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A Pocketful of Stars

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  33 reviews
When I next open my eyes, I’m back . . . in front of the house again.
It’s night time. The stars wave hello, like they’ve been expecting me.
The door of the house, Mum’s house, is wide open, like it expects me too.
This time, I go inside . . .

Safiya and her mum have never seen eye to eye. Her mum doesn’t understand Safiya’s love of gaming and Saf
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 8th 2019 by Egmont
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Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  89 ratings  ·  33 reviews


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Samantha Shannon
Loved this to bits and read it in one sitting. A Pocketful of Stars is a deeply moving and sweet debut, which perfectly captures the discomfort I felt in my early teens – that sinking feeling of being left behind, and being made to feel silly and childish for not being obsessed with boys. This book would have been such a comfort to me if I'd had it back then.
Stephanie
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ahhhhh I just finished this book, and I am in tears, but it was an absolutely perfect ending. This whole book is so full of heart and magic. Safiya is a 14-year-old girl in London, obsessed with her favorite video game (an imagined one that sounds really fabulous!), splitting her time between her two loving divorced parents and trying to figure out the shifting rules of her relationship with her best friend as well as her increasingly fraught relationship with her mum. They used to have so much ...more
Steph
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
God. This book. BROKE MY SOUL. Guys, it’s bloody brilliant. It’s full of hope, magic, wonder, intrigue and love. There’s so much love in this book: between friends, with family and for yourself and your own strength. I loved Saf’s story and I can’t wait for you all to discover it.
Holly Jackson
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Pocketful of Stars is an incredible book: the very pages hum with magic. It follows Safiya in a story about friendship, love, courage and learning to let go. It will break your heart and then put it back together again and it will live with you long after the final word. An amazing debut you don’t want to miss!
AJ
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really wonderful MG novel that explored friendship and family with a lot of nuance and perspective.

There aren't a lot of books out there that discuss the ups and downs of friendships, toxic friendships, and just growing apart from people as you grow up. A Pocketful Of Stars does a really excellent portraying two friends who grow apart, and how one of those friends participates in some really damaging behaviour. It shows that it's perfectly okay to stand up to your "best friend" when they
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Alexandra
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I absolutely adored this: magical, full of heart and moved me to tears. Aisha Bushby's writing is stunning, rich and lyrical, and deftly deals with some very heavy topics (divorce, loss, bullying and broken friendships). I'd happily recommend this to readers young and not so young.
Robin Stevens
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Safiya's mum is in a coma, and Safiya is desperate to be closer to her. Then she falls into a strange world that seems to be coming from her mother's memories of her childhood in Kuwait - and Safiya's own favourite computer games. This is a gorgeous, magical story with a twist, and a wonderful, assured debut. (8+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from m
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Helen Mccabe
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I do not usually read books for young adults, but I was entranced reading some of this. Teenage Safia (Saffy) is not the same as her friends and peers in school although she longs to be, but only sometimes. The reader steps into Saffy's real world and then into her imagination. Throughout this book, the real and the imaginary combine. In the beginning it seems an ordinary story where Safira and her mother argue and that particular argument at the beginning of the book sparks off the imagination ...more
Kesia
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Vivid, dreamy and bittersweet, this gorgeous middle-grade novel is ultimately about finding out who you really are. I loved it - the characters and relationships were so beautifully rendered. Aisha is an extraordinary middle-grade talent to watch.
Angela Smith
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Safyia lives with her father as her parents are divorced. Safyia is at that pre-teen stage where everything is changing and friendships can be tested as well as her relationship with her mother.

Safyia's mother has a stroke and is in a coma. Safyia feels like it's her fault because the last time she saw her mother they argued. On one of her visits to the hospital, Safyia falls asleep by her mum's bed and something strange happens and she feels as if she has been transported to her mum's birthpla
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Charlotte
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
[AD - Gifted]

[Note: I am friends with the author but this in no way affects my review of this book]

A Pocketful Of Stars is the debut Children's fiction book from Aisha Bushby who many will know from her short story in the BAME anthology A Change Is Going To Come. 

Safiya is an avid gamer and addicted to Studio Ghibli films. She's forced to deal with failing friendships, an inability to stand up for herself, and the fact that her mother is in hospital. When she
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Steph Warren
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author and Amazon’s Vine Programme. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

A Pocketful of Stars is a painful, beautiful story about the gaps that can form in our relationships as we grow and change, and whether those gaps can (or should) be held together.

