Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Planet Earth Is Blue” as Want to Read:
Planet Earth Is Blue
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Planet Earth Is Blue

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,852 ratings  ·  413 reviews
Twelve-year-old Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger--it's the first time a teacher is going into space, and kids across America will watch the event on live TV in their classrooms. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, share a love of astronomy and the space program. They planned to watch the launch together. But Bridget has disappeared, and Nov ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Random House (first published May 1st 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,852 ratings  ·  413 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Planet Earth Is Blue
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I remember when the Challenger exploded. It is one of those things that you don't forget, just as earlier generations remember when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, or when Pearl Harbor was bombed. It etches into your mind. So, going into this book, with Nova getting all excited about the Challenger launch, you know there is going to be disappointment. You know it is going to be sad. You know it will be horrible when it happens.

And it would be great if we could protect Nova from this horrible e
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Official back-of-the-book blurb (my first!!!): "A remarkable, sensitively told debut with a joyfully positive portrayal of neurodifference. Nova, and her indomitable spirit, will remain with you long after you close the book."

There are some stories, and some characters, that just worm their way into your heart and stay there. I have been mildly obsessed with Nicole Panteleakos's PLANET EARTH IS BLUE ever since I first saw her talking about it before #PitchWars in 2016. Just from her description,
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Middle- grade readers and older/ teachers
This was a beautiful, moving story in many ways. I was a junior in high school when the excitement about the shuttle Challenger was huge news, and since I was planning to be a teacher, the fact of the the first educator in space was wonderful news to follow. I also remember tearing up as I listened to President Reagan read the poem which contains the line,” I have slipped the surly bonds of earth” at the memorial service, also...
The relationship between Nova and her older sister was very special
Naomi Milliner
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The problem with this book is, once you pick it up, you can't put it down. The heroine, Nova, is an autistic girl trapped in a non-verbal world - and yet, she is eloquent. Her gestures, her emotions, and her thoughts (conveyed in occasional first-person letters to her sister) are both unique yet universal... as is this book. Filled with heart and hope, this debut novel is one you'll remember long after turning the last page. Highly recommended. ...more
Ms. Yingling
E ARC provided by Netgalley

Nova is severely autistic and verbally unintelligible, although she can manage simple things like "yes", "no", and some names. She and her older sister Bridget have been in the foster care system for a number of years because their mother was mentally ill and could not care for them. Bridget understood Nova, and told everyone that her sister was "a thinker, not a talker". The two were very interested in the upcoming Challenger space launch in 1986, and although they ar
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, 2019
All the stars in the galaxy to PLANET EARTH IS BLUE by Nicole Panteleakos. Luminous and heartfelt, this story is the story of Nova, who is autistic and nonverbal. She is counting down the days until the space shuttle Challenger launches, both because she adores space and because her big sister Bridget promised she’d be home so they can watch together. I don’t trust myself to write more without spoiling, so I will say this: this is an incredible book that will make you think and feel. When I fini ...more
Joshua Levy
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Twelve-year-old Nova is counting down to the launch of the space shuttle Challenger and missing her big-sister Bridget, who is nowhere to be found. A perennial foster home resident, Nova is autistic and non-verbal. But thanks to PLANET EARTH IS BLUE, the reader is given the opportunity to see the world through Nova's fully realized internal voice. Told in third-person and first-person/epistolary chapters, we get to know Nova's wishes and fears, and watch her stumble and grow. Gorgeously-written ...more
Shaye Miller
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a touching story told from the perspective of 12-year-old Nova, who is autistic and non-verbal. She has been in foster care for many years and is currently hanging on to a promise made by her older sister, Bridget, that they will be together again for the launch of the space shuttle Challenger. No matter what.

One of the most amazing parts of this book is being gifted with the internal feelings of Nova as she experiences mistreatment and misdiagnosis time and again. It takes the love of a
Jill Williamson
Planet Earth is Blue was an enlightening and touching story about Nova, a non-verbal girl who has just entered a new foster home and is about to start a new school. She has been parted from her older sister and misses her very much. This is a historical story, as Nova is counting down to the launch of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. The story alternates between third person chapters and first person letters that Nova has written her sister. Nova mentions in the story that the letters mostl ...more
Madison Lessard
I won an ARC of Planet Earth Is Blue in a giveaway from the site Nerdy Book Club!
You can read my full review of this ARC on my blog here.
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars!

