Catch a Falling Star

Walker Books Australia
ISBN: 9781925381207
The Book of the Year: Younger Readers 2020 Notable
This is an exceptional coming-of-age story which sensitively deals with loss, grief and change. Set in Western Australia in 1979, as the world waits for Skylab to tumble to Earth, the historical context offered is original and fascinating while the plot revolves around Frankie, her brother and her mother. Frankie establishes a strong relationship with the reader, revealing her thoughts and motivations clearly. The reader can understand her grief over losing her father, the difficulties of living in a single-parent home, and the deep responsibility she feels for her brother. Minor characters provide comic relief. The plot builds gently as the characters anticipate the landing of Skylab pieces. Other points of tension include the increasing conflict between Frankie and her friend Kat, Newt’s obsession with Skylab, which leads him to take greater risks, and the emotional buildup of suppressed grief. The strands of the plot are skilfully interwoven and the ‘falling’ metaphor works brilliantly. While there are many references to science and space stations, the story is ultimately about the human heart.