How to Become a Planet by Nicole Melleby
Thirteen-year-old Pluto and her mom are confronted with a challenging situation: understanding and coping with Pluto's recent diagnosis of depression and anxiety.
Her mother is terrified when her daughter completely withdraws, is unable to sustain long-established friendships and can no longer attend school.
Pluto alternates between constantly sleeping and lashing out at others, particularly her mother. Activities she enjoyed such as visiting the planetarium and spending time on the boardwalk are no longer interesting or entertaining.
She was tired of trying. She was tired of her mom's desperate, eager eyes. She was tired of all of it.
There are similarities between How to Become a Planet and Melleby's debut novel Hurricane Season. Both explore the tenuous relationship between a parent and child as they deal with mental illness. While her early book chronicles a young girl struggling with her father's illness, her current novel reverses the situation. A mother must come to grips with her daughter’s depression.