Title: EVERY SOUL A STAR
Author: Wendy Mass
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
And as streams of light fan out behind the darkened sun like the wings of a butterfly, I realize that I never saw real beauty until now.
At Moon Shadow, an isolated campground, thousands have gathered to catch a glimpse of a rare and extraordinary total eclipse of the sun. It’s also where three lives are about to be changed forever:
Ally likes the simple things in life–labyrinths, star-gazing, and comet-hunting. Her home, the Moon Shadow campground, is a part of who she is, and she refuses to imagine it any other way.
Popular and gorgeous (everybody says so), Bree is a future homecoming queen for sure. Bree wears her beauty like a suit of armor. But what is she trying to hide?
Overweight and awkward, Jack is used to spending a lot of time alone. But when opportunity knocks, he finds himself in situations he never would have imagined and making friends in the most unexpected situations.
Told from three distinct voices and perspectives, Wendy Mass weaves an intricate and compelling story about strangers coming together, unlikely friendships, and finding one’s place in the universe.
This book has been on my mind the last few weeks and I realized today that I haven’t reviewed it yet. So, what better day to review this than on Eclipse Day!
Ever since I read this book, I imagined that for the next solar eclipse, I would go to a campground just like this one and have an adventure fitting such a unique experience. What I actually did this morning was spend it in my front yard with my four boys, wondering and in awe at the science and cosmos of this amazing world. I think Wendy Mass would approve anyway.
But that’s what this book causes you to do. It makes you dream. It inspires you to look outside yourself and help others and find out your place in the mixed up strings of the universe.
What I loved about this book:
The three POV’s. Three narrators is tough to do, but when it’s done right, you get three distinct voices and three characters to love. Mass does it right. I loved being in each of these kids’ heads and learning what they thought of their world.
The tension. Watching the clock tick down to the final moment of the moon eclipsing the sun, and seeing all of the little details in the character’s lives as they fell into and out of place to get them to that point … brilliant.
The science. All of the space facts were captivating. I wanted to be an astronomer after I read this … and I was an adult who had finished with my education. No problem, I’ll teach my kids to reach for the stars, right? Whichever starts they aim for 🙂
The friendships. The publisher’s description calls them unlikely, and they are, but they are so genuine. It’s such an important message for middle school kids to learn … you can be friends with anyone and it’s what’s inside that connects us, not physical appearances.
The heart. Anyone who reads my reviews can tell I gravitate toward a book with heart, so it’s not surprising this book has it, and a lot of it. I felt for each child character, and now as an adult, the supporting characters. And the heart I’m speaking of actually comes out through all of the previous things I’ve mentioned. It’s infused through every scene and every word.