About the Book: When eleven-year-old Ella’s mother has to be hospitalized to undergo a dangerous cancer treatment, Ella spends the summer at “Broken Family Camp” with her eccentric grandmother, whom she’s never met. The situation is hardly ideal for either of them. Ella is scared her mother may die, but her grandmother seems to care more about her library full of books than she does about her very own granddaughter.
But when a rare and beloved book, Kepler’s Dream of the Moon, is stolen from her grandmother’s amazing library, Ella and her new friend Rosie make up their minds to find it. Finding the beautiful book her grandmother loves so much could even be the key to healing Ella’s broken family.
My Two Cents: This is a lovely book filled with memorable characters, dynamic relationships, and enough mystery to keep even this adult reader guessing. Bell’s story is as layered and complex as the characters within. There are a lot of threads to follow, and they are all woven together beautifully.
Grade Level: 4-6
- Check out Juliet Bell’s fun website!
- Read a summary of Hamlet. Do you think there’s a reason the author chose Hamlet as the book Ella’s dad returns to the librerery?
- Read about Somnium and draw your own illustrations of the Earth, the moon, and the demons.
- Draw a map of your house or your room like Ella does! Printable graph paper might help, and this book might too.
- Play Boggle like Ella and her grandmother.
- Learn more about peacocks and constellations.
More to Read:
- Another story that weaves together an old book, curious girls, and a dash of mystery: Palace Beautiful by Sarah Deford Williams
- Another strong young girl who’s worried about her mom and trying to make things work in a new environment: Ida B by Katherine Hannigan
- More memorable grandparents who help their granddaughter: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
- Another book with dashes of mystery and connections to history:Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach
- A fun picture book where a girl draws maps of her room, her house, her town, and even the world: Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney