Down to Earth (Hardcover)

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Down to Earth (Hardcover)

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(10 - 14 age level)

Staff Reviews

Nationally renowned local children’s book author Betty Culley has followed up her magnificent young adult debut novel in verse, Three Things I Know Are True, with an equally terrific traditional prose novel, Down to Earth. Down to Earth  is written for a middle grade audience and set in a rural town in central Maine. It follows a geology-loving boy in a family of water dowsers who finds himself enmeshed in controversy when the object of his scientific interest, a large meteorite, lands on his family’s property and odd circumstances begin to arise. The book delightfully captures life in rural Maine for a homeschooled boy for whom science is found everywhere around him.

— From The Holiday Twenty

Counting by 7s meets See You in the Cosmos in this heartwarming coming-of-age story perfect for the budding geologists and those fascinated by the mysteries of the universe.

Henry has always been fascinated by rocks. As a homeschooler, he pours through the R volume of the encyclopedia (to help him identify the rocks he finds). So, when a meteorite falls in his family's field, who better to investigate than this rock enthusiast--with his best friend, James, and his little sister, Birdie, in tow, of course.

But soon after the meteorite's arrival, the water in Henry's small Maine town starts drying up. It's not long before news spreads that the space rock and Henry's family might be to blame. Henry is determined to defend his newest discovery, but his knowledge of geology could not have prepared him for how much this stone from the sky would change his community, his family, and even himself.

Science and wonder abound in this middle-grade debut about an inquisitive boy and the massive rock that came down to Earth to reshape his life.
Betty Culley's debut YA novel in verse, Three Things I Know Are True, was a Kids' Indie Next List Top Ten Pick and an ALA-YALSA Quick Pick. Her first middle-grade novel, Down to Earth, is inspired by her fascination with meteorites, voyagers from another place and time. She's worked as a pediatric nurse and lives in a small town in central Maine. You can find her online at
Product Details ISBN: 9780593175736
ISBN-10: 0593175735
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 24th, 2021
Pages: 224
Language: English
"A captivating middle-grade novel.” –Booklist, Starred Review

"This is the perfect match for middle graders starting to sort through what we do know, what we don’t know yet, and what might be unknowable.” –The Bulletin

"Heartwarming and absorbing." -School Library Journal