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Stella by Starlight

by Sharon M.  Draper

Published by Atheneum, 2015
320 pages
ISBN: 978𢴒42494978

Ages 811

After 11-year-old Stella and her little brother, Jojo, see the burning cross and the men in white, members of the African American community in their small North Carolina town gather at Stella抯 house to discuss the danger, but the rhythm of life continues: The kids go to school, the adults go about their work. When Stella抯 dad, the preacher, and a neighbor named Mr. Spencer register to vote梐 decision made after careful consideration and tense debate梩he retaliation is swift and awful: Mr. Spencer抯 house is set on fire. But neighbors rally, including a few whites, to care for the family. This strong, resilient community graces Sharon Draper抯 compelling story set during the Depression with a profound sense of comfort. So, too, do the finely drawn characters. Stella, her family, and most of her neighbors feel like friends one can count on in a story grounded in Stella抯 perspective. In addition to the racism that is a daily and unsettling part of life, Stella is facing a much more personal challenge, working hard to get better at writing. Although it doesn抰 come easily, she is driven to improve, and this portrait of an emerging writer beginning to understand the power of putting words and ideas on paper is notable and gratifying.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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