Chasing the Milky Way


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Equally hopeful and heartbreaking, this book accurately depicts life with a mentally ill parent. Jul 14, Sugar Middleton rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was a hard one for me to rate. On the one hand the writing is beautiful. One of my favorite scenes was when they went swimming in a lake under the Northern Lights. Can I do that too, please and thank you. They were such great friends, and it showed. What I didn't like: How her mom forgot about her birthday. Ok, we got it. With everything else going on why are we still whining about this?

For me, it just got old and redundant. I have experienced mental illness - I suffered from Anxiety and panic attacks and depression for several years. I still have to deal with anxiety. The way the doctor dealt with the mom - letting her go off her medication to save money - really really really upset me.

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I felt it was a horrible plot twist and it just made me angry. Yes, I understand, "mom gives up health because she loves her daughter soooo much, so she saves money so her daughter can go to the robot competition. Um, no, please show this love another way. In my humble opinion, if the mom truly loved her daughters she would have found another way. She would have kept herself mentally healthy. So, while I did like it a lot, the things I didn't like were enough to knock off one star for me. Thank you and happy reading! May 09, Karen Bean rated it really liked it. Deals with the impact of mental illness on family members in a realistic way.

Some of the experiences are a bit over-the-top, but in a way that adds the kind of excitement and suspense a teen might enjoy. Lucy is a lovable character and evokes sympathy and admiration. Aug 11, Mj rated it it was amazing. I like the reality of the ups and downs that the family feels because of Mamas mental illness. Seeing the life through a 12 year olds eyes who was forced to be an adult so soon, really brought the story full circle. Jun 05, Lori Galaske rated it really liked it.

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A little too much "hissing" going on, but other than that, a very enjoyable read with likable characters, unique subject matter mental health , especially for a children's book, and a lot of adventure. Aug 03, Kristy rated it liked it. An interesting look at mental illness through the eyes of a young girl whose mother suffers from bipolar disorder. There were some events that were really far-fetched, which lessened the impact this story could have had. Feb 14, Jill Marsillett rated it it was amazing. Good lord this book was heartbreaking. It's about 2 girls dealing with a parent with a mental illness.

Just a random BookOutlet purchase for me, but this one has earned a place on my bookshelf. Jun 29, Jessica Wiant rated it liked it.

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Chasing the Milky Way by Erin E. Moulton | esugekaqasin.tk: Books

Oct 19, Mark Strelec rated it it was amazing. In love with this book, so amazing, recommend to the end!! Oct 28, Brooklynn Durham rated it it was ok. I gave up on this book, because it was really confusing. May 14, Emily rated it really liked it.


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I was so impressed by Chasing the Milky Way. The first thing that caught my eye was the gorgeous cover, and then the synopsis totally cinched the deal. Every word kept me freaking out, but it was so beautifully written, I couldn't help but feel right at home with Lucy, Izzy, and Cam. It's one of those books I randomly decided to pick up in the library, but I'm so glad I did! I always love books that show a unique child's perspective under serious circumstances. However, I was slightly surpr Whoa!

However, I was slightly surprised at how much Lucy the main character, who is twelve years old , took control. I mean, she really had to be, because at times her mom could be a sorry excuse for a mother. And I mean that in the best way possible, because Lucy's mom really did try. And I admit, I was pretty ticked off at her for the majority of the book, but she really came through.

You could really tell Lucy and her mom both loved each other, and had a special bond. The book did read a little slow for me at first. Once Lucy and her friend Cam are on their way to BotBlock the robot competition they saved all year to enter - planning to use the money they win to save for college , I thought there would be more scenes at BotBlock, but most of the book was their journey TO BotBlock.

The scenes were Lucy's mom would get in one of her moods good or bad or hallucinate were intense, but some scenes in between were a little slow. I did love all the descriptions and detail that went in to Lucy's mom's mental illness. This is one of the few books that I've read where the parent has a depression or something unbalanced in their mind, and it was so done so well.

Both sides of her were equally touched on, so I could see her good and bad points. Lucy was angry with her mom at parts of the book - and I admit so was I! I will say it made me extremely grateful that I don't have to remind my parents to take medicines so that I can go to school and not worry my mom will disappear, or she'll forget to buy groceries. I was SO angry with Lucy's mom Like I said earlier, though, Lucy's mom does come around, and you get to see all of her moods and see who she is when she's on her medicines, being herself, and who she is when she's not at her best point.

