Book Review: Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper

This is a book that makes you curious.  This is a book that fills your mind.  This is a book that leaves you with wonder.  This is a book that pours into your heart.  If you haven’t purchased the latest book Stella by Starlight from the incredibly talented Sharon Draper then you are missing out.  I admit, I had to get into the rhythm or song of this book but once I sat down and had a longer stretch of time, the book enveloped me, calling me in and held onto me until that final page, that left me wanting to read on.

This story, with its many layers, with its history, with its very real past written in such an accessible way will be one of those books that will live on through my students.  I cannot wait to answer their questions about the past, I cannot wait to share their predictions, their concerns for the characters within the book.  I cannot wait to see a child fall into the song of the book and sit there quietly, wondering much like I did, whether Stella will be able to overcome it all.  Wonder whether she will be able to fight through all of the hurdles life has set in front of her.  I cannot wait to see a child finish this book, and sit there for a moment, still filled with the world that Sharon created, and then realize that they just had an incredible experience, all within the pages of a book.  I am so thankful that Simon and Schuster sent me a copy.

Bottomline:  A must add to any classroom, 4th grade or up but will definitely resonate with middle schoolers as well.  This is a Global Read Aloud contender.

From Goodreads:

When the Ku Klux Klan’s unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella’s segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this Depression-era tour de force from Sharon Draper, the New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind.

Stella lives in the segregated South; in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community – her world – is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end

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