The year we fell from space by Amy Sarig King
Text, 2019. ISBN: 9781922268853. 272pp.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. This deeply emotional narrative is told by Liberty, who draws us into her life as her family seems to her to be crumbling. When her father decides to leave his family, his two daughters are devastated. His wife seems to accept his choice as an expected one, and he assures them that his decision is for the best. It would be a wonderful book for both adolescent readers and adults, particularly parents and indeed for those who teach them, and is highly recommended for its beautiful writing and compelling sense of the important things in the world.
We learn about the world as perceived by Liberty, and we are drawn into her significantly intellectual rationalisation of their situation as she shares her world with the planets, the moon and stars, and most interestingly, with a meteorite that she found when it fell to earth. The wisdom that she grasps from this other world, and that she draws on from unexpected sources, helps Liberty to understand her situation and to cope with the changes.
Liberty's shining intelligence adds a special glow to the narrative, and as she relates the events, we are privileged to read about her daily life that is perceived through her astonishing level of understanding of the universe. Quirky personal statements that only Liberty can hear, by a star, or a planet, or the moon, or even ordinary objects, imbue this work with a certain something that lifts it out of the ordinary. Through her devotion to our planet, that is at the heart of her world and this narrative, her love and fascination with the universe, and her love of the environment, we realise that she is determined to make sense of her new situation. Glittering with emotions, both positive and negative, this exceptional story is as entertaining, evocative and brilliant as the world of stars itself. Teacher's notes are available.