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Everything Else in the Universe — 7 Comments

  1. Everything Else in the Universe by Tracy Holczer is a beautifully written book. The author does a wonderful job portraying the devastating effects war has on its survivors and their family members. I was right there with Lucy in all her anxiety and doubts and let me tell you, it was not a comfortable feeling! In fact, the first half was hard for me to get through because I was really sad and I hate it when books make me cry. Thank goodness Lucy’s extended family the Rossis provided some lighthearted moments! I guess really good fiction graces us with the ability to feel compassion for others and the situations they live through and this book certainly accomplishes that goal. Through Lucy’s eyes we learn so many things about family support, courage, relating to others, perseverance, and taking chances. As a side note, I loved the addition of the dragon flies – I appreciate them now in a way I never did before. I would absolutely recommend this book to read for pleasure. 5 stars

  2. I really liked this book. Unfortunately, the Vietnam War and has been left out of many social studies classes. There is so much focus on the Revolution, Civil and the 2 World Wars, that our students are left with a history of the “ancient” past. They do not understand what their grandparents generation went through. This book gives a very brief look into life in the late 60’s early 70’s when the war was raging in Vietnam. It gives a interesting view on both sides of how returning soldiers were treated (good and bad) and how the plight of these returning soldiers has shaped a generation. I also liked the chart in the back. I was able to see if I would have been drafted (yes, and so would most of my children) 5 stars

  3. This was one of my favorites!!! I know many of my students would enjoy this as well. I thought the connection between Lucy and Milo was unique and it was great to see how they were there for each other. I was saddened to read of how the soldiers were treated when they come back from Vietnam and felt terribly for the kids as they had to experience that themselves. 5/5 stars

  4. I enjoyed this book. I have read very few books about the Vietnam War, and I feel like my knowledge of history in the 1970s and 1980s as a whole is limited so I welcomed being able to learn more about this period. This was an interesting perspective with seeing the effects of soldiers returning home from combat and views on the draft. I liked how the reader was able to see Lucy’s turmoil as she made sense of her own views on the war, the views of others in her own family such as Gia, and the views of others in the community such as the WWII vets.

    I think this book could be used in classrooms, and would be a good opportunity for students to explore themes such as homeostasis vs. loss or constant vs. change (specifically in characters), being a good friend, and remaining brave and doing what’s right when others disagree. I can also see myself recommending this book to students for independent reading.

    Overall rating: 4.5/5

  5. I really enjoyed this book! It was very insightful and emotional. I learned a lot and was really able to get an idea of what the times were like and what veterans went through. It was great to experience this time in history through the eyes of Lucy and Milo. I would get this book for my classroom and would use it as part of a book club. I could also see using this book as a way to talk about the Vietnam War.

  6. This was a very unique book for me to read in that I never expected there to be a happy ending as I read. Being about how the characters are dealing with the effects on their families from the Vietnam War definitely did not make for a light, happy read. It did, however, give me and would give my students a better understanding of that time from the perspective of someone their age. There were other things about Lucy’s life I feel like my students might really be able to relate to like coming from two very different families and being at that age between childhood and adulthood. I was absolutely blindsided when Milo told Lucy that his dad had died, months ago, but that was a powerful moment for Lucy too, as she realized how selfish she had been. A few, somewhat happier things started to happen toward the end of the book which I felt was an appropriate way to end the book. Lucy’s dad seemed to be starting to heal, Milo stayed, Lucy made up with her friends and throughout the book had learned how to be a better friend. I would highly recommend this book for this age level for pleasure reading and give it 5 stars.

  7. Everything Else in the Universe by Tracy Holczer was a great read. At first I wasn’t so sure I would like the book due to the content of the book. I do not know much about the Vietnam War and I certainly wouldn’t pick up a book with the plot centered around the war. I’m so glad I did. It helped me to understand a little more about why so many US citizens have such strong feelings about this particular war. I appreciated how Holczer added the chart in the back about how the Vietnam draft lottery worked. This book pulled at my emotions and I felt like I was able to feel how Lucy was feeling in her real life situations.
    I would absolutely recommend this book for pleasure reading. I would rate this book 5 stars.