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What Stars Are Made of

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4.39  ·  Rating details ·  370 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Twelve-year-old Libby Monroe is great at science, being optimistic, and talking to her famous, accomplished friends (okay, maybe that last one is only in her head). She’s not great at playing piano, sitting still, or figuring out how to say the right thing at the right time in real life. Libby was born with Turner Syndrome, and that makes some things hard. But she has lots ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 31st 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  370 ratings  ·  132 reviews


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Sarah Allen
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hello friends, author here! Thank you so much for supporting this book. It's been such an incredible journey seeing this book come to life. Growing up, I never saw stories about girls like me. There are even a lot of people in the medical community who haven’t heard of Turner syndrome. I have been thrilled seeing books like WONDER, COUNTING BY 7’S, and RAIN, REIGN that highlight kids who are different in some unique ways. I hope my book can do that same thing for my readers. Thank you all so, so ...more
Katie
Mar 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This wouldn’t be the usual type of book that I would choose to read however, Net Galley kindly send me an ebook copy in exchange for a honest review.

I would rate this one a 3.5. A warm and beautifully written story following Ella a young girl suffering from Turner syndrome. The story was primarily aimed at a young adult audience however I still enjoyed it and found it very informative and learnt a lot about both Turner syndrome and science along with enjoying the story line. I also liked the sib
...more
TL
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I won this via goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.
----
A wonderful, cute story with a heroine that is easy to root for and a delight to read about. I loved how she never gave up and kept going even when things got a little tough.

The scenes with her family had me smiling. I loved how close knit they were and supportive of each other.

Would highly recommend.
Cindy
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of reading this book last year before it got a book deal and it is genuinely one of the most engagingly written, wonderful middle grade novels I've ever had the chance to read!

(Edited 9/27 to remove the bizarre typos that came from voice transcription. What's a "bug deal," anyway?!)
...more
Georgia (thefictionfolio)
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
"I think if Cecilia were here today, she would say, I discovered what stars are made of. Are you ready to find out?"


When we heard about What Stars are Made of coming out, my family and I decided to read it together during lockdown. One of my family members has Turners Syndrome, and this is the first book I've ever seen portray that, so we really wanted to support it! (Although, I will say, said family member has not yet finished the book. Haha.) Three of us have even been reading from the same c
...more
Izzie
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Thank you to my Mum for typing this for me).
Thank you to NetGalley for sending me this eARC in return for an honest review.
This book follows the main character Libby, who was born with Turner syndrome. Libby is determined to help her sister and brother-in-law when she finds out they are pregnant and don't have enough money to all be able to live together. She is also determined to get her scientific role model, Cecilia Payne, into her school text books.
What I Liked:
- Turner syndrome. While this
...more
Izzie
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Thank you to my Mum for typing this for me).
Thank you to NetGalley for sending me this eARC in return for an honest review.
This book follows the main character Libby, who was born with Turner syndrome. Libby is determined to help her sister and brother-in-law when she finds out they are pregnant and don't have enough money to all be able to live together. She is also determined to get her scientific role model, Cecilia Payne, into her school text books.
What I Liked:
- Turner syndrome. While this
...more
Laura Gardner
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Can I finish a book in under 2 hours?
.
.
.
Why, yes!
Here are the conditions:
* My kids leave me alone
* Couch is sufficiently comfy
* The book is as good as this one!
.
.
.
What Stars are Made of by @sarahallenbooks took hold of me from the first page and the first few lines, which made me laugh and also made me curious. I didn't know anything about Turner syndrome before reading this book, but now I know more. I didn't know anything about Ceclia Payne before reading this book, but now I know more (look
...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
3.5 STARS

Seventh grader Libby has Turner’s Syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that affects her hearing, stature, reproductive ability among other things. She believer her pregnant sister Nonny’s baby will be okay if Libby can win money from a science contest to help out.

I loved Libby’s enthusiasm for science. Her stick-to-itiveness and positive attitude. She literally and figuratively had a big heart.

