Forgot Password?
Register Today Not registered yet?
  1 The Year We Fell From Space
Author: King, Amy Sarig
Click for Large Image
Class: Fiction
Age: 8-12
Language: English
Demand: Hot
LC: PZ7.K569
Grade: 3-7

Print Run: 25000
ISBN-13: 9781338236361
LCCN: 2019004550
Imprint: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Pub Date: 10/15/2019
Availability: Available
List: $16.99
Physical Description: 262 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm H 8.25", W 5.5"
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's For Youth Interest Titles
Brodart's For Youth Interest: Popular
Brodart's Insight Catalog: Children
Brodart's TOP Juvenile Titles
Awards: BCCB Blue Ribbons
BCCB Starred Reviews
Booklist Starred Reviews
Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
Horn Book Starred Reviews
Notable Children's Books, ALA
Starred Reviews: Booklist
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book
TIPS Subjects: Family Life
Health/Medicine/Safety (Consumer)
BISAC Subjects: JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Marriage & Divorce
JUVENILE FICTION / Science & Nature / Environment
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Depression & Mental Illness
LC Subjects: Bullying, Fiction
Bullying, Juvenile fiction
Depression, Mental, Fiction
Depression, Mental, Juvenile fiction
Divorce, Fiction
Divorce, Juvenile fiction
Dysfunctional families, Juvenile fiction
Family life, Fiction
Fathers and daughters, Juvenile fiction
Meteorites, Fiction
Meteorites, Juvenile fiction
Mothers and daughters, Juvenile fiction
Parent and child, Fiction
Sisters, Fiction
Sisters, Juvenile fiction
SEARS Subjects: Depression (Psychology), Fiction
Reading Programs: Accelerated Reader Level: 3.7 , Points: 7.0
Lexile Level: 580
Reading Counts Level: 3.3 , Points: 12.0
Brodart's TOP Juvenile Titles | 10/01/2019
Publisher Annotation: Liberty Johansen is going to change the way we look at the night sky. Most people see the old constellations, the things they've been told to see. But Liberty sees new patterns, pictures, and possibilities. She's an exception. Some other exceptions: Her dad, who gave her the stars. Who moved out months ago and hasn't talked to her since. Her mom, who's happier since he left, even though everyone thinks she should be sad and lonely. And her sister, who won't go outside their house. Liberty feels like her whole world is falling from space. Can she map a new life for herself and her family before they spin too far out of reach? 272pp.
Starred Reviews:
Booklist | 08/01/2019
Grades 5-8. Twelve-year-old Liberty learns that her dad suffers from depression--and begins feeling her own symptoms--throughout the year of her parents' divorce. As a young astronomer, Liberty had always found comfort in drawing original star maps, and it was her dream to change the way people see the heavens, but she leaves her hobby behind as she sinks into a morass of anger and confusion. When she asks the stars to reunite her parents, they answer by sending a meteorite crashing into her backyard. The heavy rock becomes her sounding board as she grapples with her father's new lifestyle, her mom and little sister's own fallout, and the fact that reconciliation won't happen. This is a deeply emotional book, immersed in Liberty's first-person introspection, but it never drags, propelled by the suspense of interfamilial tension and King's (Me and Marvin Gardens, 2017) beautifully efficient prose. It's also a sad, utterly honest book, capturing the grief, longing, and loss of divorce. Liberty's depression seeps through the pages, and readers may themselves sink at times. The ending, however, remarkably offers hope and healing without minimizing the lingering realities of depression and separation. This is required reading for both children and parents of divorce, all of whom will find themselves reflected in this heartachingly cathartic tale of family, mental health, and coping. Ronny Khuri. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2019.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books | 10/01/2019
R. Gr. 4-7. Everything changes when Dad, who suffers from depression, moves out of the house and leaves twelve-year-old Liberty, her little sister, Jilly, and their mom to pick up the pieces-or, in stargazer Liberty's case, to connect the dots, as in her favorite hobby of mapping new constellations out of familiar stars. She seizes on a rock that might be a meteorite and takes it to her room for company (she's an outcast from the sixth grade social circle), and she confides in it about her family concerns, especially when her father finally invites the girls to his new apartment and Liberty spots signs of his having a girlfriend. Liberty looks to the stars for answers and asks them to reunite her parents so their lives will go back to normal, but it will take time for her to realize their family's normal is evolving. Liberty is an unusual and interesting protagonist, and her comfort with being a bit odd is refreshing as she stays true to herself even when facing rejection by her peers. Her anger and her sadness are thoughtfully explored, and the book wisely addresses the difference between short-term and long-term depression without taking away from the human story. After trying to figure out what is going on with Dad and how to reunite her parents, Liberty finally realizes what readers may have seen already: she spends way too much time trying to "fix" everyone rather than taking care of herself. Offer this spaced-out selection to readers who often feel out of place themselves. QB. 272p. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIV. OF ILLINOIS, c2019.
Horn Book | 11/01/2019
Intermediate, Middle School. Twelve-year-old "amateur creative astronomer" Liberty Johansen, having memorized all the constellations, makes up her own and meticulously maps them. Her love of the cosmos comes from her father-who, at the start of the book, is separating from Liberty's mother, his severe depression (and, we find out later, infidelity) too much strain to bear. Liberty thinks of it as their family's "free fall from space," but then something does fall from space-a meteorite, which begins communicating with her. The meteorite offers comfort, as Liberty worries about her younger sister Jilly, who doesn't want to leave the house; her own mental health ("maybe we should have gone with Dad and not stayed with Mom. Because if something happens to my brain, I don't want her to kick me out too"); and the whole boy-girl thing, having been "excommunicated" from sixth grade for making fun of the pretend recess-time weddings ("It was the Tuesday after my dad moved out. Of course I thought weddings were stupid"). As she navigates her new family structure, Liberty loses her love for the stars and for herself before, cathartically, reconnecting with both. King (Me and Marvin Gardens, rev. 1/17, for middle graders; and her masterful YA oeuvre including Ask the Passengers, rev. 1/13, and, most recently Dig., rev. 3/19) is keenly attuned to her characters' humanity, from the core family members to Dad's new girlfriend to the neighbors going through a parallel family breakup. As always, the author's sensitivity to her characters' situational challenges is stunningly, compassionately insightful-and her narrative voice and just-this-side-of-realism setting uniquely her own. Elissa Gershowitz November/December 2019 p.89. 264pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2019.
