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Starfish: A Novel
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Starfish: A Novel

3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Lionel's life at the Blackfeet Indian Reservation boarding school is easy enough-as long as he follows the rules. But his sister Beatrice refuses, and she insists on honoring the Blackfeet traditions that have been forbidden. When the appearance of a frozen corpse triggers an irreversible chain of events, the pair must flee for their lives on a stolen horse. Somewhere in t ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Disney-Hyperion (first published July 20th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 167)
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Debbie
This is one of those books that I want to give a no-star rating to because it is so flawed!

It opens with a drunk Indian man who freezes to death in an unlikely physical position. I doubt most readers would pause at that, because in that position, the corpse holds out a bear claw necklace... And in holding out that necklace, the book is framed in that mystical-Indian-story that way too many Americans like to read...

There's a lot wrong with the book. I've given it a close read, and make extensiv
...more
Addison Children
This is a historical novel, set in the early 1900s at a Blackfeet Indian Reservation boarding school. This was not a good time to be an Indian. Following an altercation, Lionel and his sister Beatrice steal a prized horse and run away from the school. They manage to eke out a living for several months before the past catches up with them. I was expecting a much sadder ending. This book reminded me of "When My Name was Keoko" and "Someone Named Eva," books set in completely different times and pl ...more
Molly the Librarian
Orphaned Blackfeet Indian siblings Lionel and Beatrice are on the run, forced to leave their oppressive boarding school behind after an unfortunate turn of events. With only a stolen horse and their very basic knowledge of survival skills, the children ride straight into the cold Montana wilderness to escape the men who are after them.

Proud defiant Beatrice can move through the trees like a silent shadow, protecting her little brother as best as she can as they make the trek to their grandfathe
...more
Ricki
Reviewing this book is a tricky task. The novel reads well and is very engaging. It is best directed toward the tween audience. The problem lies in the fact that the Blackfoot traditions don't appear to be accurately portrayed. So, I am not sure how to rate the book.

I am not a Blackfoot Indian, and my tribe is very different from theirs, so I won't speak directly toward traditions. But, we can start with the name of the tribe. One of my friends is 100% Blackfoot (and grew up on the reservation),
...more
Alice
I'd be generous if I gave this book two stars. Let me put it plain and simple for you...this book was extremely boring.

That's all you really need to know but I feel like a need to give a more detailed review. Like I said this book is boring, it really had potential to be good, two Native American children on their own for the first time, on the run from the government, living off the land. But really it was boring. There was no plot, because there was no problem. They ran away from their governm
...more
Anthony
I found reading the novel to be a great reading experience. It is a beautiful story about a brother and sister that led me to keep referencing and thinking about my relationships with my own younger siblings as I was reading it. James Crowley's words jump off the page to provide a vivid landscape that is so detailed it comes right to life in the mind's eye. The story shows the importance of things such as family, friendship, nature, and remembering where you come from. I would recommend this nov ...more
Tracie
I liked the characters of Lionel and his sister, Beatrice. I loved the scenes when they escape and live on their own in the wilderness - what kid hasn't dreamed of that at one time or another? The opening scenes of the story were difficult to read - for the arrogance and the violence that is portrayed. The ending seemed surreal - as if it all had to be wrapped up quickly.
I don't know enough about Native American cultures to comment on the historical accuracy of this story, but here's a link t
...more
Glory
I really liked this book. Made me very sympathetic to the Indians in the book and was very moving.
Hunter Blues
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Lynn
I usually pick up a children's book now and then to see what is new and exciting in children's literature. I was disappointed with this one. It starts with the stereo-typed drucken indian, I thought we were past this. There ia a story line about a government school for homeless indians and how the children escape to find their grandfather. I was hoping for more of a historical fiction type book, but it never made it. In today's world, having a child read is hard enough, but their needs to be bet ...more
Joelle
Decent historical fiction.
Rod Winters
I thought this was a great little piece of work. I recently went to Montana, and took this book with me. I had no idea what it was about, and was quite intrigued by the writing skill. It helped being in a part of America close to the Native American place of interest in the book. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm 41 years old! Look forward to more from this young author. --Rod Winters in Buffalo, New York
Monica
I read this book after seeing the author speak at the Texas Book Festival. It is a page turner, and as someone who doesn't love historical fiction (except for The Killer Angels), I was captivated by the children and their coming of age story.
Kevin
A captivating story of two native children escaping from the government-enforced boarding school and trying to survive on their own in the wilds of Montana. Some pacing issues and what felt like abrupt ending kept it from being a much better story.
Anne
Native American brother and sister flee the school on their reservation when horrible living conditions and treatment push them past the point of tolerance.

Great story about siblings, grandparents, Blackfeet Indians, and so much more.
Glenn
The book follows Lionel and his sister Beatrice as they escape from the government run school in the early 1900s. A great book for readers who are ready to tackle longer works but still need simple prose.
Edward Sullivan
I do not knowledgable enough to comment on the story's cultural authenticity, but the charcaters are appealing and the story touches upon some compelling themes.
Brandonbryer33
i thought this was a strange book and a poorly written book. I didn't really like it and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I wouldn't waste your time on it.
Shauna
Not a whole lot of children books have this side of the story. adds depth to the western movement era.
Mary Ann
A sad comentary on the history of our country, yet accurate in so many ways.
Jen
Well-written and engaging...but contains some stereotypical portrayals.
Liv Kaplan
A great adventure that I recommend to young and old alike!
Lyric
It was a really captivating book
Tracy Evans
Good kids book, some language, sad
Brandy Walls
Brandy Walls marked it as to-read
Dec 19, 2014
Chelle Thompson
Chelle Thompson is currently reading it
Nov 12, 2014
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Crowley's depictions of Blackfeet culture... 2 5 Apr 12, 2015 08:08AM  
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