I got the jump on this new release thanks to Deb Marshall and her recent contest giveaway. Take a look at Deb’s blog called Read Write Tell. It will be a worth your time.
CHASING THE MILKY WAY is a middle grade book that should fall into the upper ranges of that category. With doses of profanity and the topic at hand, mental illness, ages 11-14 may be a better fit than the advertised 8-12. With that said, the story was one of my favorite reads so far this year.
The writing oozes with hope one minute and despair the next. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions. Despite the plot having one or two hard to believe occurrences, this will be a book to treasure for now and the future. It gives meaning to the issue of mental illness that is rarely explored in MG books, and does it so well. Thanks go to the author, Erin E. Moulton, for having the courage to write about such a difficult topic. In her Author’s Notes she says “Did you know 1 in 4 Americans will suffer from mental illness in their lifetime?” And then she provides several resources for learning more.
CHASING THE MILKY WAY packs a powerful punch and you’ll be enriched by the experience.
PUBLICATION DATE:2014 PAGE COUNT: 277
FULL PLOT (From Amazon): Lucy Peevy has a dream–to get out of the trailer park she lives in and become a famous scientist. And she’s already figured out how to do that: Build a robot that will win a cash prize at the BotBlock competition and save it for college. But when you’ve got a mama who doesn’t always take her meds, it’s not easy to achieve those goals. Especially when Lucy’s mama takes her, her baby sister Izzy, and their neighbor Cam away in her convertible, bound for parts unknown. But Lucy, Izzy and Cam are good at sticking together, and even better at solving problems. But not all problems have the best solutions, and Lucy and Izzy must face the one thing they’re scared of even more than Mama’s moods: living without her at all.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT CHASING THE MILKY WAY
- Lucy is a budding scientist and a very good one. A great role model for girls.
- The relationship of Lucy, her little sister Izzie, and best friend Cam is touching and heartfelt. They stick together through good and bad. You so want them to succeed, if not now then in the future.
- Brief flashbacks scattered across the pages, tell the back story of Lucy, her mom, and grandma. Centered around each of Lucy’s past birthdays, it’s a look at how their relationship changed and gives meaning for the decisions each face.
- For the most part, the story is a page turning adventure. It’s the perfect way to not allow the difficult topic of mental illness to override the true meaning of the book. It’s really about family and friendship.
- Lucy’s first person narrative is the perfect voice to tell the story. She’s tough, smart, and willing to speak her mind.
I hear Izzy sniffle next to me and I open up my arm like a wing, and wonder what we’re going to do now.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.