M.'s Reviews > Every Soul a Star

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
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's review
Apr 14, 2011

really liked it
Read in April, 2011

2012 Rebecca Caudill nominee. Four very different kids, all middle school aged, are thrown together when a huge number of people gather at the Moon Shadows Campground to experience a solar eclipse. Ally's family owns the campground but they're planning on moving to the city after the eclipse while Bree's family is going to take it. Ryan comes every year with his grandparents and Jack is there because his science teacher, a noted astronomer, gives him the option of accompanying the teacher's tour group to the campground or going to summer school to make up his failing science grade. Ally doesn't want to leave the only home she remembers; Bree aspires to be a top fashion model and can't imagine living in a remote campground; Ryan has problems he doesn't really talk about; and Jack isn't quite sure why he's there. Gradually the four kids, plus Ally's and Bree's younger siblings, form a tight bond. Each grows in positive and unforeseen ways and after the eclipse they all leave the campground confident about their abilities to face their futures.

The story of the kids is set against some interesting science about eclipses and stars, and includes a background cast of campers who range from the scientific to the curious to the mildly strange in the sense of their attitudes toward alien life forms. It's written in first person, with the narrator changing from Ally to Jack to Bree to Ryan and back again.

This is a gentle and somewhat introspective book, appropriate for 4th grade and up, but probably better for kids interested in astronomy and/or relationships and growing up.

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