Debut writer Sarah Allen also has Turner’s Syndrome, which may have colored her depiction of Libb
...more
Deep_Abyss
”One Individual can make an incredible difference, but that individual is shaped and created by and influenced by thousands of other people. And that person shapes and creates and influences thousands of other individuals in return.”

EYAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Okay, whoo. Sorry for the big wailing scream that sounds like a person accidentally getting too hyper on Coffee. Or too overwhelmed by doses of sappy sadness.

I fell in love with this book and all it’s beautiful pages and words.

The main character
...more
Cassie Thomas
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I especially love stories that challenge my own personal understanding of things in the world, even as an adult. Libby who has Turner Syndrome is an audacious young girl with GOALS. When Libby’s sister, Nonny , has to come stay with them for awhile while her husband works in Florida due to money issues - to find out later she was expecting - Libby decides then and there she WILL help her family by winning a contest with the Smithsonian Institution. Something I especially loved about Libby is her ...more
Leigh
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This story follows Libby, a bright science-loving girl with Turner Syndrome. When Libby's teacher mentions a contest to teach people about someone important who didn't make it into the history books, she knows right away who she is going to pick and why she has to win.

This was a great story that made Libby a very relatable character. As a reader, it was easy to root for Libby and Talia. Her sister Nonny giv
...more
Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks)
I received a physical ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

TW: pregnancy talk including miscarriage
Representation: Samoan sc, Turners Syndrome

Sarah Allen's debut novel follows a twelve-year-old girl named Libby who is making her way through seventh-grade while dealing with many internal and physical hardships as she was born with Turners Syndrome. Libby struggles to make friends and turns to her favorite historical figures and scientists to help her
...more
Ms. Yingling
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Netgalley

Libby is in 7th grade, but finds it a little hard to make friends. She's quiet, and likes science, and has Turner Syndrome, which isn't that big of a deal to her. Sure, she has to inject herself everyday, is a little short, and has a few health problems, but she still does very well in school. When her older sister Nonny comes home to live because her husband has to go away to work and Nonny is pregnant, Libby starts to worry. What if the baby will have something wrong
...more
Laurie
Jan 31, 2020 added it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I dare anyone to read WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF by Sarah Allen and not fall completely in love with the main character, twelve-year-old Libby Monroe. Libby is irresistible: kind, smart, earnest, brave, and funny, with a voice that charmed me from the first page.

Libby would do anything to ensure that her pregnant older sister, Nonny, has a healthy baby, so she makes a deal with the universe: she will convince the editor of her history textbook to add Cecilia Payne, the woman who discovered what star
...more
Tesia Tsai
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Real talk: I cried. The themes and wisdom in this book are inspiring. Libby is a protagonist whose voice, drive, bravery, and compassion shine through. I was wholly absorbed and anxious to see how her story turned out. This is a book for anyone who has ever felt out of place or felt crippled by the fear of failure, who deserves the reaffirmation that they are beautiful and worthy just the way they are.
Ellie Terry
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So, so sweet! This story touched on everything I love in a MG novel: friendship, family, insecurities, disappointment, courage, women in STEM, and learning to love yourself. Highly recommended for ages 8 and up!
Kathie
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author and publisher for an ARC of this book.

I love a story that teaches me something new, and WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF did that while also entertaining me. Libby has Turner syndrome, a genetic condition where she only has one X chromosome, which impacts her body and mind in many ways. Libby does an excellent job of educating the reader about it, and the author has surrounded her with an incredibly supportive family who accept her unconditionally. Libby's relationship with her sis
...more
Tracy
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
Absolutely fabulous!!!! Great story for a school read on so many levels. Libby is likable, relatable, and experiences so may things happening to kids today. Even the "good" kids pull pranks that get them in trouble Also great for introducing or continuing exploring strong women in history. Just all around good story! ...more
Jess Redman
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF is a STEM-filled story about a bright & incredibly endearing girl with Turner syndrome who makes a deal with the universe and finds her voice in the process. I completely fell in love with Libby, and you will too.
Shireen Hakim
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Must read. Girl version of Wonder.
A well-written MG book.
Brielle
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a sweet, heart-wrenching read. This was so beautifully done. Libby was such a perfect character and I loved her so much. I flew through this one!
Sierra Dertinger
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Libby Monroe was born with Turner Syndrome, a genetic condition where she was born with only an X chromosome. This impacts how she thinks and responds in situations. But this does not stop her from loving science, especially a lesser-known woman such as Cecilia Payne. She was the first person to discover what stars are made of, but she didn't get the immediate credit she deserved.

