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Tracing Stars

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4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  322 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
A charming novel about sisterhood, self-identity, and friendship from the author of Flutter

Indie Lee Chickory knows she's not as cool as her older sister Bebe. Bebe has more friends, for one. And no one tells Bebe she's a fish freak, for two. So when Indie accidentally brings her pet lobster to school, makes a scene, loses him in the ocean and embarrasses Bebe worse than u
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Philomel Books
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Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
53rd out of 113 books — 1,204 voters
Big River's Daughter by Bobbi MillerFlutter by Erin E. MoultonDon't Touch by Rachel M. WilsonIf All the Animals Came Inside by Eric PinderTracing Stars by Erin E. Moulton
VCFA Student/Alum Books
5th out of 136 books — 23 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,506)
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Donalyn
This is a beautiful book about finding your identity, friendship, and the complicated relationships between sisters. Exquisite descriptions of shore life.
Barbara
May 13, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
Sometimes it's a mistake to judge a book by its cover or by its book blurb. That's the case for this particular title. When I first looked at it, I told myself, "Here comes another of those beach books." Then, I read the blurb, and thought, "No...it's going to be a bit weird since Indie Lee Chicory has a pet lobster. Wow! Yeah! That's really different." I wasn't sure if it would be a good different or a bad different, and I'm certainly glad that I gave the book a try because I ended up liking it ...more
Sharry
Jun 10, 2012 Sharry rated it it was amazing
Erin Moulton’s charming and heartful Tracing Stars is a story of friendship, family loyalty and what happens when the two collide. Moulton’s fast paced, funny and irresistible writing beautifully captures summer life in the New England seaside town where Indie Lee Chickory, the plucky, inventive and good-hearted protagonist, isn’t afraid to break rules to save what she loves and in the process discovers what it means to be yourself.
Barb Middleton
May 13, 2013 Barb Middleton rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic, bully
Writing reviews is tricky. You don't want to be too nitpicky; you want to be respectful; and you want to give an honest take on a book. Personal taste can taint an analysis and (unbeknownst to you) can skew your review. That's why I really admire some of the Goodreads reviewers who walk the fine line of giving an honest review that helps me in my book purchases, as well as give witty, insightful, and very helpful advice. So thank you! I need to log more hours in before I will start feeling comfo ...more
Anne Broyles
Jun 30, 2012 Anne Broyles rated it it was amazing
Indie Lee Chicory wants “to be a better Indie Lee Chickory…a really good Chickory, not the fish freak of Plumtown.” She also loves fish, making fish faces and has a pet lobster named The Lobster Monty Cola, which don’t help much in the part about not being a “fish freak.” She loses the lobster in an incident that causes her sister and former best friend, Bebe, to find her an embarrassment. Indie Lee is left alone.
When Bebe joins a summer theatre production, Indie Lee ends up working in the Scene
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Amber
May 31, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing
Tracing Stars should top your summer reading list! The characters, from the young passionate protagonist Indie and her popular sister Bebe to the punk teen Sloth and lovably,quirky, nerdy Owen, are beautifully constructed and imaginative while at the same time so true to life that you will see yourself reflected in them. You will join Indie and Owen as they embark on an adventure and learn some important lessons about independence, peer pressure and the friendships that really matter most. But a ...more
Trent Reedy
Apr 07, 2012 Trent Reedy rated it it was amazing
TRACING STARS is what great middle grade fiction is all about. Moulton skillfully delivers in Indie Lee Chickory a protagonist who faces the central issues that almost all young people face. That is, she wonders if she's good enough to fit in and have friends. She must discover what true friendship really is. The friendship between Indie Lee Chickory and Owen Stone is the most wonderful middle grade boy/girl friendship since Jesse Aaron and Leslie Burke in Katherine Paterson's BRIDGE TO TERABITH ...more
Izabelle
Apr 22, 2014 Izabelle rated it it was amazing
***SPOILER ALERT***
Imagine being the fish freak of Plumtown and to make it worse you have a pet golden lobster. The genre of this book is realistic fiction because all these events can have the ability to happen in real life. I really liked this book because of the somehow feeling of warmth it gave me.

