Down to Earth

Henry Bower loves rocks. He’s read about them, dug for them, studied them as much as possible – which is a lot, since he’s homeschooled.

One night, he sees a meteorite fall from the sky – and it lands in his family’s field in rural Maine. What a day! He and his little sister, Birdie, go out to explore it – and are surprised by the heat. The meteorite has melted all the snow around it.

Henry shows his best friend, James, and they vow to keep it secret.

But then the water starts. And flows and flows – and suddenly Henry’s meteorite is no longer a secret and the town is blaming his family for their dried up wells.

Through it all, Henry has to get used to new people, new ideas, new places, and figure out how to help his best friend recover.

I enjoyed Down to Earth by Betty Culley. I felt drawn to it because I homeschooled my children, the oldest of whom is a geologist and loves rocks. It’s a story worth reading, even if those demographics don’t apply to you or your children.

My favorite character is the museum curator, Dr. Miles Morgan, who visits Henry from New York City to see the meteorite. He takes Henry, and Birdie, seriously and speaks to them as if they were grown up.

He tells Henry, “What is most important is not always the answers, but the questions. Keep asking questions. Which isn’t as simple as it seems, to devise the kind of questions and observations that will lead to answers.”

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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