This coming-of-age story by multiple-award-winner Meg McKinlay is about loss and grief, dealing with change and fighting to hold on to what you can, while letting go of what you can’t.
It’s 1979 and the sky is falling. Skylab, that is. Somewhere high above Frankie Avery, one of the world’s first space stations is tumbling to Earth. And rushing back with it are old memories. Things twelve-year-old Frankie thought she’d forgotten. Things her mum won’t talk about, and which her little brother Newt never knew. Only ... did he? Does he? Because as Skylab circles closer, Newt starts acting strangely. And while the world watches the sky, Frankie keeps her own eyes on Newt. Because if anyone’s going to keep him safe, it’s her. It always has been. But maybe this is something bigger than splinters and spiders and sleepwalking. Maybe a space station isn’t the only thing heading straight for calamity.
Meg McKinlay is the author of eighteen books ranging from picture books and young adult fiction through to poetry for adults. Her work includes the much-loved No Bears, Once Upon A Small Rhinoceros and the critically acclaimed A Single Stone, which won the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award, among other prizes. Raised in central Victoria, in a TV- and car-free household, Meg was a bookish kid, in love with words and excited by dictionaries. A former academic at the University of Western Australia, where she taught Japanese, Literature, and Creative Writing, Meg is now a full-time writer and lives near the ocean in Fremantle, where she is always busy cooking up more books.
A finely crafted novel that will catch the attention of teachers as well as readers aged nine and up. Highly recommended.
Books and Publishing
Catch a Falling Star is a winner. It captures the fragments of warmth and tenderness that flutter and fall through mortality’s sieve of pain. Highly recommended.
Catch a Falling Star is middle grade writing at it’s very finest. McKinlay takes the reader to the highest level of emotion, but then reigns it back in, right at the point that it might venture into content too mature
Childrens Books Daily
This is a beautiful, sometimes humorous and often poignant tale about grief and loss, love and family, bravery and self-belief. I would highly recommend it for readers from around ten years upwards.
Just So Stories
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.
This is a moving, frequently funny, story of death and grief and joy and love set against the background of the growing panic engendered by the return of Skylab when Australians learn that Western Australia is its target. Highly recommended.
This is an intriguing, tender, often funny and absorbing story that deals with issues that are important to us all: family, learning to deal with the hardships that life can deal us, and the value of friendship
There is a touch of the surreal about this novel, a mingling of magic and science that distills into hope. McKinlay’s portrayal of this life essence is unflinching and spot on…And yes, it’s about Storm Boy and the messy bits in life and unhappy endings, which might sound cheesy and maudlin but are two things this superbly crafted novel is not. More brilliant than the Milky Way. A must read.
Dims Write Stuff
Meg McKinlay has written this book perfectly for younger readers, as she explores the importance of having something to hope for while negotiating the isolation that grief brings to individual members of a family.
Catch a Falling Star is a magnificent novel that pre-teens and teenagers can enjoy.
This coming of age story is beautifully written. It captures magic and hope as well as grief and loss in equal balance, and while based on an international event, it speaks to the heart of the reader… This title will be an important part of every upper primary and early secondary school library collection and provides plenty of scope for bookclub discussions.
CBCA: Reading Time
‘Catch a Falling Star’ is middle grade writing at it’s very finest. McKinlay takes the reader to the highest level of emotion, but then reigns it back in, right at the point that it might venture into content too mature.
Sometimes you read a book and are so deeply moved by the content that you must sit in silence for a while and ponder. Catch a Falling Star is one of these books… Classrooms will love this book for its varied discussion starters, and kids will love it for its honesty and insight into life. It’s a story you won’t soon forget.
Kids' Book Review
Meg McKinlay has created a wonderfully gentle narrative, beautifully tender and an exploration of the many facets of grief and how is reshapes families. Absolutely loved it to the moon and back.
A stunning coming of age novel.
Children's Books Daily