The Science of Breakable Things (Hardcover)

By Tae Keller

Random House Books for Young Readers, 9781524715663, 304pp.

Publication Date: March 6, 2018



An emotionally-charged new classic about the science of hope, love, and miracles Natalie's uplifting story of using the scientific process to "save" her mother from depression is sure to take root in readers' hearts

How do you grow a miracle?
For the record, this is not the question Mr. Neely is looking for when he says everyone in class must answer an important question using the scientific process. But Natalie's botanist mother is suffering from depression, so this is The Question that's important to Natalie. When Mr. Neely suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, Natalie has hope.

Eggs are breakable. Hope is not.
Natalie has a secret plan for the prize money. She's going to fly her mother to see the Cobalt Blue Orchids--flowers that survive against impossible odds. The magical flowers are sure to inspire her mother to love life again. As Natalie prepares for the competition, she will discover that talking about problems is like taking a plant out of a dark cupboard and giving it light.

An extraordinary debut about the coming-of-age moment when kids realize that parents are people, too. Think THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH meets THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH.

"A compassionate glimpse of mental illness accessible to a broad audience."
--Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"Keller crafts a winning story full of heart and action."

"Inspiring, emotional, and heartwarming."
--Melissa Savage, author of Lemons

About the Author

TAE KELLER grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she wrote stories, ate spam musubis, and participated in her school's egg drop competition. (She did not win.) After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she moved to New York City to work in publishing, and now has a very stubborn Yorkie and a multitude of books as roommates. Visit her at, follow her on Twitter at @TaeKeller, and be sure to join her newsletter