Journal Reviews
Kirkus Reviews | 08/15/2019
After her parents separate, a Pennsylvania preteen struggles to accept the new normal. Liberty, 12, loves creating star maps and connecting stars in new patterns, forming new constellations (rendered by Goffi). After their dad moves out, she and her anxious little sister, Jilly, 9, don't see him for months. Their mother avoids answering questions. Lib abandons her star maps; the promise and possibilities they represented no longer feel real. Peer relationships suffer, too. Former friend Leah "excommunicates" her. Finn, offspring of another rocky marriage, ignores her. Being shunned isn't all bad; Lib enjoys eating lunch with a fellow outcast, Iranian American Malik (other characters default to white). Reconnecting with Dad, the girls are upset to learn he's dating. Desperate to restore her family, Lib bargains with the stars and meteorite she lugged home, utilizing magical thinking to bring about Dad's return. Counseling helps, too. Lib may not be clinically depressed like Dad, but what ails her is equally huge. "We co-own a divorce. Split four ways," she tells him. "It's ours." Lib's precise, present-tense narration sensitively reveals how divorce changes each family member, not just their relationships. It's a painful truth, but for Lib, sharing that hard-won insight is also empowering. Acclaimed as a YA novelist (Dig, 2019, etc.), King pens a middle-grade book that will especially resonate with readers confronting or affected by family turmoil. Quietly compelling. (author's note, resources) (Fiction. 8-12). 272pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2019.
Publishers Weekly | 09/09/2019
Ages 8-12. King (Me and Marvin Gardens) capably tackles the complexities of divorce and depression in this multifaceted novel. When 12-year-old narrator Liberty's parents announce their separation, the budding astronomer-who creates star maps featuring new constellations-plunges into a difficult new reality. Familial change is further impacted by confusing social dynamics at school, where Liberty is outcast from a group of friends; the intense responsibility she feels toward her younger sister Jilly, who ceased going outside following their parents' separation; and her father's absence. Anxious Liberty proves keenly observant, piecing together her father's new relationship and often considering what she has in common with him and how his depression manifests ("It makes him do things like snap or yell or stare into space or drive away for a few hours or sit in a room with no lights on for a day"). The running internal dialogue she conducts with a meteorite that falls to the woods near her home offers insight into her struggles and fears but can break the narrative pace; still, strong character interaction and Liberty's engaging, often humorous voice make the difficult slice-of-life topics relatable. (Oct.). 272p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2019.
School Library Journal | 10/01/2019
Gr 5-7. The night a meteor falls near the home of 12-year-old Liberty Johansen, her parents announce their separation. As life as she knows it crumbles, she is left to grapple with her own conflicting emotions, which may stem from something deeper, possibly clinical depression. This compelling upper middle grade title offers an honest window into struggles with childhood and adult depression. Her father has been suffering from it for years, and Liberty fears that she may also have it. Her impulses shift from the desire to protect and nurture her younger sister to throwing a toaster out a window in a fit of rage. She finds solace in speaking to the meteor that she collected on the night of its fall from space, and, finally, with a trusted therapist. Bullying, puberty, and the protagonist's father's infidelity are also addressed. This title will resonate with middle graders searching for deeper understanding of their own or their family's experiences with these or similar topics. VERDICT Recommended for most middle grade collections, especially where realistic drama is in demand. Fans of Ali Benjamin's The Thing About Jellyfish and Esther Ehrlich's Nest will devour this one. Pilar Okeson, The Allen-Stevenson School, New York. 272p. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2019.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates Magazine) | 04/01/2020
4Q 4P M J. Liberty loves the nighttime sky; the stars speak to her, and she maps them in new groupings that relay personal meanings and messages with her goal for others to also view the constellations differently. Her mappings also provide solace from her warring parents and the 63 long days that pass without seeing her beloved father and stargazing partner. Meanwhile, she resents her mother's seeming contentment and younger sister's attention-getting refusal to leave the house. Liberty feels her entire world is rapidly spiraling away, with the stars silent and suddenly ordinary. Can she reunite her parents and keep her family, or is the sky revealing another path she is unwilling to follow? Narrated by sixth-grader Liberty through short chapters with descriptive titles, this coming-of-age novel and characters are deeper than first appearance. A perfectly placed backstory traces the family's history, exposing problems unacknowledged by Liberty, while the entire plot subtly mirrors our environment and its treatment. Surprising revelations throughout provide the origins for Liberty's self-absorption and school difficulties, as well as several unexpected and significant secrets she was concealing. Most characters have varying degrees of depression, but the novel's uneven portrayals -as fearsome, causing one's bad behavior, and manageable-muddy its understanding. Still, therapy helps Liberty begin viewing her parents and sister as individuals, express herself more effectively, treat others kindly, accept her parents' divorce, and experience subsequent growth. Eco-sensitive females or those deeply absorbed in singular issues will appreciate Liberty's realizations, especially that broadening one's self adds rather than diminishes, significantly brightening life.-Lisa A. Hazlett. 272p. VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES, c2020.