I really liked reading about Cam and Lucy's robot, PingPing How they began to make it, descriptions of what he looked like. PingPing was pretty much a character himself throughout the book, because the main goal in the story is to make it to BotBlock. And PingPing is there for the whole ride. There's so much more I could go on about - the worry about being taken away from their mom, the ending just being SO beautiful.

It was an amazing story! Mar 13, Sam rated it it was amazing Shelves: Chasing the Milky Way may be one of the best stories I've read that deals with mental illness as a prime focus. The book follows Lucy, a budding scientist at the age of twelve, who has to grow up a little faster than the other kids because her Mama isn't quite all there.

Refusing to take her meds, and being I loved reading about the relationship between Lucy, Mama and Grammie. Throughout the books you'd get these italicized bits that really looked deeper into how these three woman all co-existed, especially Grammie and Mama in the treatment and raising of Lucy.

There's so much emotion within these sections, especially the fighting and aggression. Lucy functions as an observer throughout the text, and she's watching her Mama come a part at the seams.

Chasing the Milky Way

It's heartbreaking and raw, and I think many of us understand and have been in this kind of situation -- sometimes you just never know how you should respond. I think what I equally loved about this book is the maturity aspect. This is a middle grade novel, but it's one that feels light-years ahead in terms of the overall themes and concepts.

Lucy is very intelligent and mature for her age, yet she responds in the way any twelve year old might when encountering mental illness -- she attempts to rationalize it. But coming to terms with mental illness is never that simple, and I love how Lucy tries to find logic in her situation when there's no easy way to respond to it. All her feelings are so real and that made the connection is. And then there's Mama. So frustrating and aggravating, and even hateful at times.

There were moments where I should have hated her -- hated the treatment of her daughter and mother, and yet I couldn't. I just couldn't hate this woman with good conscience because of her desperation -- her need for help but her lack of acceptance and will to find it. There are so many people like this, and you always want to hope that they do get the help they rightfully need, but it's not as simple as we think it is, and the book does an amazing job illustrating that point.

I was captured by Chasing the Milky Way from the very first page. Moulton has crafted some wonderfully real characters who feel so human in how they respond to the world around them. Lucy is the kind of dreamer where you want all the good to happen to her, and the ending is so bitter sweet that when you get there, there's almost this sigh of relief. This is one emotionally little book and one middle grade read that definitely should be on your radar. Also Lucy wants to build robots. Jun 24, Kristi Bernard rated it really liked it. Lucille Peevey dreams of only one thing, to escape Sunnyside Trailer Parks.

She has even created a checklist to keep her on tract: Lucille and her best friend Cam have been mowing lawns, raking leaves, and accepting charity for the past year to save up for the BotBlock Jr. Robot Challenge and this year Lucille is finally old enough to compete in the challenge. Mama is suffering from a mental illness and refuses to take her meds goddamn government medications.

What other challenges will Lucy face as she strives to reach her dreams? Moulton has created a story that surround a family's history of mental illness and the challenges it brings. Young readers will get engaged and even feel hope for the characters in their quest. This is a great coming of age story but also shares in an emotional journey that young audiences will be able to relate to.

Short chapters make for a quick read. Vivid imagery will put young readers right in the mix with the characters. Mar 26, Aeicha rated it it was amazing. Twelve year old Lucy Peevy wants out of the trailer park and has a plan to do just that. Along with her best friend and neighbor, Cam, Lucy has built a junkbot, wanting to enter the annual BotBlock competition in hopes of winning money and college scholarships.

Mama is off her meds again and spiraling out of control. When their little family is threatened with separation, Mama takes Lucy, Izzy, and Cam on a wild ride, destination unknown. Lucy must summon all her courage and smarts to keep her family together, but discovers that somethings are just too big to handle. Chasing the Milky is an honest and touching tale about family, friendship, mental illness, and so much more. Moulton has spun a smart story that is equal parts tender, poignant, aching, and hopeful.

Mental illness is a heavy and hard subject to tackle, especially in a middle-grade book, but Moulton has done so beautifully and realistically, while maintaining an age-appropriate level of exploration and understanding. What makes Chasing the Milky Way such a deeply felt and captivating story, are the wonderfully crafted characters. Readers will become fully absorbed in the lives of these layered, realistic, very alive characters.

Lucy, Cam, and Izzy are all endearing, sweet, capable, smart kids in their own ways, and the way they love and support each other is so moving. By the end of the book, all of these lovely characters felt like so much more than just creations on the page; they felt like friends to me. Chasing the Milky is a thought-provoking and thoughtfully written book that will stay with readers for a long time. Oct 11, Angie rated it really liked it Shelves: Lucy and Cam want nothing more than to get out of the Sunnyside Trailer Park.

