The Year We Fell From Space by Amy Sarig King

Publication Date: 6 February 2020

The Blurb
Like a dying star, Liberty’s family is imploding. Can she hold mum and dad together, before they spin out of reach?

When Liberty’s parents separate, she doesn’t know what to do. She feels she’s on a different planet, and gravity is collapsing around her. Her family members have always been her universe – the planets in her own solar system. But now it’s all going wrong.

Her dad is drifting away and keeping secrets. Her mum is standing still while everything else hurtles past. As for her sister, she’s in a galaxy all of her own.

Can Liberty map out a new life for them all – or have they been flung too far apart?

Cover illustration by Elizabeth B. Parisi

The Review

A heartbreaking, humourous and ultimately hopeful journey of divorce and depression told through the eyes of a 12 year old girl.

Lib is devastated when her family breaks up, and turns to the stars for comfort, because she’s too focused on supporting her mom and sister to allow herself to be supported by them. She finds herself an outcast in her last year at middle school, socially isolated, with no one to talk to about what’s happening at home. With life spinning out of control, she needs a rock to help keep her grounded.

As time passes, we watch as Lib goes through a huge range of emotions as life twists and turns, never in the direction she wants it to. It is gutwrenching watching her unravel and try to piece herself back together.

Her love for her family, and need to protect Jilly shine throughout the story, and her understanding of her sister’s changing emotions is in stark contrast to her denial of her own. The use of the meterorite and star maps allow us into her most deeply hidden dreams and fears, her hurt, anger and hopelessness.

With a strong message about sharing feelings and talking through worries, and that sometimes we all need help and support, it’s a clear reminder that children are emotionally as much a part of the divorce process as their parents, and they probably do know more than we think, or will fill in blanks for themselves if questions are left unanswered.

Tackling life issues that many children will face growing up with warmth and care, it’s definitely Year 6+, and only for more emotionally mature readers in my opinion (Scholastic have it as 11+). Please do make sure you read it yourself before recommending to primary-age pupils.

Great for fans of:

Huge thanks to Scholastic for sending me a copy.

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