Everything Else in the Universe (Paperback)
A young girl struggles to embrace change in this moving family story set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. For fans of Jenni Holm and Wendy Mass.
Lucy is a practical, orderly person--just like her dad. But when he's sent to Vietnam to serve as an Army doctor, Lucy and her mother are forced to move to San Jose, California, to be near their gregarious, quirky Rossi relatives. Then her father is injured, and Lucy's mother has her move in with the Rossis to give her father some space to adjust and heal.
Lucy feels pushed aside and left out of everything. Until a curious boy named Milo--whose own father is still in Vietnam-- along with a mysterious packet of photographs and an eye-opening mission make Lucy see there's more to life than schedules and plans, and helps to heal her broken family. The latest from critically-acclaimed author Tracy Holczer is a pitch-perfect middle grade tale of family and friendship that's sure to delight fans of One for the Murphys and Rules.
About the Author
Tracy Holczer spent her first twelve years in San Jose, California, with her boisterous Italian family. Everything Else in the Universe is a love letter to that family, the pink kitchen where she discovered her nonni's secret ability to infuse food with love, and the San Francisco Bay Area in all its foggy glory. The Secret Hum of a Daisy is her critically acclaimed first novel. A full-time writer, Tracy lives in Los Angeles with her family, one fluffy dog, and four (yes, four!) cats.
★“Affectingly tracing Lucy’s struggles with her altered family, Holczer also credibly portrays the conflicting views on the war, from protestors to former vets. Well-grounded in its era and peopled by fully realized characters, the book is a resonant historical novel and a thoughtful exploration of how war and injury affect family, friendships, and individual growth.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Lucy’s adjustments are thoughtfully examined, and her evolving efforts to stabilize her family in general, and her father in particular, are well crafted…Holczer does a fine job of piercing the weight with bits of family levity, and with the ethereal beauty of the dragonflies—Milo’s obsession—that flit in and out of the story.” — Booklist
“Lyrically written, the novel portrays the war's corrosive, divisive impacts with compassion…A touching, memorable read that explores the costs, large and small, of an unpopular war.” —Kirkus
“The novel introduces a nuanced view of the Vietnam War to readers…This is a quiet, tender work of historical fiction about grief, love, and learning to let go…A worthy addition to any middle grade collection.”— School Library Journal
Bringing to vivid life a realistic tale of homelessness & poverty. debut novelist Marie Miranda Cruz introduces us to feisty, resilient 12-year old Nora, who lives with her mother in her father's grave crypt in the Philippine capital of Manilla. The truly harsh elements of survival and hunger are coupled with the kindness and community that Nora finds while searching for her mother, who has inexplicably gone missing. There are some scary elements such as beatings & kidnapping and young readers may flinch when confronted with these, but Cruz' memorable title character is so worthy of compassion, you will be rooting for her the whole way to the satisfying ending. This novel is a true gem and one that should be read and discussed. I loved the interspersed Tagalog words (glossary in back) and additional teachers guide. Exceptional for ages 10 and up. - Maureen