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The Star Maker

3.18 of 5 stars 3.18  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  45 reviews
If only Artie had kept his mouth shut.

But his mean cousin Petey was putting him down, so Artie started bragging.

Now he has to come up with enough money to buy firecrackers for all his cousins by the Lunar New Year.

Luckily, there's one person he can count on . . . Uncle Chester!

Newbery Honor Book author Laurence Yep celebrates family and Chinese New Year traditions in this
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Hardcover, 112 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by HarperCollins
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Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtA Monster Calls by Patrick NessWonderstruck by Brian SelznickDivergent by Veronica RothInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Newbery 2012
131st out of 167 books — 675 voters
Secrets of the Realm by Bev StoutThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieCinder by Marissa MeyerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
Diversity in Young Adult and Middle Grade
402nd out of 734 books — 340 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 163)
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Allison Barry
Knowledge: List the main characters in the story.
Comprehension: Describe a time when Petey put Artie down and what he bragged about.
Application: Illustrate the Lunar New Year from Artie's perspective.
Analysis: Identify a time in your life when you had to come up with enough money to buy firecrackers.
Synthesis: Tell a classmate about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
Evaluation: Choose a character from the book who is most like you and describe 3 characteristics that are similar to that
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Josiah
Finely tuned in to the realities of the Chinese-American culture in which he was raised, author Laurence Yep has constructed a very nice story about a boy's struggle to find his place in a big family, nestled away in the Chinatown section of a big city in the 1950s. As stated in the preface to The Star Maker, Laurence Yep drew from his own youthful experiences of that era to provide material for this story, though exactly which parts really happened and which are imagined isn't expressly stated ...more
Stacy Ford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Madigan McGillicuddy
This middle-grade novella takes us back to San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1950's. Eight-year old Artie is the youngest amongst all of his cousins, and unfortunately, prone to frequent bullying by his elder cousins, especially thorn-in-his-side Petey. Goaded into bragging about his prowess with fireworks, Artie tells his extended family that he'll gift them all with fireworks for the Chinese New Year. Seeing that he's taken on an impossible task, Artie's doting, yet ne'er-do-well Uncle Chester ...more
Sarah BT
About the Book: Artie is the youngest and smallest cousin, which means he is always getting picked on. At one family gathering Artie can't take the bullying from his cousin Petey, so he bragged that he would get everyone firecrackers at the Chinese New Year's celebration. Now Artie has to come up with the money, but he knows he can count of his Uncle Chester to help him out. That is until Uncle Chester has a string of bad luck.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: The Star Maker is a short, simple book that
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Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
When young Artie is picked on by a cousin of his, his mouth gets the better of him and Artie finds he's made a bet that he may not be able to fulfill. Uncle Chester isn't going to allow his nephew to grow up feeling like an outsider in the family like he did, and is determined to help his nephew keep his promise to get fire crackers for his entire family for the Chinese New Year.

Together both Chester and Artie end up teaching each other a lesson. Families aren't perfect, we make mistakes, but n
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Marcos Martinez
This book is a simply written short book. It is only 100 pages long with but has some small drama. I did not feel to much for this book because the drama in this book is about children and firecrackers. The book's main character is Artie, a Chinese child who lives in Chinatown, USA. During a family dinner one day he gets tricked by his mean cousin and promises to buy all of the kids in the family firecrackers for the Chinese New Year, which is only around two months away. He recruits the help of ...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
"When young Artie is picked on by a cousin of his, his mouth gets the better of him and Artie finds he's made a bet that he may not be able to fulfill. Uncle Chester isn't going to allow his nephew to grow up feeling like an outsider in the family like he did, and is determined to help his nephew keep his promise to get fire crackers for his entire family for the Chinese New Year.

Together both Chester and Artie end up teaching each other a lesson. Families aren't perfect, we make mistakes, but
...more
E.  Talamante
A story about Chinese New Year's, family, and so much more.

