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The Whole Sky Full of Stars

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Barry can punch anyone hard enough to make them see a whole sky full of stars, though that's not really his style. Barry and Alby have been friends since the first grade. They've always protected one another.

When Barry's pop dies, times are tough and the only thing Barry has of value is his dad's 1964 Ford Galaxie. Meanwhile Alby's got himself into big trouble with a cards
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Average rating 3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  141 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: given-away
The author came to my daughter's school and she got 3 of his books. He signed all of them for her. Its a good read. ...more
Emma Refvem
May 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had to read this for Mr Christopher's English 1 class book club, so it was a lower reading level on purpose. I think it could've been a low reading level and not been as dumb, though. The narration kept changing mid-paragraph, the characters weren't always consistent with how they talked, there were literally 3 lines of literary device that jumped out like wtf is this? Idk it was very choppy and uneven but the kids in the story learned a valuable lesson I guess. ...more
Jasmin Fallin
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love this book. From the front porch all the way to the boxing ring. And the flashbacks throughout the story. It shows what he really deemed important. His motivation and dedication, it was amazing. But, I didn’t like his friend though. Overall, good book.
Justin Salladino
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. It had some action from the tournament. It also had a good message about friendship that can be applied to real life.
Ruben Degollado
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing read about the power of friendship and forgiveness. There is one scene in the ring that will bring a tear to your eye. Couldn’t put it down until I read the whole thing!
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Brooklyn peterson

La mrs.nance

Period 6

The whole book of stars is written by Rene saldana, Jr is about friendship and getting through hard times. Barry the main character wants to be a fight but his dad had recently passed to cancer but is best friend Albey was there to help and he helped Barry get through it. I really like this book, there was sometimes were it got kinda boring but it was mostly interesting and fun to read. My favorite character was probably Albey because no matter what he was
Silvestre Rodriguez
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
***SPOILER ALERT*** Have you ever read a book that just had you wondering what would happen next, so you just keep on reading the book page after page? If not this is the book for you. The genre of this book is realistic fiction. This book is just an amazing book, you and your best friend should read, because it gives great lessons on best friends and stuff. This is probably the best book I have read yet.

Barry and Alby have been best friends since 1st grade, when Barry peed his pants and everyo
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for

THE WHOLE SKY FULL OF STARS is a story about the strong bonds of friendship. Through the experience of the main characters readers will learn that true friendship can survive.

Barry and Alby have been friends against all odds. Barry's father's recent death from cancer has put a huge financial strain on life for him and his mother. They never had much before and now that is stretched even thinner. Alby, on the other hand, doesn't ne
Nov 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Genre: Teen Gambling/Friendship/Boxing/Fiction (Rene Saldana Requirement)

Alby and Bary have been best friends ever since Alby stood up for Bary in grade school when he was new in town. When Alby runs up a debt from gambling, the only solution is to ask Bary to compete in an amateur boxing tournament with a prize. Bary is convinced that his share of the prize money will help his impoverished family. When Alby finds out the prize money is one hundred dollars, a t-shirt, and a trophy, he decides to
Alondra Aguilar
May 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was a pretty good book for someone who likes the intensity and toughness in a book. Barry, the main character, and his best friends named Alby, have been the best of friends since they were little boys on the block. Barry is a boxer that likes people to feel his pain when they go around and start talking like they know who he is. Having skills like Barry, and feeling like always wanting to be silent by the way he lives after his dad died, it was time to make a change for his own life. ...more
Bill Ibarra
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Do you like stories about friendship if so read The Whole Sky Full of Stars.The genre of this book is fiction.This book is about the strength of two boys friendship.For example whatever the situation they would never turn their backs on one another.

