'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday, 3 May 2019

Review: Catch a Falling Star

Sometimes you read a book and are so deeply moved by the content that you must sit in silence for a while and ponder. Catch a Falling Star is one of these books.

In a country town in Western Australia in 1979, twelve-year-old Frankie Avery is older than her years. 

Grieving the death of her father and taking on many family responsibilities to help her mother care for her younger brother Newt, Frankie has much on her mind, including having to worry about the space station Skylab that’s dangerously hurtling towards Earth.

Catch a Falling Star is a story of family, love, friendship and grief. It explores childhood from the perspective of someone who has experienced great loss — a tragedy that has gripped their life and changed, well, everything.

Meg McKinlay is a master storyteller and her words never fail to burrow deep into my heart and mind. This is a gentle story about everyday life, but it’s so addictive, so emotional, so gripping.

It’s about real life and real loss and finding your feet when you think there is no possible way they could ever be found. It’s about honesty and bravery and emotional struggle, all from a child’s perspective.

And then there is the truth in the story that I still can’t get out of my head. Skylab is (was) a real space station that really did crash land in Western Australia in 1979. At the back of the book, McKinlay explains which parts of the book are fiction and which parts are enthralling facts — facts that had me racing to the internet to search and find out more, as I suspect many kids will be eager to do. 

Classrooms will love this book for its varied discussion starters, and kids will love it for its honesty and insight into life. It’s a story you won’t soon forget. 

And for more amazing McKinlay books, check out award winning A Single Stone, the very clever Drawn Onward and recent picture book Let Me Sleep, Sheep!. Truly. Master of storytelling!

Title: Catch a Falling Star
Author: Meg McKinlay
Publisher: Walker Books, $17.99
Publication Date: 1 March 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925381207
For ages: 10+
Type: Middle Grade

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