Charting Safiya’s struggles with growing up, and the changes it brings to her relationship with her best friend and with her mother, the author perfectly
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Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I`ve been desperate for Aisha Bushby`s full-length debut since I read Marionette Girl in A Change is Gonna Come and even though my expectations were ridiculously high, it somehow lived up to them and more. It`s the story of a girl named Safiya, who amidst difficulties in her friendship group after moving to secondary school must cope when her mum goes into a coma after they had a huge argment, and she starts being transported to snippets of her mum`s past that changes the way Safiya views her mu ...more
Noelle Kelly
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best read when you want to be whisked away to a fragrant and warm fantasy world.


Safiya finds a magical world when she falls asleep by her mother’s bedside while her mother is in a coma.

She is struggling with growing up and guilt over choosing to live with her Father. Best friend Elle is changing and she’s unsure of their friendship for the first time in her life. Everything has changed for Safiya and only her escape into the magical, exotic world is keeping her goin
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Carly
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
***MAY CONTAIN SPOLIERS***

An emotional read that made me miss my mum but also remember the good times I had with her.

This is the story of Safiya, a teenage who loves gaming. Her parents are divorced and she lives with her dad seeing her mum mostly at weekends. One weekend though her and her mum argue and Safiya doesn’t bother to go to see her the following weekend. Safiyas mum is then taken to hospital and is in a coma. Safiya then gets transported into her mums childhood memories.<
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Insert Name Here
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A heartbreaking story. Saiya's mother suffers a stroke just after they've had a fight. Drowning in guilt, Safiya finds that when she visits her mother, she sees fragments of her childhood. With each fragment, she unlocks more of her mother's history and her own personality.


I can't say much about this book, because it made it cry so much. But it's amazing, and beautiful, and I cheered, and everyone should definitely read it. Definitely. Just have tissues to hand.

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Lydia Massiah
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fiona
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very sweet, sensitive debut novel about family love, teenage angst and the sometimes difficult relationship between mothers and daughters. It's hard to believe that this is a debut novel as the writing is so accomplished. Aisha weaves quite a unique fantasy element with the very real issues of illness and coping with the possibilities of bereavement at young age.

At times heartbreaking, this is also a novel of hope and friendship, which I'm sure will have great appeal for its young
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NizRite
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I spent most of the second half of this book reading with a lump in my throat. The cover says this is a story of friendship and growing up, but it's also a whole lot more. It's about the beauty and complexity of human relationships, it's about figuring out who you are and who you want in your life, and it's about learning to let go when you need to.

I flew through this book. The writing is clean and compelling; this is an author to watch.
Joseph Elliott
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly beautiful book, which you can tell has come straight from the author's heart. Its complex themes of grief, loss of innocence and broken relationships are handled with great deftness, and it is filled with so much warmth (and just the right amount of magic) that you can't help but fall in love with its protagonist, Safiyah. Oh, and it contains unashamedly nerdy gaming references - who wouldn't want that? Highly recommended
Moon
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5
An interesting take on how to deal with grief and things illness. I love the gaming part of it and how it is almost a Choose your own adventure kind of book for Safiya and Fairy Hunters sounded fun.
But it is also a book about not forcing yourself to fit the expectations of "growing up" and being yourself. I found it sweet and a quick read.
Viola
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I cried multiple times while reading a book. Such an amazing story about family and friendship. This book now holds a special place in my heart and I‘m very glad that I read it ❤ ...more
Cynthia
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
so beautiful and magical, heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time! a really lovely and imaginative MG about family and loss.
Katie
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and poignant. A magical novel that sensitively highlights the fragility of life and the importance of friendship.
Victoria
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this caters to me so specifically
Helen Swinyard
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: apcba-maybe
It's not out yet, so I didn't have anyone to warn me. Beautiful.
Aradhna Kaur
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teri B
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one sitting. It is beautifully written and deals with a not really easy relationship between a daughter and her mother.

Holding threads of magical realism this story is intricately woven and touches down on so many YA topics of friendship, of finding friends, of coming to understand who you are and what you are willing to accept and what not, and also to build bridges and to dream and to learn about a mother, before she is gone, dealing also with topics of sickness, of losing
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Rebecca Gibson
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Magical. Beautiful. Important.

How many books did you read growing up that prepared you to deal with grief? I can pinpoint a big fat zero. This little book will be so important for so many children. I can't wait to see it take over the world. Not only that, the plot is magical and fantastically written, the world is so well explored I could almost taste it, and the characters were real.

Also there's a dog.

Buy the book.
Lizzie (Littlehux) Huxley-Jones
I read a book a few weeks ago that snuck into my heart and stayed there, which turned up right when I needed it. That feels as magic as the book is. I’m talking about A Pocketful or Stars by @aishabushby, which is an astonishing tale of love, grief and adventure.

Safiya and her mother have a complex relationship: both fiery women who spark off one another. But when her mother slips into a coma, Safiya is lost... until she discovers the magical perfume her mother wears might be the key
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