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After Eli

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,142 ratings  ·  191 reviews
When Daniel’s brother Eli is killed at war, Daniel considers the history of unusual fatalities to determine what makes a death — or a life — matter.

Some people die heroically, others accidentally. When Daniel Anderson’s older brother dies, he wonders which category Eli’s death falls into. In an attempt to understand, Danny creates a Book of the Dead — an old binder that he
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published August 1st 2012)
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,142 ratings  ·  191 reviews


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Ghostly  Writer
Dec 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018-reads
Nothing significant happened. The character's and story line were so static... I felt detached from the entirety of this novel.
Judith Weaver
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books, purchase
This book had me hooked by page 15. I was thinking of people to share it with and then wondering how many different ways I could use this with my readers. . .
I have to tell you that the cover almost killed it for me. I nearly put it back on the pile to pick up another more flashy book (thinking like a middle school reader here) and am so glad that I did not.

If I could compare a book to a weaving, I would say that this was very well woven, with threads of humor and sorrow, and one well placed th
...more
Jenni Frencham
Daniel's brother is killed in Iraq, and Daniel's way of grieving is to make a "book of the dead," where he records deaths of famous people and random people from the local cemetery. Meanwhile, his mother is taking his brother's death hard, and Eli feels like he's invisible now that his brother is gone.

Meh. This book was not nearly as good as it should have been. The first 80% of the book was Eli's random life, including his love for Isabelle and the time he spent with her and the twins, interspe
...more
David Etkin
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it


Very touching. Don't know how a kid makes sense of losing his brother in war. It was an insightful journey watching Danny and his family wade through the grieving process. I highlighted a bunch of lines to remember. There are some very cool messages lurking in the pages of this book.

The book is told from Danny's POV and his voice is authentic and endearing.

One issue: the cover makes this book look like it's....younger--5th grade-ish?-- and less serious than it is. Don't be misled. There is so
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Anastasia Rossi
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I think the theme is if you believe that you need to find out a reason, don't ask people what they think and just do it.
Kelly Hager
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Danny's brother Eli was killed overseas in the war (he enlisted after 9/11). Since then, the family's fallen apart. His dad's gotten meaner, his mom's checked out and Eli just misses his brother. He's started a "Book of the Dead," a list of famous people and how they died.

And then one summer, he meets Isabelle. She and her family (parents and younger twin siblings) have moved into town while her dad works on a project and her mom paints. Danny falls for Isabelle pretty much immediately. She's g
...more
Pauline
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Danny is one of those characters whose voice just seems so authentic. When his older brother Eli dies in Iraq Danny’s family flounders with their grief. His mother is chronically depressed, his father is angry and their family has fallen apart. Set over one long summer holiday period Danny makes some new friends in Isabelle, the quirky visitor from New York and Walter, the genius social misfit who is the target of the school’s bullies. Their friendship helps Danny make sense of his feelings of a ...more
Tom
"After Eli" is a wonderfully written, heartfelt story about a summer of magic and death for a teenaged boy. After his brother is killed, Daniel tries to sort out his life and his family, along with the school genius dork, a lovely and intriguing girl visiting for the summer, some hippie-type organic farmers, and always Eli, always his big brother guiding him via his memories.

A quick, wonderful read, that is more fun than you might think from reading the synopsis. Recommended. (I wrote a long, a
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Kristin McIlhagga
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kristin by: Paul Hankins
After Eli by Rebecca Rupp was recommended by Paul Hankins on either Twitter, GoodReads, or Facebook (likely all three)! This did not disappoint. Daniel is trying to make sense of his brother’s death and growing up. His voice is thoughtful and honest, and brought me to tears a few times. This is the first complete book I’ve read on my new iP*d through NetGalley. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about reading on an e-device, but the story was so fantastic I barely noticed. Release date: Aug. 14, 2012
Paul  Hankins
Review to come as August approaches.

Daniel (E.) Anderson collects stories of the dead in an attempt to make sense of his brother's death in the war. The book takes place over the course of a summer vacation. A very nice coming of age story that has plenty of "ladders" to spare.

If you are on NetGalley, request this book. Then we can talk before August.

Through some cosmic circumstance, I love that this book shares a namesake with another of my favorite Candlewick titles, ELI THE GOOD.
Jessie SLG3
Apr 19, 2016 marked it as to-read
The Lexile number is 1020L.
Shaunna Roszell
I thought some parts were good. But some of it was boring.
Deanna
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I liked this one SO much more than See You at Harry's. The characters were more genuine and their transformations seemed more realistic. If you are looking for a 2012 "grief" book, here it is.
Emily
I thought it was a very good book to read if you were going through a rough time in your liofe or just wanted agood read.
To Read
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book had me hooked by page 15. I was thinking of people to share it with and then wondering how many different ways I could use this with my readers. . .
I have to tell you that the cover almost killed it for me. I nearly put it back on the pile to pick up another more flashy book (thinking like a middle school reader here) and am so glad that I did not.

