The Year We Fell From Space by Amy Sarig King
The Year We Fell From Space is a searing portrait of a young girl in conflict.
Liberty Johansen distances herself from her classmates when she refuses to participate in school playground activities such as marriages and excommunications. And she’s not afraid to let her views be known.
It’s stupid...We’re in sixth grade. Having weddings is stupid.
She shoulders a massive self-imposed burden, trying to keep her family together, attempting to maintain peace and a sense of normalcy in situations which are beyond her control.
She is fascinated with astronomy and creates her own star maps. Her interest in the stars becomes her safe place. She discovers an unusual rock and believes that it is a meteorite, sent from the skies directly to her. The rock becomes her solace, her companion, and her confidante.
Lib views herself and her world through the lens of her current circumstances: sixth-grade outcast, protector for her younger sister, and dutiful daughter to her separated parents.
Liberty's life is filled with hikes, gazing at the night sky, campfires, and s'mores. And smeelings.
Smeelings are "smells that make feelings."
I'm sending a toasted gooey s'more with lots of smeelings to King. Thanks for this poignant portrayal of a young girl and her family coping with mental illness. Its a story that has found a home in my heart.