In the story a girl named Indie Lee Chickory tries to be a better her throughout the entire book,but loses her pet Monty-Cola after a big incident when he accidentally sneaks into her book bag an
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Wendy
Nov 04, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it
Nothing wrong with this book; I just never warmed to any of the characters, the plot, or the setting. I was mildly interested in all the different kinds of seafood served in this fishing family. You'd think interesting seafood + backstage at summer stock would be enough, but no.
Joanne Palin
Aug 21, 2013 Joanne Palin rated it really liked it
A lovely story for tweens about friendship and accepting yourself for who you are.
Heidi
I loved this book. The characters, the setting, the plot, the whole thing. Indie is a very endearing, but flawed character. She desperately wants to be a better person, one who doesn't embarrass her sister or lose family pets (a lobster). I think most human beings have a desire to be better than we are. For Indie, after making a wish and 'tracing' her favorite constellation, she believes she is making progress. Before long however, she is hiding things from her family and pretending to be someon ...more
Tasha
Jun 13, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Indie Lee Chickory is heading to her last day of school where she really doesn’t fit in. Her older sister Bebe fits in perfectly, dresses like the others, and never seems to smell like rotting fish like Indie does. That’s what she gets for feeding Monty, her golden lobster, before coming to school. So whenever Indie does something that draws attention to herself, Bebe is embarrassed. When Indie accidentally carries Monty to school on that last day, she does a lot more than draw attention, she ru ...more
Nerija
I have mixed feelings about this story.

It's a fairly predictable one about being yourself and choosing integrity over popularity, but the characters and setting were unique enough to keep my interest. I loved the way Indie would list fish names to deal with stress, and make fish faces (not just the generic fish, but specific kinds, like trout), and wish on the constellation Pisces. Though, her and Bebe's wishes in the second (?) flashback were too vague to feel realistic for girls that age -- es
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Aeicha
Jul 12, 2012 Aeicha rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 Stars
THREE WORDS: Quirky, Charming, Fun

MY REVIEW: Erin E. Moulton’s Tracing Stars has everything I love in middle grade books: charming characters, a fun story and full of quirkiness. I had a blast reading this book!

Indie Lee Chickory doesn’t fit in as well as her big sister Bebe. The other kids don’t appreciate Indie’s impressive fish face skills and call her a Fish Freak. And when her pet lobster, Monty, accidentally comes to school with Indie and she must smuggle him out, it ends in dis
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Meg Allison
Jul 17, 2012 Meg Allison rated it it was amazing
Pa says when you're upset, you just have to look out at the ocean and breathe with the waves. In and out. In and out.

Erin Moulton's second novel is filled with pearls of wisdom, culinary morsels, self-improvement plans, and second chances all wrapped up in the heady promise of a summer vacation along the Maine coast.

Indie Lee Chickory, self-proclaimed fish freak, and her 1 in 30 million Golden Lobster Monty, are the central characters in Moulton's story. This is just the kind of character - an
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Connie Bernhardt
Aug 04, 2012 Connie Bernhardt rated it it was amazing
Indie Lee Chickory is the fish freak of Plumtown. She has a beautiful (or in her eyes) pet lobster named Monty Cola. The story starts off with Monty Cola sneaking into Indies backpack and going to school with her. Several things happen and Indie loses Monty. Her one big desire is to get Monty home again that and be the best Chickory she can be.

I think Erin Moulton has done an excellent job creating a setting where the people feel real. I love her description of the town and people. The childre
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Erin Mcwilliams
Sep 30, 2013 Erin Mcwilliams rated it really liked it
I thought the book Tracing Stars was a good book. I really liked the character of Indie, and how she was just a little different from everyone else. Indie would be a great and interesting friend to have because she would always have something cool to say. I thought that her back story was pretty cool, but not really out of the ordinary. Her older sister Bebe was totally different. Bebe seemed like the kind of person that was fun and unique when they were young, but got normal and boring when the ...more
babyhippoface
Sep 06, 2012 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-fiction
*NOTE: I started writing this review, then got side-tracked by one surgery, one staph infection, and one stomach virus. I'm having a hard time remembering everything I originally wanted to say here. Just read this one, okay? Trust me. It's good. Even the lobster part.

