The Year Without Michael
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The Year Without Michael

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  308 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Bad things aren’t supposed to happen to good people. But somewhere between home and the softball field, 16-year-old Jody Chapman’s younger brother disappeared, and now the family is falling apart. Her parents hardly speak to each other, her younger sister is angry and bitter, and Jody’s friends, always so important to her, are slowly slipping away. It seems that all anyone...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published November 11th 2003 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published August 1st 1987)
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Mary JL
Mar 31, 2012 Mary JL rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone over age 12
Recommended to Mary JL by: I am a fan of this author
This is an incredibly well-written book.

When 13 year old Michael does not come home one night, his family literally falls apart. Pfeffer shows the way stress and anger and anxiety affect this family during this crisis.

The police search. The family makes "Missing" posters and posts them all over town. And each day, they expect Michael to come back or be found. And one day passes and another and still there is no trace of Michael.

At first, the police assume Michael just ran away. But as time pass...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I loved this book and hated this book. Pfeffer does a good job at looking at the dysfunction of a family that loses a young family member very unexpectedly. She addresses the highs and lows of a family that isn't sure that they will get Michael back and the extremes the family goes to to feel okay again. I was a little disappointed with the ending, but in reflection, I much prefer it to any other outcome.
This book totally disturbed me when I was a kid...
Mar 31, 2008 CLM rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya, grief
Very disturbing but convincingly done.
This is a really good book, but heart wrenching. I hated the ending or would have given it a 5 instead of a 4. I know this ending is the truth of the way it usually in real life turns out, but gave me such depression when the book was over.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I read this after hearing Susan Beth Pfeffer speak at a New York Library Association School Library Media Specialist conference. A teenage girl and her family try to cope with the disappearance of her little brother. Excellent realistic fiction!
This book MIGHT have gotten 4 stars if the ending had been better, they just end the book and you don't know what happens to Michael! It was really deep, talked a lot about this family's love for each other.
Too depressing for me. It's very well written and the characters are completely real. As a mother it's just too scary to read about a child disappearing and never being found.
Once again, the author does a great job of helping us to see and ponder how we might react in a similar situation. Sad, but hopeful story.
Bookaholic Girl : )
One of the saddest books I've ever read.
Depressing but good. Read it as a kid.
Brooke Craig
Brooke Craig
Ms. Wheeler
Honors English III
August 31, 2009
The Year Without Michael Book Review
The Year Without Michael
The Year Without Michael by Susan Beth Pfeffer is a novel about a family’s struggle to come together after their son, brother, and loved one, thirteen year old Michael, went missing. Protagonist, Jody, tries hard to keep her family together through this tragedy. Pfeffer wrote this novel for those ages twelve and up. Although this book won Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year,...more
I read this book when I was quite a bit younger (I estimate maybe 16 years ago?) and I don't remember it in vivid detail, but I do know that it has haunted me since I first picked it up.

Jody's younger brother disappears, and the book dissolves into that peculiar grief that only families of missing children / adults can know or experience. Her family is fractured and Jody is determined to find her brother.

In the end, (view spoiler)...more

This book is one of my FAVORITE !
i love it so much! i hug it & kiss it goodnight. :)
This is a book i would remeber for the rest of my entire life. Okay so let me start of by saying that this book is about this family . there's two girls & one little boy hes only 11 years old i believe. So here's the deal the little boy just disapeers, like out of nowhere. NOWHERE. & so his parents are planning on sliping up & he only has his 2 sister's & his mom but then his dad appears. Wh...more
Michelle L.
Extremely sad and disturbing. Not recommended for young readers. Hardly any resolution even at the end. Depressing. A young girl tries to solve all of the problems of her family and realizes she can't. So sad.
An ending that left me wanting more. The story kept me interested though. I like the diary entry model of writing by Susan Pffefer.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
very dated .parts were great but i didnt care for the ending.
Tristen Sell
"The year without Michael" was an OK book for me. The author did a very good job of depicting every emotion from each member of the family, so that I could almost feel exactly what they were going through. I also liked seeing how Jody's attitude without Michael affected every area of her life, her school work, her relationship with her family and friends, and mostly her overall outlook on life.
A good read. It definitely shows how families grieve, how families cannot move on when a loved one is missing. The old cliche that everyone needs closure (even if it means finding out that a loved one was murdered) is true. This is an accessible read for teens for them to grapple with adult issues.
Stephanie A.
Who knew she was famous long before 2006? Stumbled across this by chance and was amazed to find an exceedingly well written, very serious and mature piece of work (just dated enough to make an interesting window it the past). The ending might be controversial, but I thought it fit.
I'm a fan of Susan Beth Pfeffer and this book did not dissapoint. She really got into the heads of the characters and helped you understand what they were going through. Very engaging and thought provoking.
Sad book. It was actually read aloud to us by the teacher when I was a kid. It thought it was convincingly done at the time, but not sure if I'd feel the same reading it as an adult.
so far this is really good! the only reason i ever wanted to read this was because my brother is michael, not this michael of course, but that is why it interested me so much.
I read this because I loved life as we knew it so much.

It is an earlier work by the author. Good story, somewhat formulaic, but the JH reader would enjoy the suspense.
I read this because my husband loved "life as we knew it". So I looked into her other books. This sounded like it would be good. It wasn't. I could barely make it through.
Lenny Husen
Hated the ending and hated the author when I read it as a young adult, but now, well over 20 years later, I have to admit this is an excellent book. I still vividly remember it.
really short book, I dont even know why I read it, I guess its cause I liked the other books by Susan. It was an easy book, interesting too. Just for a younger age..
A heartbreaking story about a family who loses a son. As always Pfeffer's view family dynamics and emotions are realistic. A great short read for YA Fic.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer was born in New York City in 1948. She grew up in the city and its nearby suburbs and spent summers in the Catskill Mountains. When she was six her father wrote and published a book on constitutional law, and Pfeffer decided that she, too, wanted to be a writer. That year she wrote her first story, about the love between an Oreo cookie and a pair of scissors. However, it wasn't...more
More about Susan Beth Pfeffer...
Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1) The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, #2) This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3) The Shade of the Moon (The Last Survivors, #4) Blood Wounds

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