Artie is a boy that gets bullied by his cousin, and brags about something he shouldn't. He learns over the course of the story how to best deal with a bully - with help from adults, standing up for himself, and proving the bully wrong.

Artie learns also about why it is important to keep your word, and the importance of family from his Uncle Chester, and the shopkeeper, Mimi.

Written from a child's perspective, the lessons are simple and
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Childrens Librarian
Since I'm a resident of San Francisco, I always enjoy Laurence Yep's novels for his inclusion of the familiar locations around the city. This book did not disappoint, with mentions of Chinatown's unique shops and the historical locales of bygone days like Playland at the Beach and Golden Gate Park's petting zoo. The story itself could have been better developed and edited, however. One glaring example of this is in Chapter 7, where there are very similar paragraphs on pages 57 and 61. The straig ...more
Arthur Pengerbil
Reading Level: Grades 2-4

When Artie promises his mean cousin that he will give everyone firecrackers on the next Chinese New Year celebration, he immediately regrets it. How will he ever come up with enough money to buy all those firecrackers? Sympathetic to Artie's problem is Uncle Chester - a fun loving everyman who is wildly popular in Chinatown where Artie's family lives. Uncle Chester promises Artie that he will help - but when Uncle Chester's seemingly endless money starts to run out, Arti
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Shirley
This book was a fun, short read and perfect to read during Lunar New Year! Laurence Yep gathers from his own childhood experiences of growing up in a Chinese community, and all the festivities that take place before and during the Lunar New Year. I loved how the characters were so close as a big family and it reminded me of my own childhood, when my grandmother would hustle and bustle around the kitchen, getting ready for New Year, and all my aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather around the di ...more
Karen
Great for learning about Chinese New Year festivities & family traditions during the 1950s
Amanda
1953 Chinatown San Francisco. Eight year old Artie is the youngest in his family. Everyone always picks on him especially his cousin Petey. When Petey calls him a mouch, Artie boasts that he'll buy everyone firecrackers for Chinese New Year. He has no idea how he'll afford that many firecrackers, but his favorite uncle, Uncle Chester, promises to help Artie find a way..

I loved the characters in this story especially Uncle Chester and Artie. The story also provided a very vivid picture of how Chi
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Mason
It is an ok book. But i definently do not think it will win the newberry award. I know every book has one boring part, but this one had too many. It was about a boy and he goes to a family dinner and he has this annoying cousin and one day his cousin dares him to bring firecrackers for all of china town. So he goes out with his granfather to go get some groceries and other stuff for his grandmother. Well grandpa knows lots of people and in each store he gets a little something for free. WILL HE ...more
Miss Amanda
1953 Chinatown San Francisco. Eight year old Artie is the youngest in his family. Everyone always picks on him especially his cousin Petey. When Petey calls him a mouch, Artie boasts that he'll buy everyone firecrackers for Chinese New Year. He has no idea how he'll afford that many firecrackers, but his favorite uncle, Uncle Chester, promises to help Artie find a way..

