Author, Tracy Holczer, wrote a beautiful, timeless story of those dealing with loved ones serving in war, with children being the primary focus. The main character, Lucy, is a fantastic character who is strong and brave but has some anxiety and understandably so. She’s isolated herself from others her age until Milo stumbles into her life one summer day. Milo is funny and kind but most importantly, a good friend who supports Lucy and also knows what she’s going through, with both children having soldier fathers. Lucy and Milo find themselves having to deal with things that children their age shouldn’t have to deal with, but they manage to muddle through it all, thanks to each other and great friends and family.
Lucy and her mom live near her father’s family. It’s a large, hilarious, eccentric family who is supportive but also a bit overwhelming at times. Lucy’s mother’s parents are the opposite but are still loving and supportive, especially when it counts. You’ll be entertained by the wide array of characters and their various personalities. With its descriptive language and great period references, Everything in the Universe is a sweet, heartwarming story that will be loved by all.
Review of an Advance Reading Copy
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Penguin
Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation; 2 mild obscenities.
Violence/Gore: Several (15) brief incidents including character says a chimp could bite your face off; character is afraid a plane will fall out of the sky and kill her; character jokes about hurting people; several references to war; second-hand report of character’s arm getting blown off during war; reference to fist fights; tv show about a person getting struck by a car; second-hand report of characters telling children that their soldier fathers are baby killers; reference to kids lighting firecrackers and throwing into a crowd; second-hand report of a young character’s parent dying.
Sex/Nudity: Few (4) brief incidents including tween having a crush on her older cousin’s boyfriend; teens have arms around each other and kiss; tweens flirting; tweens watching soap operas.
Mature Subject Matter:
Young girl deals with anxiety, young child’s parent dies, references to war and death, young child fears parent will leave family.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Many incidents of adults drinking and smoking; reference to drug addicts; adult gives a 13-year-old a drink of alcohol.