Title: Catch a Falling Star
Author: Meg McKinlay
Published by Walker Books
RRP: $17.99 (AUD)

Frankie is at school when she hears the sky is falling. Well, not the sky exactly, but Skylab. She is transported back in time to the last night with her father, wrapped in a blanket in their Space Shack, where they see Skylab shooting across the sky. But that was six years ago, when her brother Newt was only two years old and her father wasn’t missing. Now, with the re-entry of Skylab and the possibility it may land nearby, Frankie battles with her responsibilities of looking after eight year old Newt and being a good friend to Kat. Frankie has a lot on her mind, and Skylab is not the only thing threatening to fall.

This is a heartfelt, beautifully written book. Frankie is such a gorgeous girl, strong and more resilient than she thinks. The characterisation is really strong, realistic and authentic. The setting, in the late 1970s, took me back to my own childhood, remembering what it was like to not have radio reception in the car all the time, to have only the one nightly news bulletin to learn what was happening in the world. The banter in the classroom is funny and realistic for the small town setting.

There is a lot to love about this book. The writing is superb, offering younger readers real literary quality in a story full of intrigue and a little adventure, in an historical setting. Highly recommended, this book will be a favourite of many for a long while.

Detailed teaching notes can be found downloaded at this link.