Monday, July 20, 2015

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M Draper

I picked up Stella by Starlight after reading Becky's review. Her rave review had me running to add it to my library hold list. Stella by Starlight did not disappoint. I enjoyed Draper's story about a young African-American girl, growing up in the South during the Depression.

Stella is the oldest in her family. She doesn't like to write but stays up trying not to be the worst writer in her school. Stella struggles to do what's right and find her place in the world. One night, Stella and her brother, JoJo, see some Klan members burn a cross in their home. Stella is scared of the Klan. Stella by Starlight is more than a story about Stella. It's the story of her family and community as well. I loved how Draper weaved Stella's church community in with the story. I loved how the sermons weren't overly religious but almost like motivational speeches. I especially enjoyed the scene were 3 of the townsmen (including Stella's father) registered to vote and the struggle they faced. I knew it was hard for African Americans to register to vote and actually cast their vote (sadly this remains the case in some places) but I'd never heard it described so vividly. It was heartbreaking and educational at the same time. Draper does an excellent job of making history come to life. With plenty of rich characters and an engaging plot, Stella by Starlight was hard to put down.

I would recommend Stella by Starlight. It's a great middle grade book. Others who shared their thoughts on Stella by Starlight: Becky's Book Reviews, The Nerdy Panda, Reading, Writing and Random Musings, and Diva Booknerd.

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