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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

MG Sisters Novel Warm and Hopeful

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Twelve-year-old Libby Monroe is great at science, being optimistic, and talking to her famous, accomplished friends (okay, maybe that last one is only in her head). She’s not great at playing piano, sitting still, or figuring out how to say the right thing at the right time in real life. Libby was born with Turner Syndrome, and that makes some things hard. But she has lots of people who love her, and that makes her pretty lucky.

When her big sister Nonny tells her she’s pregnant, Libby is thrilled—but worried. Nonny and her husband are in a financial black hole, and Libby knows that babies aren’t always born healthy. So she strikes a deal with the universe: She’ll enter a contest with a project about Cecilia Payne, the first person to discover what stars are made of. If she wins the grand prize and gives all that money to Nonny’s family, then the baby will be perfect. Does she have what it takes to care for the sister that has always cared for her? And what will it take for the universe to notice?  (Plot summary from publisher)

What Stars Are Made of, a debut middle-grade novel by Sarah Allen, tells a warm, uplifting story about one girl's quest to help the person who's always been there for her.  There's a lot to love about the tale.  As a Type 1 diabetic, I'm always excited when I find books that deal with medical conditions, especially when they're geared toward young people. I love that these stories educate readers about these conditions while also teaching empathy and understanding. Because Allen has Turner Syndrome, Libby's experience with the disease comes across as very authentic. Libby is also a kind, compassionate heroine, which makes it easy to root for her success. I especially like her obsession with science and hope it encourages more girls to study STEM subjects. The plot of What Stars Are Made Of is compelling, the prose is assured, and the characters are likable. Although I didn't end up loving this one, I definitely liked it. I'll be on the watch for more from this debut author.

(Readalikes:  Hm, nothing is coming to mind.  You?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for material most suited for readers over 8

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know what Turner Syndrome was, so this book has already spurred someone to learn something. Too bad it was a stellar book.

    ReplyDelete

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