Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the The Plant Earth is Blue blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours.
About the Book:
Title: PLANET EARTH IS BLUE
Author: Nicole Panteleakos
Pub. Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
“Tender and illuminating. A beautiful debut.” –Rebecca Stead,
Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me
A heartrending and hopeful debut novel about a nonverbal girl and her passion for space exploration, for fans of See You in the Cosmos, Mockingbird, and The Thing About Jellyfish.
Twelve-year-old Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger–it’s the first time a teacher is going into space, and kids across America will watch the event on live TV in their classrooms. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, share a love of astronomy and the space program. They planned to watch the launch together. But Bridget has disappeared, and Nova is in a new foster home.
While foster families and teachers dismiss Nova as severely autistic and nonverbal, Bridget understands how intelligent and special Nova is, and all that she can’t express. As the liftoff draws closer, Nova’s new foster family and teachers begin to see her potential, and for the first time, she is making friends without Bridget. But every day, she’s counting down to the launch, and to the moment when she’ll see Bridget again. Because Bridget said, “No matter what, I’ll be there. I promise.”
It is 1986. 12 year old Nova Vezina is anxiously awaiting for two big events- the launching of the space shuttle Challenger and reuniting with her older sister Bridget. Bridget ran away from their last foster home and Nova is adjusting to living with her new foster family, the Wests.
While Nova’s school reports consistently included phrases such as “cannot read” or “does not speak,” her older sister Bridget always disagreed stating that Nora “is a thinker, not a talker.” Bridget has been Nova’s strongest advocate recognizing and fostering Nova’s intelligence. With only 10 days before the Challenger launch, Nova is clinging on to Bridget’s promise that she and Nova will reunite and watch this historic event together.
I love the format of the novel, which alternates from third person to first person. Nova’s first hand account is written as letters to Bridget, which everyone else calls “scribbles.” Since Nora is autistic and nonverbal, her letters are extremely compelling sharing her deep thoughts and feelings on everything from her new foster family, new school and friends as well as past memories of her mother and Bridget. Reading Nova’s letters is truly gut-wrenching because she shares her frustrations that people cannot understand her and how desperately she misses Bridget. While my heart ached for Nova, Nova’s new foster family gave me hope. Francine, Billy, and their college age daughter Josie take the time to truly get to know Nova recognizing her potential rather than her limitations.
From the very first page, Nova’s story pulled me in and I couldn’t put the novel down. While I knew the outcome of the Challenger launch, debut author Nicole Panteleakos’s well crafted novel kept me wondering until almost the very end. A heartbreaking yet uplifting story, Planet Earth is Blue reminds us of our universal need for love, respect, and understanding. I am a firm believer that books have the power to change you and make you a better person; Planet Earth is Blue is that story, for we can all do better in showing compassion, patience, and tolerance towards others.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Nicole Panteleakos is an author, playwright, thespian, and Ravenclaw. Her debut novel PLANET EARTH IS BLUE (Wendy Lamb Books, Penguin Random House) will be out in bookstores nationwide on May 14, 2019, with a second middle grade novel to follow in 2020. She is represented by agent Katie Grimm at Don Congdon Associates and belongs to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: Metro NY. She is also a Lifetime Member of the VFW Auxiliary and National Home for Children, a godmother of three, and a regular contributor to Nanny Magazine. When not writing, she can usually be found reading fanfiction, playing board games, doing community theatre, or adding to her Alice in Wonderland coffee cup collection.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of PLANET EARTH IS BLUE, US Only. Click the link below to enter.
Tour Schedule: Join us on the other stops of this tour to read more reviews.