When Nonny, Libby's older sister, moves back in with her and her mom and dad because she's pregnant, Libby realizes
...more
Sabrina
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When Libby learns that her older sister is pregnant, she is ecstatic at the thought of a new baby. But then come all the worries, what if the baby has the same problems she's had? Nonny's husband recently lost his job, how will they cope? Then she comes up with an audacious plan that will solve everything, if she can pull it off.

I absolutely loved Libby right from the start. I just wanted to give her a big hug and protect her from the world. She's so smart and determined, with a slightly hyper-a
...more
Emma
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Libby Monroe was born with Turner Syndrome, meaning she has one X chromosome instead of two. This makes everything from piano, to PE, to making friends, a little more difficult. But she's never let that stop her from doing what she loves, and being curious and optimistic. When her older sister gets pregnant, and has money trouble, Libby wants to help. So she decides that she will win money in a contest by submitting a project on Cecilia Payne, who discovered what stars are made of.

As a young wo
...more
Stacey DeCotis (Reading in the Middle Grades)
Libby is a 12 year old girl with Turner Syndrome. Using first person narrative, the reader learns a lot about her Turner Syndrome which means she is a girl missing an X chromosome. Libby loves science and is given an assignment to write about someone who is not featured in their textbook. She chooses Cecilia Payne, who in the 1920's discovered what the stars are made of - hydrogen and helium. Cecilia did not get credit for this discovery in the textbooks. Libby plans to win a Smithsonian contest ...more
Kerelyn Smith
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Just finished reading What Stars Are Made Of by Sarah Allen! What an incredible and beautiful debut novel. The book is about a girl with Turner Syndrome who makes a deal with the universe in order to ensure her older sister's baby will be born healthy and strong. Libby sets out to get Cecelia Payne, the woman who discovered the primary composition of stars, in to her school textbook as part of a competition and her deal to protect her unborn niece.

The voice is so strong and beautiful and moving
...more
Suzanne Rooyen
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome middle grade read that checks a lot of boxes when it comes to diversity and intersectionality. I think the style would be accessible for most readers aged 9+ while it's a story that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

The only thing I didn't love about this story was the emphasis on babies and motherhood and a passage in the book where it's considered laughable to think of men being pregnant although some trans men do choose to get pregnant. Also there are many reasons a per
...more
Lauren Hanslow
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This book is about Libby, a 12-year-old girl with Turner's Syndrome. The overarching storyline is that she was asked to complete a project about someone in history with little recognition, but there are so many important underlying themes amongst this, such as mental health, bullying, grief, perseverance and more. This book is written from Libby's perspective, where you are able to see the world from her view and I really liked how the author included her internal monologue as such. This book wa ...more
Liz Friend
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
The story: Libby, who has Turner's syndrome, knows she's a little different that all the other kids in her 7th grade class. But she also knows what she's good at--and she's determined to use her interest in science to win a prize in a contest in order to use the winnings to help her financially-strapped sister and brother-in-law. Can she also use her other brave qualities to make a friend and stop a bully?

June Cleaver's ratings: Language G; Violence G; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse
...more
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Represented by Brianne Johnson at Writer's House. MFA x 2: past prosaist at BYU, future poet at USF. Lover of Pixar, leather jackets, and Colin Firth. ...more

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26 likes · 2 comments
“Real stars don’t have five points like the cartoon stars, though. They’re balls, big burning balls of fire. I wonder if we made up those five-pointed stars because then it looks like stars have a head and two arms and two legs, like we do.” 0 likes
“If we can figure out the stars, then why are other people so confusing? I didn’t hear an answer, but a narrow square of sunlight coming in through the lunchroom blinds sat in the seat across from me.” 0 likes
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