Oh my gosh. What a story. I’m an autistic female reader, so I was absolutely over the moon (pun indended, I think) when I found out I’d won this ARC. This is only the second book I’ve ever heard of (the first being Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik) featuring an autistic female character, and representation is so importa
Dee Dee G
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have so many emotions after reading this. My son is 15 and Autistic and didn’t speak until he was 5. He can speak but not a lot. I know there is a lot in his head but he can’t get it out. I always say he knows more than we think he does. Nova reminded me so much of my son. Also the ending about her sister broke my heart. The way this unfolded was so well done.
Abby Johnson
Holy cats, this book y'all. It broke my heart into a million pieces.

It's 1986 and Nova has just been placed with a new foster family. She's separated from her older sister for the first time ever and it's devastating to her. Nova has autism and is mostly nonverbal - Bridget is the only person who could really understand her and now she's run away, leaving Nova to deal with the new family and a new school by herself. Hard stuff when the outside world assumes that just because Nova can't communic
Erin Banham
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a perfect example of why it's so important to have diversity in books. Every person deserves to be able to a read a book that has characters in the story that represents themselves, whether it's with ethnicity, sexuality, or physical/neuro diversity.

There are so many things I loved about this book. Yes, we follow a young lady, Nova, who happens to be non-verbal with Autism and Intellectual disability but the story is about a young lady who loves space and space flight. She is count
Rajani LaRocca
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read this book pre-publication, and it is an astronomically beautiful, gorgeously written, heartbreaking story. Readers will fall in love with 12-year-old Nova, who thinks deeply and feels strongly despite her inability to communicate in ways that most people understand. The author does a remarkable job of depicting Nova's life and thoughts. We count down the days until the Challenger launch with Nova and hope it will bring the return of her missing sister Bridget. This is ...more
Keri Lynn
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was beautiful. Simply beautiful.
Laura Gardner
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Planet Earth is Blue by @nicwritesbooks is a DEBUT book that broke my heart. The book is set in 1986 just days before the Challenger launch so the reader knows from the start that there will be a devastating, sad climax. The main character is Nova, a young girl in foster care with nonverbal autism; in 1986 people assumed that meant she was also “retarded.” Nova has been called the R word for her entire life, but she understands everything people are saying and she can read, too. Every other chap ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gutted me. I couldn’t stop reading. I admit, I was wary at first. My son has apraxia of speech and I was wary of how the Neurodiversity would be handled. But I think it was done extremely well. The storyline is artfully crafted and I was not expecting one part. Nova will crawl into your heart and stay there. I am not a crier, but I cried multiple times while reading this.
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this book six stars. As a sister and caregiver to an autistic younger brother, I had tears in my eyes the entire time I was reading this book. Panteleakos writes the story of Nova and Bridget with such love, care, and empathy, her story reflecting experiences I’ve had in my own family and some I never hope to experience. What a beautiful, devastating, and thoughtful book.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book ruined me in the best way possible.
I am unashamed to admit that I sobbed until I couldn't breathe through my nose anymore. I didn't mind crying like that for this book. Every once in a blue moon you might stumble upon a book that uncannily seems to have been written just for you. That's how this book made me feel.

*Edit: The audiobook still destroyed my heart.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. Truly wonderful. Never condescending, always honest, this story is both hopeful and heartbreaking at the same time. Nova is a non verbal, autistic and misunderstood child and I just love this story about her, hearing her inner voice and watching her grow.
Cass Moskowitz
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Immediate five stars from the get go. Every inch of this book is wonderfully done. Every word in this book felt calculated in a wonderful way that I cannot begin to explain. So beautiful and heartbreaking. A must read.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This debut middle grade novel gives kids the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a nonverbal autistic girl named Nova. She and her older sister Bridget have been moved from home to home in the foster system. As the book begins, Nova is in a new home and she believes Bridget will be coming to join her when the Challenger launches with teacher Sally Ride on board on January 28, 1986. As Nova waits, she "writes" letters to Bridget and counts down to the big day. Panteleakos uses David ...more
Laura Harrison
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Remarkable debut middle grade read. Strong Newbery contender.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
A beautiful book about a nonverbal autistic girl in foster care in the 80s, told from her perspective. Nova is smart, space-obsessed, and really looking forward to watching the Challenger launch with the only person who has ever understood her - Bridget, her older sister. Trouble is, Bridget is not with Nova in this new foster home, but Nova is confident Bridget will keep her promise to find her for the launch. In the meantime, Nova must get used to a new school and family who think she's "sever ...more
Closer to 3.5.

