How to Become a Planet
Written by Nicole Melleby
After an entire summer trying to figure out how to go back to being the person she was before her depression and anxiety diagnosis, Pluto finds out – with the help of a hotline (the Hayden Planetarium Hotline, that is), a new tutor, and a new friend – that there is no old or new Pluto, there’s just Pluto, growing up.
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The two most important things to know about Pluto Timoney: (1) she’s always loved outer space (obviously); and (2) her favorite season is summer, the time to go to the boardwalk, visit the planetarium, and work in her mom’s pizzeria.
This summer, when Pluto’s turning thirteen, is different. Pluto has just been diagnosed with depression, and she feels like a black hole is sitting on her chest, making it hard to do anything. When Pluto’s dad threatens to make her move to the city—where he believes his money could help her get better—Pluto comes up with a plan to do whatever it takes to be her old self again. If she does everything that old, “normal” Pluto would do, she can stay with her mom. But it takes a new therapist, new tutor, and new (cute) friend with a plan of her own for Pluto to see that there is no old or new her. There’s just Pluto, discovering more about herself every day.