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Tracing Stars

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  53 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...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Philomel
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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 116 books — 1,104 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 134 books — 21 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,284)
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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
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
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
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
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...more
Amber
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
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
***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...more
Wendy
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
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
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...more
Aeicha
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...more
Meg Allison
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...more
Connie Bernhardt
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...more
Erin Mcwilliams
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
*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...more
Kelly Bennett
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...more
Angelina Justice
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...more
Mary Louise Sanchez
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
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
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
Alia
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
I am obsessed with this book! I love it so much and think that every single 10-13 year old girl should read it!
Megan
Reminded me a lot of ToucH Blue by Cynthia Lord
Donna
Indie wants to be popular. She wants to be a better person. She doesn’t want to be known as the “fish freak” anymore. But, will this come at a price and is it worth it? Is friendship with Owen more important than being part of her sister Bebe’s cool crowd? Indie is a character that is flawed but shows spunk and knows what is right versus wrong. Hiding things from her family and doing things just to be cool slowly turn her into the person she doesn’t want to be. Indie spends the summer learning w...more
Mari Anne
This was a very cute MG realistic fiction book about a young awkward girl growing up in a seaside resort town. Her best friend is a lobster and when he mistakenly gets loose, she spends the entire book trying to re-capture him. While I found this cute and entertaining, I am not sure how popular this type of book is with its intended audience. I found it similar to "Turtle in Paradise" which doesn't seem to be very attractive to MG readers. Probably best for girls in grades 3 - 5.
Lynn
Another odd combination of plot twists with a somewhat predictable ending. Who loses a pet lobster? Who lands in a play production and loves the first thing they try? Who hasn't faced a boring summer?Of course she will get her lobster back. Of course she will hurt her new friend and will make up.

I read the Scholastic book fair edition and found the type to be quite small and pale. This made it hard on my eyes to read, and think it would also be difficult for many youngsters.
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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(Philomel/Penguin 2011), and Tracing Stars(Philomel/Penguin 2012). Erin is co-founder of the Kinship Writers Association. She lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband and puppies where she writes, reads, drink...more
More about Erin E. Moulton...
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