Nova and Bridget are sisters and best friends. When their mother is incapable of caring for both of them, they are pushed into the foster care system. Bridget decides one day that she and Nova need to strike out on their own, but her plan doesn't go as planned and the sisters are separated.

Nova is autistic and Bridget is the only person that shows patience and compassion towards her. When Nova has to start over in a new foster home without Bridget, things are difficult. But this i
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Beautiful, hopeful, and at times heart-wrenching.
Planet Earth is Blue is one of those books where I knew as soon as I saw the cover it was one I needed to read, and when I read the blurb on the inside cover I also knew it was a book that would make me cry.

Planet Earth is Blue centers around a 12-year-old girl named Nova, who is autistic and nonverbal. She is in foster care and without her older sister for the first time since being placed into the system, and all her hopes are riding on being
Nicole M. Hewitt
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Planet Earth Is Blue is a heartwrenching portrayal of a little girl who can't tell the world who she truly is. The book is set in the 80s and starts ten days before the fateful launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The story centers around Nova, a non-verbal autistic girl. She struggles to show the world that she is more than they think she is---that though she can't speak well, she is intelligent and curious. It's a
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We came across Planet Earth is Blue when my 11 year old son was looking for something to fulfill his summer reading requirement. When I showed him the blurb, he was immediately interested. He's on the spectrum and loves stories that include neurodiverse characters. Seriously, this is the kid who chose Alan Turing for his Day at the Museum historical figure project and Temple Grandin for his research a scientist project. Representation matters. But beyond that, there is so much to love about this ...more
Rebecca Balcárcel
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
Nova is a space geek who loves all things NASA, and she is counting down the days until the Challenger lifts off and takes the first teacher into space. Nova is clear about this, but she's confused about many other aspects of her life. Why are she and her sister always moving from one foster home to another? And where is Mama? Why does every new school have to test her so much? And why isn't her sister with her as this new (and nicest so far) foster home? As Nova pieces information together, the ...more
Sparky Jo
It's never easy to give a book a low rating when it it tries so hard to be understanding and insightful of people with special needs, but truth will always out, this book was fine, and it had some nice parts to it, but I didn't love the main character, it was rather awfully predictable and there was a MASSIVE feeling of utter artificiality about it! If books are food then this is the processed cheese of reading.

Recommended for folk who tend to love every book they read regardless!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Attack of the Not-So-Virtual Monsters (Gamer Squad #1)
  • Caterpillar Summer
  • Operation Frog Effect
  • Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen
  • Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
  • How I Became a Spy: A Mystery of WWII London
  • Voyage of the Dogs
  • Power Forward
  • The Unicorn in the Barn
  • Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen
  • Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat (Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat, #1)
  • Song for a Whale
  • We Dream of Space
  • Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere (Olga, #1)
  • Pet
  • Anya and the Dragon (Anya, #1)
  • My Fate According to the Butterfly
  • All the Impossible Things
See similar books…
When I love a book, I give it five stars. If I don't love it, I keep it to myself. That's why every book/ARC I've rated thus far has five stars - but that doesn't mean books I've read and not yet rated are less loved! I haven't had Goodreads long so adding ratings all the time.

Feel free to comb through them to find awesome middle grade and YA novels (and the occasional book for adults) to read an

News & Interviews

  Here at Goodreads, we've noticed that a funny thing tends to happen when we start talking about audiobooks: The same few titles get...
4 likes · 1 comments
“Then one minute, thirteen seconds after lift-off. It exploded. The Challenger exploded.” 0 likes
“Vezina” 0 likes
More quotes…