This story took place in multiple settings from school to a boxing gym.Alby had gambling issues and lost lots of money in a poker hand so now he owes another kid a lot of money that Alby does not have.So Alby asks his best friend Barry to join a bo
Christina Getrost
Sep 12, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: boys, boxing fans
Shelves: realisticfiction
Excellently written, just not my type of book. Two young men, best friends since childhood, decide to enter a boxing competition. They both need the prize money--the boxer's going to use it to help out his mother, who works two jobs to support them since her husband died. His friend, however, has a wealthy father, but he refuses to ask him for money to bail him out of a bad gambling debt. Most of the book is the nonboxing friend trying to talk his pal into entering the fight; the rest of it is t ...more
Daniel Asay
Oct 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Alby and and Barry have been friends since grade school, but when Barry's father dies, Alby gets himself into gambling debts, and money runs tight for both families, that friendship will be tested to its limits. In a move that blurs the line between friendship and self-interested manipulation, Alby convinces Barry to use his boxing talents in a fighting competition with a cash prize. But the details are largely uncertain and Alby still hasn't learned to control his passions.

Though not a particul
Emily Townsley
Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: english-420

The Whole Sky Full of Stars is about two friends, Alby and Barry. Barry has recently lost his father to cancer and is still dealing with the loss. Alby is gambler and smooth talker who continually finds his way into trouble. Alby convinces Barry, who is a trained boxer, to fight in a competition that will yield money for Barry's mother and for Alby's gambling debt. The story takes place over a few days and talks about standing up for what you believe in and the value of
Allie Randall
Dec 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elyse Bradley
Dec 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-420
Genre: Drama/Boxing/Betrayal/Gambling

I was pleasantly surprised by what I found in this book. The Whole Sky Full of stars tells of best friends Alby and Barry. Barry's father recently died, so Ably convinces Barry to fight in a boxing match for money. Alby has ulterior motives of his own and does not tell Barry. The cost of the match and the money may be more than both Alby and Barry realize. I thought Saldana told a very compelling story in a short number of pages. The characters were real, and
Dec 07, 2011 rated it liked it
So this book is a little frustrating, but it does have a lot of action and entertainment value. We are reading about teen friendship and things that can often complicate it. Barry's dad dies and leaves their family with very little but a car. Barry has been friends with Alby for a really long time. Alby, whose family is better off, uses Barry to make up for gambling with a thug from school. Without telling Barry the truth, Alby convinces Barry that he should participate in some kind of fighting ...more
Carmen Lopez
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
The book The Whole Sky Gull of Stars started out with two friends just talking in a yard. Alby and Barry have been best friends since the first grade. Alby confronted Barry about overhearing some guys at school speaking poorly about Barry's mother. All the sudden Alby feels a harsh fist smash upon his face. To his surprise it was his best friend Barry. Shortly after Barry hit his friend he realized he had done it for no reason. This is where Alby gets the bright idea that Barry should become a b ...more
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book! It started out a little confusing, trying to figure out what was going on. However, as the book went on, I started to see why the Barry was doing what he was doing. He had some serious financial problems, and so did his best friend Alby. As they learned to work together you start to learn more about the characters, and see that they didn't always make the best choice.

I started to not like Alby as much. He started to be a poor friend, and let Barry down. I ca
Jan 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Latin/coming of age/violence

In many ways I liked this book, but in others I was so frustrated with it. It is about two friends who have been friends for a very long time. Barry's father just recently died of cancer, and barry is still dealing with his death, while Alby has a gambling problem. Alby convinces Barry to fight in this match for money because they both need it. I really liked how Saldana showed what it is like to have a gambling problem. It was so frustrating for me to listen to the t
Nov 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Genres/Categories: coming of age story, friendship, boxing, gambling

Sometimes your best friend can be the person that hurts you the most and betrays your trust. That's the stuggle Barry has with his best friend Alby. Barry has lost his father recently and is now struggling to find a way to help his mom support the two of them, while Alby has everything, and yet Alby only suggests Barry enter a boxing tournament so that Alby can pay off his debt to another person. Saldana tells a story every pers
Stephanie Kenner
Dec 09, 2009 rated it liked it

