Possible Happiness
Possible Happiness
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Eleventh-grader Jacob Wasserman is just trying to get by. Under the radar, he spends his weekends at home by himself, leaning on TV and video games to distract himself from the weight—these days we would call it depression—inside him. But he’s secretly got a quirky sense of humor, and, when he starts letting it show, he finally gets noticed. In fact, before he knows it, Jacob’s ability to keep people entertained has drawn him into a full-time social life, complete with a circle of friends, parties, and even a girlfriend. But is this newfound acceptance enough to unlock meaningful well-being? Is this entertainer even the real Jacob? Possible Happiness is a funny and tender coming of age story about developing the courage to face and understand yourself.

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Book Details


  • Fiction

Age Level: 

  • Mature Young Adult
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Jacob has always felt like an outsider in his own life. His father is miles away in Chicago, his sister is off at college, his own mother seems distant and preoccupied, and at school he may as well be wall decor. But when a simple joke in class earns him an invitation to a party, everything changes. Suddenly, Jacob is part of a group known as the Pack. He is supposed to be the funny one, the one who finally fits in. But as he revels in his newfound happiness, he cannot shake the feeling that it is just a facade. Is his sense of belonging real, or is it just a tragic illusion?

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Possible Happiness by David Ebenbach is a coming-of-age novel about discovering your true self and stepping out of your comfort zone. Jacob is a young high schooler who makes money by giving kids pony rides in the children's zoo. In school, he is barely noticeable, both to his classmates and even his friends who ride the subway home with him. Jacob's life had been a quiet one until one day when he cracked a joke in class. Eric, his classmate who heard the joke, recognized him on his way home and invited him to a party at his house.

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