Thursday, March 19

Stella by Starlight

Stella by Starlight
Sharon M. Draper

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-1442494978
Publisher: Atheneum
Date of publication: January 6, 2015
Age: Grades 4 - 8
Genre: Historical Fiction

Themes: race, segregation, KKK, Great Depression, constitutional rights, storytelling

Stella and her brother—both up way later than they should be—have just seen something terrible: the KKK are back and burning a cross. Living in the segregated Bumblebee, North Carolina, both the black and white community see this event as the first flicker of change to come. Even as her world is being upended, Stella and her family choose bravery, fighting fire with fire.

Written in honor of her own family's history, Draper's novel reads more as a collection of stories or events. Stella experiences a lot besides the KKK: she deals with writing struggles in school, the joy of community gatherings, learning homemaking skills, friendship, family, and church. As such, I felt that there wasn't really a climax. I kept waiting for the KKK to do something else, something directly to Stella's family (since that was the repeated threat) but it never happened. Also, with so many characters in the community, it's a bit hard to keep track and many come off pretty flat.

Still, it's a valuable, fictional look into the historical time period and I appreciated the beautiful writing itself. Many of the events in the book are great feel-goods, too. And overall, Stella is a great character to read this story through. I'd recommend it, to the right person.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment