Friday, December 20, 2019

The Year We Fell From Space, by Amy Sarig King - ESSENTIAL

The Year We Fell From Space by Amy Sarig King, 292 pages. Scholastic Book Services, 2019. $14. 

Language: PG-13; Mature Content: PG-13 (Depression, Divorce, Self Harm)
Violence: G



Liberty Johansen is 12yo when a meteor falls from space in her backyard and at the same time, her life seems to start unraveling. Liberty used to like to chart the night sky, but when her father, who Liberty slowly begins to realize has been suffering with bi-polar depression her entire life, moves out of the family home she stops looking up at night. Liberty spends the summer talking to the meteor and trying to process the fears of her changing body and middle school. Liberty’s little sister sees things differently than her and she feels abandoned by everyone closest to her and she suspects that maybe she is depressed, like her dad, too. Liberty is scared and brave, sassy and shy, smart and naive, she is a young lady that both boys and girls can find parts to relate with. 

The Year We Fell From Space is an insightful and heartbreaking account of mental health issues and depression from an adolescent viewpoint and how important communication and not trying to fix it for the children can be. This book uncovers so many different levels of insecurity, fear, and middle school trauma that even students and their parents that aren’t undergoing depression or a divorce should read it and have open and honest conversations about it. Liberty is not an omniscient character and that veiled knowledge makes you want to help her understand the confusing world, but I can’t, so I have to help the pre-teens and teens in my own life instead.

Dina W. - ELA teacher

No comments: