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Summary

Natalie's uplifting story of using the scientific process to "save" her mother from depression is what Booklist calls "a winning story full of heart and action".

Eggs are breakable. Hope is not.

When Natalie's science teacher suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, Natalie thinks that this might be the perfect solution to all of her problems. There's prize money, and if she and her friends win, then she can fly her botanist mother to see the miraculous Cobalt Blue Orchids - flowers that survive against impossible odds. Natalie's mother has been suffering from depression, and Natalie is sure that the flowers' magic will inspire her mom to love life again. Which means it's time for Natalie's friends to step up and show her that talking about a problem is like taking a plant out of a dark cupboard and giving it light. With their help, Natalie begins an uplifting journey to discover the science of hope, love, and miracles.

A vibrant, loving debut about the coming-of-age moment when kids realize that parents are people, too. Think The Fourteenth Goldfish meets The Thing About Jellyfish.

Named one of the best books of the year by:

  • NPR 
  • Kirkus Reviews 
  • The Chicago Public Library 

"Natalie's Korean heritage is sensitively explored, as is the central issue of depression." (Publishers Weekly)

"A compassionate glimpse of mental illness accessible to a broad audience." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"Holy moly!!! This book made me feel." (Colby Sharp, editor of The Creativity Project, teacher, and cofounder of Nerdy Book Club)

©2018 Tae Keller (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic reviews

"Aside from the obvious connection to STEM, Keller’s layered, accessible story has offers beautifully crafted metaphors, a theme of mending old friendships and creating new ones, and an empowering teacher to a variety of readers.... A winning story full of heart and action.” (Booklist, starred review)

“Natalie is an engaging narrator whose struggles at home and with her peers ring true.” (Deborah Hopkinson, award-winning author)

“Natalie learns that, as with the egg, people, too, are fragile and need support and padding to break their falls. An emotional story that explores parental depression with realism and empathy.” (School Library Journal)

What listeners say about The Science of Breakable Things

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  • angie marquez
  • 12-09-18

Awesome.

This book was awesome. I loved it. It is sooo realistic. It was sad and loving

3 people found this helpful

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  • Berta G.
  • 09-10-21

Beautiful, Brilliant & Real Life.

I was so pleasantly surprised! I came across this book, after reading “How to Trap a Tiger” - by the same author. I have battled depression for decades, but I’ve never listened to an audiobook that included depression in it’s pages. The story not only encouraged my heart, but it also gave me the rare opportunity to visit & experience how life might have been for my four children, when they were younger. Wow! I can’t Thank You enough, Tae Keller, for tackling the complicated reality of depression & for sharing NAMI’s valuable information at the end of the book. ThankYou so very much.

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  • Ian M Hobkirk
  • 31-08-21

Meh

Bad ending and it took so long to get to the point. It had potential but wasn’t exacuted well

1 person found this helpful

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  • MI_2020
  • 02-03-20

More than blue

This important coming of age story really picks up in the last chapters, with an unexpected adventure. The voices of the tweens; their thoughts, fears, and words feels true.

1 person found this helpful