Shannon's Reviews > Every Soul a Star

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
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's review
Aug 21, 12

bookshelves: bekah, youngadult
Read in August, 2012

Every Soul a Star contains the stories of three young people - Ally, Bree and Jack - who meet through circumstances that lead them all to view a total solar eclipse. Chapters alternate from narrator to narrator. While this has the advantage of letting you know the thoughts and feelings of three characters, it made the book more difficult to get into. (It didn't help that I couldn't stand Bree and didn't want to be in her head at all!)

My ten year old daughter read this book first and recommended it to me. Even though I felt the style of story telling left a bit to be desired, I liked that Wendy Mass created characters who had more depth than it first appeared and who continued to surprise me throughout the book. I believe big events (like a solar eclipse) can be moments that are pivotal in our lives and Mass captured that perfectly. Each of the main characters of the book change in subtle ways over the course of the book - slowly but surely growing up before our eyes.

It was also fascinating to read about the science of astronomy - as relates to solar eclipses and other concepts new to me, like exoplanets. And I not only got to read about stars, constellations and space junk, but about characters who are fascinated with science, pursuing it in their free time. My family doesn't camp out for star nights, but I loved reading about families who share a passion and pursue it together.

Finally, it was apropos to read a book about families moving and their children's reactions to the move. My own daughters are alternately thrilled to daydream about how to decorate their new rooms and spending time documenting our current home so that they don't forget it when we move. I share their mixture of joy and grief and I think it was healthy and helpful for my daughter to read about a character experiencing a life event so similar to her own.

If you are looking for a book to share with your middle grade reader, Every Soul a Star is one that will be accessible and enjoyable. You won't find yourself bored and your young reader won't be overly challenged. Yet you'll be left with a variety of things to discuss, like how to best adapt to new circumstances, how to pursue a passion when those around you aren't interested and to what degree we are defined by where we live.
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