Susie Salmon, whose murder has already happened. Susie narrates from heaven as she observes her family begin to reconcile with her tragic death, each in their own way.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Rape and murder of a young girl; family trauma and grief; serial killings; some language; alcohol and drug abuse; sexual content

Alice Sebold, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1963 in Wisconsin; attempted writing after post-secondary education while living in New York City; published a memoir (Lucky, 1999) just a year after earning an MFA in creative writing at the University of California at Irvine that discusses her trauma and recovery after being sexually assaulted as a college freshman; met with success as a best-selling novelist with The Lovely Bones
  • Other Works: Lucky (1999); The Almost Moon (2007); Looking Glass: A Special Edition of The Lovely Bones (2009)
  • Awards: Bram Stoker Award (2002); an American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults (2003); Women’s Prize for Fiction (Longlisted; 2003)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit: