Algonquin Young Readers How to Become a Planet
Algonquin Young Readers How to Become a Planet

How to Become a Planet

By Nicole Melleby

$16.95

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

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Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7

After an entire summer trying to figure out how to go back to being the person she was before her depression and anxiety diagnosis, Pluto finds out – with the help of a hotline (the Hayden Planetarium Hotline, that is), a new tutor, and a new friend -- that there is no old or new Pluto, there’s just Pluto, growing up.

For Pluto, summer has always started with a trip to the planetarium. It’s the launch to her favorite season, which also includes visits to the boardwalk arcade, working in her mom’s pizzeria, and her best friend Meredith’s birthday party. But this summer, none of that feels possible.

A month before the end of the school year, Pluto’s frightened mom broke down Pluto’s bedroom door. What came next were doctor’s appointments, a diagnosis of depression, and a big black hole that still sits on Pluto’s chest, making it too hard to do anything.

Pluto can’t explain to her mom why she can’t do the things she used to love. And it isn’t until Pluto’s dad threatens to make her move with him to the city—where he believes his money, in particular, could help—that Pluto becomes desperate enough to do whatever it takes to be the old Pluto again.

She develops a plan and a checklist: If she takes her medication, if she goes to the planetarium with her mom for her birthday, if she successfully finishes her summer school work with her tutor, if she goes to Meredith’s birthday party . . . if she does all the things that “normal” Pluto would do, she can stay with her mom in Jersey. But it takes a new therapist, a new tutor, and a new (and cute) friend with a checklist and plan of her own for Pluto to learn that there is no old and new Pluto. There’s just her.

About the Author

Nicole Melleby is a born-and-bred Jersey girl with a passion for storytelling. She studied creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University and currently teaches creative writing and literature courses with a handful of local universities. When she's not writing, she can be found browsing the shelves at her local comic shop or watching soap operas with a cup of tea.

Format: Hardcover

Length: 288 pages

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 9781643750361

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