They have a plan to complete their mission that includes raising the admission fee, building and programming their robot and getting to the beachside competition. Lucy wants to escape a mom with manic-depressive disorder who seems to be off her meds and Cam wants to get away from a house filled with children and his mom's ab Lucy and Cam want nothing more than to get out of the Sunnyside Trailer Park.

Lucy wants to escape a mom with manic-depressive disorder who seems to be off her meds and Cam wants to get away from a house filled with children and his mom's abusive boyfriend. In addition to their problems at home, they are also hassled by a bully at school. Their road to victory is hit with several roadblocks when Lucy's mama takes them on a runaway roadtrip to escape the authorities. Mental illness is a hard topic to cover in middle grade fiction. It isn't often written about and when it is sometimes it is overblown or completely unrealistic. Chasing the Milky Way does not suffer from either of those problems.

It is a very realistic look at what it is like to live with a mentally ill parent. Lucy deals with so much more than most kids will ever deal with, but I am sure kids with mentally ill parents will recognize a lot of her story. It is a book that was a bit hard to read because it seemed so realistic. I just knew disaster was around the corner and I kept not wanting it to arrive. I wanted Lucy and Cam to succeed but knew there was very little chance it was going to happen.

It was almost like watching a horror movie where you knew the bad guy was going to attack at any moment. You cover your eyes or hide behind the chair and peak out at intervals. That is kind of like how I felt reading this book.


  • Chasing the Milky Way by Erin E. Moulton.
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  • Mama is not the bad guy of course, her illness is, but it still felt like it could jump out at you at any moment, which I am sure is how mental illness sometimes feels. This book is going to be a hard sell to a lot of readers, but the ones that tackle it are going to have their eyes open to a world I hope they never experience. Mar 24, Dawn Moews rated it really liked it Shelves: I really had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I really liked Lucy and her sister and her friend, Cam.

    They were definitely sympathetic characters--especially Lucie and Cam. Cam's situation was very different from Lucie's, but he needed to escape his life every bit as much as Lucie did. Anytime I read about a child being abused and it not being detected by the adults around him, I worry about how many times I missed the signs in my teaching career. Lucie's situation is so very diff I really had mixed feelings about this book.

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    Lucie's situation is so very different. She is loved, but her mother's mental illness makes her as much a victim as Cam is. When I read books like this, I wonder how many kids are going to school each day in similar circumstance and falling through the cracks because no one sees the truth. Shareze sounds like a wonderful teacher, but it is too easy for her to accept Lucie's non-answer to her question about whether or not everything is ok.

    I am afraid too many adults are like that. My very strong feelings about these characters and the situations they were dealing with actually became a distraction from the plot. I admired Lucie's spunk, but I kept finding her straying into my reality instead of staying put on the pages of the book. I don't know if that was good or bad. Once Lucie "came off the pages," I started thinking about her driving the RV and managing to elude the police for so long. I have had limited experiences driving an RV, and I just kept thinking about that.

    This is not a problem I usually have. I do know that I became very engaged with the book, and I think many middle school, young adult, and adult readers would, too. I thought the portrayal of the mother's mental illness was very well done and would provide food for thought for all the book's readers. May 07, Meg rated it it was amazing Shelves: Gripping novel about mental illness and so much more, Erin Moulton's third middle-grade novel really hits the sweet spot.

    We all know someone like Lucy Peevey - bright, ambitious children who have to juggle so much at home, so much more than children their age can ever be expected to handle. In this case, its Lucy's own mother, who at one time was a brilliant and successful professor, but now struggles with a bipolar disorder that leaves Lucy reeling.

    And yet Lucy is one smart cookie. With her e Gripping novel about mental illness and so much more, Erin Moulton's third middle-grade novel really hits the sweet spot. With her eyes and heart set on entering her robot into the "junkbot" category at an annual competition at the beach in New Hampshire, Lucy keeps one eye on the prize as she negotiates her mother's increasing erratic and unpredictable behavior, and another eye on her robot PingPing Told with humanity and heart, Moulton successfully captures the nuances and complexities of mental illness without ever making it seem like a freak show, or something that happens to "others".

    Although the plot details strain credulity at times, and there are moments of clunky storytelling, Moulton is successful in consistently presenting Mama as an individual, despite her extensive mental health challenges. There was a problem adding your email address.

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