Stella by Starlight
- Author: Sharon M. Draper
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
- Published: January 2015
- ISBN-10: 1442494972
- ISBN-13: 9781442494978
- Format: Hardcover
- Copyright: 2015
- Subject: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / New Experience
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Growing up in the segregated South where they accept the disparities in how they are treated, Stella and her little brother witness a terrible event that compels them to fight back and trigger fundamental changes. By the Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of
Out of My Mind .
When a young girl gains confidence from her failures and strength from what her community dreads most, life delivers magic and hope. Stella Mills and her brother Jojo witness the Ku Klux Klan burning a cross late one starry night, setting off a chain reaction that leaves their entire community changed. During the Depression, North Carolina was less than hospitable for African-Americans forced to work more to earn less while being deprived of basic human rights. Through the perspective of Stella, young readers glimpse the nearly suffocating anguish that envelops this black community, illuminating the feelings associated with suppression. In a telling passage, Stella's mother attempts to comfort her: " 'It's gonna be all right,' her mother whispered as she smoothed down Stella's hair. But Stella felt the tension in her mother's arms, and she knew that in reality, fear hugged them both." Draper expertly creates a character filled with hope, dreams and ambition in a time when suc h traits were dangerous for a girl of color. While the use of language honors the time period, the author is careful to avoid the phonetic quagmire that ensnares lesser writers of the period, allowing the colorful idioms to shine. A tale of the Jim Crow South that's not sugar-coated but effective, with a trustworthy narrator who opens her heart and readers' eyes. (Historical fiction. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
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