Never read a book about a lobster before. Especially not about a pet lobster. A pet lobster named The Lobster Monty Cola. So this felt awkward for me, right from the beginning. People keep lobsters as pets? But I am not a coastal ch
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Michelle
Mar 29, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
A super middle-grade (4-7) choice for a realistic, positive main character in a loving family. Moulton's story is a hit in our school library; I read it to see what the buzz was about with all my 4th grade girls. They have good taste! I enjoyed the descriptions of the scenic coastal town- I wanted to eat in Indie's parents' restaurant and walk along the ocean! I'm definitely buying more of this author for my school library.
Kelly Bennett
Dec 18, 2012 Kelly Bennett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Erin Moulton has done it again! TRACING STARS is a captivating girl adventure story! Excellent 8-10 year old reader and 2-4 grade classroom read aloud!
In this her second of what we hope is a lifetime of girl adventure stories, Erin has proven herself a master at creating interesting, unusual worlds and characters who inhabit them. This time it's a folksy harbor town, community theater, and Indie, an quirky independent, fish-savvy girl who loves ferociously--her big sister, her family, and her p
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Angelina Justice
Jul 11, 2012 Angelina Justice rated it really liked it
This is wonderful story, with powerful writing. It will appeal to a broad age range and would make a great family read-aloud.

In summing up the feel of this book, my mind mashed together Ramona Quimby and Huckleberry Finn. The element of always striving to be better versus the need to be true to oneself is integral to this story.

Character development and consistency was beyond excellent. An example of what I mean is found in chapter 8 as Indie gets her first glimpse of Punk rocker, Sloth. Indie h
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Teri
Dec 29, 2014 Teri rated it liked it
A coming of age story about two sisters.... The older sister wants everything to be perfect, the younger sister beats to her own drum. It was an interesting story, but I was really looking for a read aloud for my fourth graders and this wasn't it. There was a lot of information about fish, which might be okay if you lived by the ocean, but we don't. The story line that was most intriguing to me was between Owen and Indie.
Mary Louise Sanchez
Aug 16, 2012 Mary Louise Sanchez rated it really liked it
On the last day of fifth grade, Indie Lee Chickory, discovers her one-of-a kind golden lobster named Monty Cola has slipped into her backpack and causes havic at school, embarrasing Indie's sister, Bebe, when the kids call Indie "fish freak." Indie takes the lobster to the ocean to cool off but he slips away and now Indie traces her favorite constellation, Picses, in hopes of making miracles happen like finding Monty, improving her relationship with her sister, and improving herself. By day, Ind ...more
Mary
Feb 28, 2016 Mary rated it liked it
I struggled with the slow story for quite a while... A while book dedicated to finding her lost lobster? But along the way, as her friendship with Owen develops and her troubles with Bebe and pretending to be who she's not worsen, I got more emotionally involved. I ended up really enjoying it.
Teresa Garrett
Indie Lee Chickory is not your average girl next door. She knows the names and can make the face of nearly any fish. She is a tomboy who always seems to be causing trouble of some sort without even trying. She is the exact opposite of her sister Bebe. Trying to improve herself and get into Bebe's good graces Indie let's Bebe talk her into a makeover. This is the beginning of a series of events that lead Indie to make two very unconventional friends and nearly wind up in trouble with the law. Thi ...more
Helen
Aug 13, 2012 Helen rated it it was amazing
I loved it. The characters, quirky and real, are like anyone you might know having grown up in New England, especially if you grew up in tourist traps and/or with fisherman. I found bits of myself in Indie, Sloth, Owen, maybe even in Bebe...hopefully not in Kelsey. They story has a few very clear trajectories that come together beautifully in the end. It's not weighed down by too many people or details all at once...just the right amount at every given time. Even as an adult, I found myself trap ...more
Mckayla
Jan 09, 2016 Mckayla rated it it was amazing
Getting chased by police officers. Your sister not liking you. When she likes you you can't tell her about another friendship. Tough life
Allie Fecke
Dec 31, 2015 Allie Fecke rated it liked it
I like this book because you fall in love with Indie and I personally think that I'm just as weird as Indie. I
Alia
Feb 09, 2014 Alia rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens
Had to force myself to finish. I think the aim was a quirky family story but it fell flat. Maybe it was just too much fish info?
Mia Dicianna
Jun 30, 2014 Mia Dicianna rated it it was amazing
I am obsessed with this book! I love it so much and think that every single 10-13 year old girl should read it!
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Erin E. Moulton graduated with an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of Flutter: The Story of Four Sisters and One Incredible Journey, Tracing Stars and Chasing the Milky Way, as well as a forthcoming YA, Keepers of the Labyrinth. She lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband, unruly dogs and son. You can visit her online at www.erinemoulton ...more
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