Year We Fell from Space
by King, Amy Sarig






Seeing remarkable patterns and pictures in a night sky that were introduced to her by her now-absent father, Liberty struggles with inconsistencies in her family's views while trying to map out a better future. By the award-winning author of Me and Marvin Gardens.





Amy Sarig King is the author of Me and Marvin Gardens, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. She has also published many critically acclaimed young adult novels under the name A. S. King, including Please Ignore Vera Dietz, which was named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and Ask the Passengers, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. After many years farming abroad, she now lives back in southeastern Pennsylvania, with her family. Visit her website at www.as-king.com and follow her on Twitter at @AS_King.





*Starred Review* 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. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* 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. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





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) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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