The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. is a school based novel by Kate Messner. The main character is Gianna Zales, often called Gee, who loves art, sport and even poetry, but not science. However to be eligible to represent the school in the cross country, her science teacher has stipulated she must pass her latest science project, which is a problem because Gianna hasn’t even started.

The science project involves collecting 25 leaves from different trees, plus identifying and documenting them. Fortunately her good friend Zig, whose real name is Rigby is a science whiz, and eager to help. However, Gianna’s science project faces many obstructions including a sabotage attempt from a running rival, a hunt for her lost grandma and an interfering mother.

Meanwhile, Gianna has more pressing problems. Gianna’s grandmother lives with the family and has become very forgetful of late. Gianna’s Dad runs his own funeral business and her mother is busy with the bookwork, plus her other interests serving on several committees. No one seems to be taking her Grandma’s growing forgetfulness seriously.

This is an easy to read, well written story with a subtle message of the importance of relationships over achievements.

Thanks to Christian School Supplier for providing a free book for review.