Everything Else in the Universe (Hardcover)
In the midst of the Vietnam War, a young girl struggles to embrace change in this tender family story for fans of Cynthia Lord and Wendy Maas
Lucy is a practical, orderly person--just like her dad. He taught her to appreciate reason and good sense, instilling in her the same values he learned at medical school. 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 relatives--the Rossis--people known for their superstitions and all around quirky ways.
Lucy can't wait for life to go back to normal, so she's over the moon when she learns her father is coming home early. It doesn't even matter that he's coming back "different." That she can't ask too many questions or use the word "amputation." It just matters that he'll be home. But Lucy quickly realizes there's something very wrong when her mother sends her to spend the summer with the Rossis to give her father some space. Lucy's beside herself, but what's a twelve-year-old to do?
It's a curious boy named Milo, a mysterious packet of photographs and an eye-opening mission that makes 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 is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Secret Hum of a Daisy. She lives in Southern California with her husband, three daughters, and two rather fluffy dogs named Buster and Molly. She has a deep love for the mountains where she grew up, the lakes and rivers that crisscrossed her childhood, so she writes them into her stories.
★“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