Monday, December 10, 2018

Middle Grade Monday and Audiobook Review: The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller. Unabridged downloadable audiobook, 313 minutes. Read by Jennifer Kim. Listening Library, March, 2018. 9780525525707. 

Middle Grade Monday features The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller. This first-person narration is seventh grader Natalie Napoli's "Wonder Notebook," as her hashtag-loving, overly enthusiastic science teacher likes to call it. Natalie used to love science, especially botany and she adored spending time with her vivacious botanist mother in her lab at the university. For weeks now, her mother has virtually disappeared into her bedroom and Natalie wants her back. She doesn't want to join two classmates in an egg-drop competition until she learns the prize for winning is $500. Enough money to bring her mom on a trip to find a rare blue orchid. Maybe this will bring her mother back.

Along the way, Natalie learns a lot about herself as well as a desire to connect with her Korean grandmother and culture, something her bi-racial father has always avoided. She also connects with her two lab partners in unexpected ways. There's a lot to like in this debut. The pace is brisk. The tone is introspective. The characters are unique and complex. There's a smart, science-loving girl and a complicated family situation. Jennifer Kim's narration brings Natalie to life but have the book handy, as it is illustrated. 

The Science of Breakable Things is a wonderful addition to the collection.

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