Liberty Johnson is a sixth grader who sees the stars differently. She draws her own constellations based on her moods and feelings. When she learns that her mom and dad are about to separate, she isn’t able to draw her star maps anymore. The night sky, which had been her refuge, no longer makes sense–that is until a meteor falls from the sky and begins to talk to her. Liberty communicates her deepest thoughts to the meteor to help her through her parents’ divorce and her changing family.
The Year We Fell From Space isn’t afraid to talk about real feelings that children experience while going through a family divorce. It also focuses on mental illness issues and how to safely get help (there are even websites and phone numbers on the last pages of the book that a child can use if he/she has a mental health emergency). I really enjoyed how Liberty tied in her feelings to what she saw in the stars. The book has a slight fantasy feel that balances the book nicely with real world problems.
Written Tina B., Youth Services