Planet Earth is Blue
Author: Nicole Panteleakos
Pub. Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Synopsis: “Tender and illuminating. A beautiful debut.” –Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me
A heartrending and hopeful debut novel about a nonverbal girl and her passion for space exploration, for fans of See You in the Cosmos, Mockingbird, and The Thing About Jellyfish.
Twelve-year-old Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger–it’s the first time a teacher is going into space, and kids across America will watch the event on live TV in their classrooms. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, share a love of astronomy and the space program. They planned to watch the launch together. But Bridget has disappeared, and Nova is in a new foster home.
While foster families and teachers dismiss Nova as severely autistic and nonverbal, Bridget understands how intelligent and special Nova is, and all that she can’t express. As the liftoff draws closer, Nova’s new foster family and teachers begin to see her potential, and for the first time, she is making friends without Bridget. But every day, she’s counting down to the launch, and to the moment when she’ll see Bridget again. Because Bridget said, “No matter what, I’ll be there. I promise.”
Once again, let me remind everyone just how much I adore middle grade books! They are so amazing – the characters, the plots, and the emotions in the book always make me think and feel along with the characters. I really love them!
Planet Earth is Blue was on my radar for some time prior to its release. It sounded absolutely amazing, and I knew it was a book I was going to have to get my hands on. The cover is incredibly stunning, so there’s that, but the story that the book itself tells is another one of those stories that will make you feel tons of emotions and capture you from the very first page of the book.
Nova was one of the most amazing middle grade characters I have had the pleasure to read about. She is in tune with her wants and emotions, and the way the author has written her character makes it feel like you’re actually there, in the story, experiencing everything the way that she is. The author has done such an amazing job of creating a character that is well fleshed out, has an awesome personality, and is incredibly relatable to other middle graders (and, well, adults too).
The plot of the book is really original, too. It captures the problem with the foster care system, especially how easy it is for them to dismiss the emotions and needs of a girl being labeled as autistic. This book really hit close to home for me, because my daughter is autistic, and I think that sharing this book with her might make her happy, so I’m definitely going to suggest that she read it.
Anyway, with so many kids in foster care these days, it is often important for them to find a book they can relate to. I believe that Planet Earth is Blue will do a fantastic job encouraging kids who are in the foster system to never give up hope, because their happy ending is out there somewhere.
This incredible book is both charming and gripping, and once you pick it up, there is no way you’re going to want to put it down until you’ve turned the very last page!
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Nicole Panteleakos is an author, playwright, thespian, and Ravenclaw. Her debut novel PLANET EARTH IS BLUE (Wendy Lamb Books, Penguin Random House) will be out in bookstores nationwide on May 14, 2019, with a second middle grade novel to follow in 2020. She is represented by agent Katie Grimm at Don Congdon Associates and belongs to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: Metro NY. She is also a Lifetime Member of the VFW Auxiliary and National Home for Children, a godmother of three, and a regular contributor to Nanny Magazine. When not writing, she can usually be found reading fanfiction, playing board games, doing community theatre, or adding to her Alice in Wonderland coffee cup collection.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of PLANET EARTH IS BLUE, US Only.
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