I loved the characters in this story especially Uncle Chester and Artie. The story also provided a very vivid picture of how Chi
...more
Heather
The book is about Chinese New Year and Chinatown and Chinese customs, but even more, it is about families, and about confidence, and about finding your place. Instead of being a story that focuses only on the Chinese-American experience, this is a story that focuses on the human experience, with a Chinese-American backdrop. It features a likable protagonist, relatable issues and frustrations, and a fairly short length, all of which should appeal to the target audience (grades 3-5, but possibly 2 ...more
Tanja
One of Laurence Yep's typical novels, and I am meaning this in a very positive way. I am a big fan of his novels, always enjoying the glimpses it allows me into China and Chinese Americans' past, their culture and traditions. I have to admit, even though i have read many of his books, that only through this novel, I realized that Yep's family originates from Southern China. A quick read, this is yet another story that celebrates families and their love for and support of each other. Very beautif ...more
Julia
Star Maker is about a boy who is the youngest in his family. He tries to seem older by making a bet with his mean cousin- promising fireworks for the whole (HUGE) entire family, by Chinese New Year. His favorite uncle overhears his nephew and knows he's getting way ahead of himself. So he decides to help him out by help buying the fireworks. But the boy soon learns that money is tight and you can't always keep a promise. But in the end the boy gets a BIG suprise he has beeen waiting for.
Caitlyn
I loved this book. This is an adventure for a boy from Chinatown. The boys name is Artie. He promises his very rude and mean cousin Petey that he would buy and give his whole family fireworks. He is depending on his Uncle Chester to give or buy him fireworks. Uncle Chester has a lot of problems himself. Artie is so worried about his fireworks because if he doesn't get the fireworks by the first day of Chinese New Year,he will be made fun of by Petey to his entire school and family.
Luanne Hatcher
This story is based on Laurence Yep's boyhood memories of Chinatown and celebrating the Chinese New Year. It takes place durng the early 1950's with a family that gathers often for dinner and celebrations. Artie has a cousin that bullies him relentlessly. His Uncle Chester feels a connection to Artie because he, too, was bullied. They spend time together. Uncle Chester has a hard time keeping a job and blows money on horse racing. Together, they learn some important life lessons.
Richelle
The story is about a large Chinese-American family living in San Francisco in the 1950's. The main character is Artie, the youngest of the cousins. He has a special bond with his Uncle Chester, who is the youngest of the aunts and uncles. The book does a good job of explaining what it is like to grow up with a big, close-knit extended family as well as telling about different Chinese customs, especially Chinese New Year celebration.
Handan
Jan 23, 2012 Handan added it
Shelves: ya
While not as complex as most of my favorites growing up (L'Engle's Time quartet, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings), this is a simple but well-told (and should be more shared) story of growing up. The repeated emphasis on the protagonist's focus on other's happiness, sometimes rather than his own, and recognition of how we influence each other, is a wonderful ideal to share with others, regardless of age.
Mary
Years ago, my husband commented on the coach of an opposing team "It's not enough for him to win. He's not happy unless the other team loses." This comment applies equally to Petey, who makes himself feel more important by belittling others. But what can Artie do with Petey as his cousin? This is the lesson Artie learns from his uncle, while growing up in San Francisco's Chinatown.
Sam Bloom
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
StorySnoops
The Star Maker is set in 1950's San Francisco and is a wonderful story about Artie and Uncle Chester, who relate especially well to one another because they are each the youngest of their respective generations. Chester is charming and social, but unreliable...(click here for full review: http://www.storysnoops.com/detail.php...)
carissa
Recommended Ages: grades 3-5

If only Artie had kept his mouth shut.

But his mean cousin Petey was putting him down, so Artie started bragging.

Now he has to come up with enough money to buy firecrackers for all his cousins by the Lunar New Year.

Luckily, there's one person he can count on . . . Uncle Chester!

Jody
This is a sweet little story by a Newbery author which deals with boyhood mistakes (bragging, peer pressure) while incorporating traditional Chinese customs (takes place in California). It makes me want to read more Laurence Yep. People are people and there are just some universal experiences to be had no matter your upbringing.
Kris
Okay story, interesting facts about Chinese New Year and Chinatown. Not enough meat to draw me in, would give to a teacher doing a unit on Chinatown or Chinese-Americans. Not a Newbery contender, in my opinion. Characters are flat, underdeveloped. Sentences are short and choppy, not good for a read-aloud.
Kelly
Short little book about a young chinese american boy who is picked on my his older cousin. They make a bet and the boy has to give everyone firecrackers for the chinese new year. His uncle, a war veteran with a gambling problem, helps him with the firecrackers.
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14199
Born June 14, 1948 in San Francisco, California, Yep was the son of Thomas Gim Yep and Franche Lee Yep. Franche Lee, her family's youngest child, was born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia where her family owned a Chinese laundry. Yep's father, Thomas, was born in China and came to America at the age of ten where he lived, not in Chinatown, but with an Irish friend in a white neighborhood. After ...more
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