Tuesday, September 25, 2018

THE SCIENCE OF BREAKABLE THINGS by Tae Keller.  New York:  Random House Books, 2018. 304p.  ISBN 978-1524715663    Gr. 3-6    JUV

Natalie has enough to worry about at home with her botanist mother shutting herself in her room, her father telling her to "give her mother some space," and feeling like she's on her own.  Luckily, she has her best friend Twig around to liven things up and make school bearable.  Her science teacher, Mr. Neely, is the most cheerful man alive and gets on Natalie's nerves sometimes, like his latest suggestion to add Dari (one of the smartest kids in the room) to her and Twig's lab group.  But he also scores points with her by telling the group about an egg drop competition they could enter for prize money.  Natalie could use that money to get her mom interested in plants again and act like a mom again.  In spite of their best efforts, the lab group loses the competition and comes up with a risky scheme to steal a rare orchid seed from a research lab.  Things get really out of control before they get better.  This is one of the few books for children that talks about parents with depression and gives a point of view from the child. 
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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