If I could compare a book to a weaving, I would say that this was very well woven, with threads of humor and sorrow, and one well placed thr
...more
Sara
May 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
Daniel's brother Eli was killed at war in Iraq when the truck he was riding in ran over a bomb. Daniel and his family are trying to find a way to cope with his death. Daniel's way of grieving is to make a "book of the dead" that acts like a journal where he records the deaths of famous people and random people from a local cemetery. In this "book of the dead" he asks questions and relates the death of these people to his own life or the death of his brother. Meanwhile Daniel's mom and dad are ta ...more
Kyan D.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was good but it wasn't until about the middle of the book that I realized how messed up the chapter names were. Like they were about people that died and it even said how they died. One chapter it said something about how someone died and I didn't know what it meant. So I went online and looked up the meaning, the meaning said "another word for" and so I looked for what that word meant it was just suicide. So they used very confusing words just to say something messed up. Now normally ...more
Jessica
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love when I grab a book on a whim (only picked it up because of the cover and title) & discover an accidental good one! This author's style was great. I loved Danny's focus on his book of the dead (& I googled some of these people-totally bizarre deaths) mixed with the memories of his brother, whom he lost to a bomb in the war but whom you can tell he adores. The character of Eli, though deceased, is painted so vividly, I couldn't help but love him. And the twins? ❤ I love quirky chara ...more
Erin Logan
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Daniel's life suddenly takes a drastic change for the worse when his older brother, Eli, does not return home from his military tour of duty. Family and school life become awkward and different, but eventually he meets someone who helps him see the world in a totally different light. I enjoyed his Book of the Dead project and each chapter beginning with a different dead person's story. The book was sad, thoughtful, and meaningful. I wish the cover made Daniel look more like the high school kid h ...more
Amy
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were things I liked and didn't like about this book. The things I liked were the vivid descriptions, the characters, the fact that it dealt with responses to grief and loss in addition to dynamic (changing) characters. I didn't like the profanity and playing with a ouija board--especially as this is marketed as a book for 9+. I think the language and subject matter should make this a much older book.
Aliesha P
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing there was so many twists and turns. After Eli is about a boy named Daniel and his brother Eli just died in the army. He died by going over a bomb with his car. Daniel starts to make a book called Book of the Dead and he researches all of these people ho have died to try and figure out if his brother died heroically or accidentally. This book is very inspiring and I would definitely recommend it.
Andy
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Not a bad coming of age novel. Danny was a likable enough character. Walter was pretty badass. Jasper and Journey were the best, hands down. Overall, this book read pretty well, but I had a hard time really getting into the some of the elements of the story. I can see MS kids digging into the book though, and that's probably a good thing. But, for this review entry, I just liked it. Nothing super awesome, nothing that's gonna put it on a do not read list, I just liked it.
Kris Kizer
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked the book of the dead concept but that's about it. This book just wasn't very good. There were no memorable characters or adventures. I realize this is a children's book, but I think they would even find it pointless.
Rebecca Plaza
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful voice! Clarity of grief in its many forms. Our protagonist trancends it with connectivity and an honest examination of death's arbitrariness with his 'book of death', people who died famous and not and also with unexpected summer friendships.
Samara Thomas
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was actually so good... It made me cry and I normally don’t cry over books. It was a fast read with a cute story.
Darrin Renner
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca Rupp has written a book ripe with quirky characters. A fantastic story and a favorite of my middle school book club members.
Bethany
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"When I was a little kid, Eli's being older used to really piss me off. I remember throwing a tantrum when I was maybe five or six.
...
'Why do you always have to be older than me?' I yelled.
...
'Live with it, kid. When you're eighty, I'll be ninety-two,' he said. 'I'll be old and irascible, and if you give me any of your pitiful underage eighty-year-old lip, I'll whack your butt with my cane.'
...
We never thought then that when I was eighty, Eli would still be twenty-two."


Oh my goodness. I cannot b
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Hope Turner
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book. It tells the story of life and new friends. It says that things never stay the same but that doesn't mean it's the end.
Isabel
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Ehh. At first I was enticed, but it got more boring the more we got into the book, and then at the end it got a little better, but not much. There are also a few swear words though.
Cheryl
After Eli by Rebecca Rupp

Not So Brief synapsis: After Eli is a book about death and loss during the Iraq war. Danny loses his brother Eli in the war and faces the devastating effects of his brother’s loss and how it affects his family and himself. Danny learns that grief is channeled in different ways by his mom and dad. Danny feels forgotten and left out and is dealing with his grief on his own. He creates a ‘death book’ that is a journal of about people who have died with categories for the r
...more
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Rebecca Rupp is the author of SARAH SIMPSON'S RULES FOR LIVING, JOURNEY TO THE BLUE MOON, THE DRAGON OF LONELY ISLAND and THE RETURN OF THE DRAGON. She lives in Swanton, Vermont.
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“Sometimes you have to destroy the past so that you'll learn how to live in the new world.” 0 likes
“The thing about death is that it takes a while before you realize that it's never going to go away.” 0 likes
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