Barry and Alby have been best friends since grade school and have seen each other through everything. Their friendship is challenged when Alby gets himself into some gambling trouble. He feeds off of Barry's concern for his family's well being and convinces him to enter a boxing match with a cash prize. Barry is more than capable of winning because he trained diligently with his father growing up before his father died, but when he discovers that Alby has ulteri
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
"Oh, and what gives me the right to dig my fat nose in your stupid business is the same thing that gave you the right to keep bugging me to come hang out with you after Pop died and I wasn't up for company.You kept it up day in, day out: 'Barry let's go do this, let's go do that; get your mind off things for awhile.' Remember?" Barry turned away and this time didn't look back. To himself he said, "It's called friendship, idiot."50

Spanish speaking characters, but they took a bus overnight to Sout
Amy Lou
May 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
I started this book knowing basically nothing about it; just reading it because I have to read a YA sports genre from the library from the summer reading program. I did know it was about boxing, but after that, I had no idea the age. Immediately I thought they were 12, because they all acted like 10 year olds. However, I did eventually realize that the main character, Barry, is actually 18, so Alby also must be 17 or 18. This was extremely confusing and annoying. Basically, although the moral an ...more
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it

Barry and Alby have been best friends since the first grade, and when Alby gets himself into a bit of trouble, he uses Barry's natural boxing talent to advantage; but in the process of doing so, Alby hurts their friendship and finds himself in a different, but more damaging kind of trouble. I thought this book was pretty good, especially for how short it was. You see the story from both Alby's and Barry's points of view, and in such a short book, the character deve
Nov 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is about two teen boys, one who is in over his head due to gambling losses and the other whose family is suffering financially since his father died. The gambling teen comes up with a plan: they are going to solve both of their financial problems by entering the other teen (who just happens to have a wicked punch) in a boxing competition. Of course, there are the necessary secrets and betrayal that give the story some "umph." Unfortunately, the writing isn't as smooth as it could be, a ...more
Sara Daw
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-420
I didn't expect to like a book about wrestling so much, but I did. Alby is a born hustler who played poker with some neighborhood thugs and has found himself in a tight spot. Barry is his best friend, has recently lost his father, and has spent a lot of time training in wrestling. Alby sees a way to make some quick money off of Barry's wrestling skills, but he can't tell Barry about the tight spot he's in, so he decides to manipulate Barry into participating in a non-professional wrestling match ...more
Aug 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teen guys who've read Lipsyte
Shelves: teen-lit-read
Saldaña, Jr. has written a story about two guys who are good, genuine, young men navigating the ethics of friendship in this quick and satisfying read. Even if readers may feel like they have the ending all figured out, they won’t have all of it sewn up. Saldana conveys the deep emotional experiences of Alby’s and Barry’s working through the hurt of misused friendship especially well. It definitely took me by surprise and I felt the eyes swelling as the book headed toward its close. Add this to ...more
Nov 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-lit
Barry and his mother are struggling financially in suburban Texas, so Alby (Barry's friend who is deep in debt) doesn't have a hard time convincing talented boxer, Barry, to enter a sketchy competition. Although winning (and earning only a small amount of money), Alby gains a greater sum by betting. Barry refuses any of the money, and turns back to his previous life focused on supporting his mother. Alby's father arranges a process for Alby to redeem himself. This novel seemed to have so much po ...more
Eliza Blank
May 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: eng420
Required Category: Rene Saldana Jr.
This was an okay book. It was about a young kid whose father dies and whose mother is working really really hard to make ends meet. He has a friend, Alby, who gets into debt with some punks who threaten to beat him up if he doesnt pay up, so he convinces Barry to sign up for a fight to earn some cash. Alby bets a lot on the side and makes some money, but Barry wont take it cause he sees it as money unearned. The book talks about issues of friendship, violence,
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René Saldaña Jr. graduated from Georgia State University (Ph.D.) with degrees in English and creative writing. He and his family live in south Texas, where he teaches English and writing at the university level. He is the author of "The Jumping Tree "and "Finding Our Way." ...more

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