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The Forest of Stars

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  322 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Left all alone after her mother passes away, twelve-year-old Louisa LaRoche watches the sky for her father. Long ago, a powerful gust of wind swept through town, stealing him away on the wings of his untamed magic—the same magic that stirs within Louisa. As if she is made of hollow bones and too much air, her feet never quite touch the ground.

But for all her sky gazing, L
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  322 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Charlotte May
Oct 14, 2021 marked it as library-loans  ·  review of another edition
The Bone Garden was a surprising find for me, so I’m looking forward to trying more by this author. 😊
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
So lovely and magical. One of the best middle-grade novels I have read in a while. ♡

There’s a dark, fairytale-like quality to this novel that I remember experiencing in my own childhood readings when books were less contemporary and more folksy. The Forest of Stars is alluring and wondrously irresistible with its moody aura, dark elements, and mysterious magic.

Louisa, the main character, is first introduced to the reader while mending fabrics by her mother’s bedside. Her mother is terribly ill
ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
After the death of her mother, Louisa who has a magical ability to float just like her father, sets on a magical journey trying to find her lost father.
She ends up floating to the sky where she lands on a Circus in the Stars. There she makes new friends, but then something dark begins to unravel.
With danger lurking at the corner, will Louisa be able to find out the culprit with the help of her friends? and will she be able to find her long lost father?
This book was wonderful and lovely. I truly
Belles Middle Grade Library
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I won this beautiful arc in a goodreads giveaway, & I’m so thankful & happy! I finished this last night, & I loved it so much! This author weaves another unique, spooky, mysterious, magical story! I loved the carnival so much, & could see all the different tents for all the different performers clearly in my mind. I also loved all the carnival characters & all of their differences in magic & in their personalities! I loved Louisa so much. I just wanted to give her a big hug, & tell her to believ ...more
Joan He
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
enchanting and heartwarming, as you would expect from Heather <3
May 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Forest of Stars is a dark, enchanting tale of a young girl whose magic means she never quite touches the ground, and a carnival of wonders haunted by a malicious darkness. 12-year-old Louisa LaRoche has suffered more than anyone her tender age should; since her father “lost his grasp on the world” just before she was born and went on to float out of a window one day to never return. As if that wasn't sad enough her mother is now dying due to the love bugs eating through every inch of her gri ...more
Stay Fetters
"The midnight sky darkened, black as the love bugs eating away at her mother’s heart. If Louisa listened closely, she could hear them chewing. Tiny bites that crackled and clicked, as if their teeth were very sharp."

Carnival books are my thing. As soon as I see covers with festival tents or carnival performers, I am sold. I really don't need to know anything else about the book, I'm already there with my popcorn and ride tickets.

After seeing the cover for this one, I knew that I needed this one
Jul 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

The Forest of Stars really surprised me - I never thought a middle grade book would be so utterly compelling (and downright terrifying in places) nor leave me wanting more. I was initially drawn to this book by the cover which gave me strong The Night Circus vibes and having read so many glowing reviews about it on GR, decided to pick it up.

The book follows Louisa, a girl whose feet don't quite touch the ground, and she is left alone in the world after the horrible demise of her mother
Sarah Sammis
The Forest of Stars by Heather Kassner is a middle grade fantasy about a girl trying to find her father after her mother's death. It reads like a blend of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2011) and Spell & Spindle by Michelle Schusterman (2018), set in a world that resembles the changeability of the film, Mirror Mask.

Louisa LaRoche needs somewhere safe to live after her mother dies, her broken heart eaten away by love-bugs. Like her father, who she only knows by name, she can float in the a
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What I love about books is when you are reading one and, as you are drawing ever nearer and nearer to the end of the story, you don't want to. You want to linger longer in the magical world that it creates and stay among the characters the author has imagined. The Forest of Stars by Heather Kassner was one of those books.

The Forest of Stars is a dark, dazzling tale that mesmerizes with magic and mystery. It's filled with all the elements I have loved in a book ever since I was a boy and, like I
This book!


A carnival with black and gold striped tents
A girl who walks on air
Another who wields shadows
A misfortune teller who grows flowers in her hair

Secrets and friendship and scissors and guarded hearts. This book is SO magical and strange and whimsical.

Heather is a delicate and haunting writer and I cannot wait to read everything she writes because WHOA.

I must admit that I rarely read middle grade books, but when I saw that The Forest of Stars is set in a Circus I got intrigued and decided to pick it up! And lo and behold, I'm in love of the dazzling prose and I was deeply fascinated by the sinister magic that's lurking beneath the glamour of the big top shows.

"But for all the carnival dazzled, it almost hummed with darkness. Long lines formed in front of the tents, people waiting until the appointed hour for the performance."

This is
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
* I won an arc in a giveaway on Instagram*

An enchanting and magical tale that is sure to delight readers of all ages! I immediately fell in love with Louisa and the rest of the cast of characters in this middle grade fantasy. Louisa sets out on a quest to find her father after her mother passes away. A long time ago, her father was taken from her when a gust of wind snatched him and his magic away. Louisa herself has this same sort of magic, as her feet don’t quite touch the ground. The quest be
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 ⭐️ on a middle grade rating scale

The forest of stars follows 12 year old Louisa who, after sadly loosing her mum, goes on a search for her long lost father. When she was very young her father was mysteriously blown away on a powerful gust of wind and she hasn't seen him since.
After finding a gleaming black and gold invitation, Lousia finds herself involved in the Carnival Beneath the Stars - a beautiful carnival with black-and-gold tops sprinkled throughout but she soon learns that this place
Kelly deVos
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With its traveling circus, unforgettable cast of characters and prose that tugs at the heartstrings, this is a gorgeous book that is sure to delight readers of all ages. Kids will love the magic, mystery and friendships while adult readers will appreciate the strong family relationships and themes of resilience. A perfect bridge between classic and contemporary middle grade fiction!
Laura  H
This book had me captured from start to finish, the concept is stunning and an incredible setting. Plenty of magic and enchanting scenes, as meet variety of people each with their own talents and stories to tell.

