Catch a Falling Star by Meg McKinlay
Twelve-year-old Frankie Avery knows that sometimes things fall when they’re not supposed to. When the small plane that’s carrying her dad across Australia falls from the sky, Frankie loses her father and her hopes for the future with him. Carrying her grief close allows Frankie to navigate the days – school, friends, and keeping her little brother, Newt, safe. But when Skylab, one of the world’s first space stations, starts to fall towards the earth, towards Frankie’s home, it ignites something in Frankie and Newt that won’t go out.
In a book perfectly pitched for readers on the cusp of adolescence, Meg McKinlay explores the isolation of grief and the importance of having something to wish for. Frankie’s frustration at her mother, at Newt, and at her best friend, Kat, is so relatable – the feeling of not having your life truly seen is one that middle-grade readers will be so familiar with, as they occupy the space of being no longer a child but not quite a teenager. McKinlay, as always, brings an enormous amount of insight to a story without weighing it down and the result is a book that is tender, hopeful, and slightly surreal. For ages 11+.