I adored every moment as Louisa grows into who she is and her abilities, while searching for her dad and finding a group of friends along the way. The writing is beautiful and had me gripped to the page, as learn about the world and details revealed over time.

There's a lot of twists an
Cara (Wilde Book Garden)
Jul 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully atmospheric writing and setting, and I really liked the group of characters! I would have liked to see a little more from a few of them, but overall I feel like Heather Kassner does a great job of connecting the reader to characters and their dynamics in just a few pages.

Like, this is a short book, but I really liked the friendship group and the found family dynamic. (I think Ox may have been my favorite side character, he was just so kind and supportive.)

And I really liked the myste
Sierra Dertinger
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Twelve-year-old sweet Louisa LaRoche endures the death of her mother in the first pages of this story. It is done so tenderly and I hurt for her. She is one her own as she looks into the sky in hopes to find her father. Louisa is made of hollow bones and though she believes she is not full of magic, she quite is. She floats about the ground, just like what he father could do. However, he is no longer around as he was swept away by powerful winds never to be seen again. Since her mother has passe ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an electronic ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group through NetGalley.
Darker magical fantasy spun in a carnival setting. Think The Night Circus for a younger audience.
Louisa flees her town after her mother dies. She's homeless and penniless and her secret is discovered when she goes into town. Louisa walks on the air and can float as high as she chooses. A ticket to the carnival mysteriously appears and she flees to it when they chase her out of town. Her hope is to find her
Jess Redman
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Utterly enchanting in every way, THE FOREST OF STARS is the story of a girl who must learn to fly and the circus that holds her past and her future. I loved this wonderful tale about finding the magic inside yourself—and then being brave enough to wield it.
Kim Tomsic
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
If Coraline has an older sister, her name is THE FOREST OF STARS! I can't help but wonder if author Heather Kassner has been drinking a potion mixed by Neil Gaiman! ...more
This is a magically charming fantasy about a twelve year old girl, searching for her father after her mother’s death.

Before she was born, Louisa LaRoche’s father was blown away in a gust of wind by his untamed magic,the same magic that Louisa herself inherited. Alone, with nowhere to go Louisa finds a ticket to the Carnival Beneath the Stars filled with magical (and odd) people.

Knowing her father’s strange gift wouldn’t be out of place at the Circus, she decides to search for him there. But sho
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When she was a baby, Louisa lost her father. He simply floated away, never to return. Now she’s lost her mother and has nowhere to go. As her coins continue to dwindle, her fears of being swept away in the wind grow. It’s auspicious that she finds an invitation to the “Carnival Beneath the Stars”, even if at first, she doesn’t see it that way.

While Louisa is a child, she is well ahead of her years in some aspects. That she can take care of herself after her mother dies is impressive. I thought t
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story about a girl looking for her father but finding her home at the carnival.

When Louisa’s mother dies, she’s homeless and afraid of ending up in an orphanage. She wants to find her father, who disappeared several years ago and has the same special ability to levitate that she has, but all she has to go on is a picture of her parents with a striped tent in the background. When she finds a ticket to the Carnival Beneath the Stars, she discovers it has the same tent as in the photog
Sophia Dyer • bookishly.vintage
This was a wonderful little middle grade novel about friendship, magic, and a carnival like no other. But beware, this book does deal with some hard topics too. I mean, within the first chapter the mother is killed by "love bugs," bugs that burrowed into her heart after heartbreak and ate it whole. That part was a little too in detail for me, especially since the love bugs followed Louisa around the rest of the book, and she could not even grieve her mother without fear of them eating her heart ...more
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I absolutely loved this book! 5/5 Stars (pun intended).
They say it's a young adult novel but it doesn't feel like it. These magical friends remind of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Louisa is easy to relate to and she floats through life with the sole purpose of finding her father. Little did she realise she would end up finding herself.
#theforestofstars #heatherkassner
Lorelei Savaryn
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this story so much! With vivid imagery, lyrical language, and the feel of a fairy tale, I loved following Louisa's unique and heartwarming journey. It was the absolute perfect blend of magic and sweetness. ...more
Colette Sewall
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading The Forest of Stars, and this enchanting tale left me floating with delight. I loved the atmospheric story about a sweet young girl searching for her father in a dark, magical world—a world where love bugs chomp on the hearts of poor grieving souls. Luminous and literary, the prose glimmers on every page, and the mysterious characters will keep the reader guessing until the very end. In addition, the gorgeous art throughout is a captivating treat for the eyes. Five stars ...more
Ashley Dang
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A sweet and magical story about a girl on a quest to find her father and possibly a place to call home. I absolutely loved this story. The artwork was beautiful and charming. The friendships were sweet. Louisa was a great protagonist and her journey was a thrill. She was strong and had to deal with a lot for someone her age, but her determination and strength was remarkable. This was an overall fun book to read! It’s for friendship, magic, and a mystery!
Paula Lyle
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Kids that are into magic will like this. It moves along a little fast, but I love the theme that you have to work for your dreams to come true. The friendships among the circus are explored well and lay out what you should do for your friends. The circus is spectacular and fun. A nice ending ties up all the threads. Recommended for grades 3 to 6.

I received an eARC through NetGalley.
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Heather Kassner loves thunderstorms, hummingbirds, and books. She lives with her husband in Arizona, waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the rain, photographing hummingbirds, and reading and writing strange little stories.

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