Friday, August 19, 2016

What's Written in the Stars?

Ever since her mom died when she was little, Lily's been raised by her grandma and grandpa. They live right above their store in Maine. It's a bustling town during blueberry season when workers come to help with the harvest and the tourists buy blueberry products. This summer, Lily has been feeling distant from her best friend, and wishes things could go back to the way they were. Thank goodness, for her dog, Lucky. Unfortunately, he’s having trouble with his vision and can't see very well. Lily’s hoping to afford an expensive operation that might help Lucky. He's one of her last connections to her mom. After her dog gets loose and runs to the blueberry fields she meets Salma, a girl her age, who is helping with the picking. Lily and Salma become fast friends. Together they work to raise money to get Lucky the surgery he needs. Now the Blueberry Festival preparations are beginning and soon the pageant for Blueberry Queen will take place. This year her former best friend will be running against Salma. There's more than just the crown at stake, there’s money and a sense of belonging. No matter what Lily expected from the pageant there was no way she could've guessed the events that would unfold. Will the girls raise enough money for Lucky’s surgery? Who will be crowned the next Blueberry Queen? How will Lily deal with her friendship issues? 

I have read many books by Cynthia Lord and I was pleased to read A Handful of Stars. I heard her speak about the book at the Connecticut Children’s Book Fair this past November. It was great to dive into the story knowing a little bit more about the background of the migrant workers who go to Maine, and I remembered Ms. Lord talking about how the cover was designed. This is a wonderful story about family and relationships. It helps kids learn about old and new friends. Another important theme is going outside of the box and learning to believe in yourself. It was also a good lesson for Lily that sometimes what we wish for most isn't what's best, so we shouldn't close our minds off to other ways our hopes can be answered. I recommend this book to kids in fourth grade and up who like realistic fiction. A definite treat for any dog lovers out there! There are great things throughout the book that make the story stay with you long after you turn the last page. This is a book that made me laugh and I even shed a few tears. I've thought about the characters a lot and that tells me something about the book.

Has anyone else read A Handful of Stars? Or have you read another book by Cynthia Lord? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading!
~L

28 comments:

  1. Haven't read this but I've definitely heard of Cynthia Lord! The issue of feeling a good friend drift from you is one I (and many kids) can relate to. Sometimes it's just time for a new person to pop up in your world. Love the setting of a blueberry field and the idea of a Blueberry Queen!

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    1. Claudine- I think the drifting away of a friendship has happened to most people, so this is a great book for people going through that in their life. :) ~L

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  2. Lets hear it for all the wonderful grandparents out there.

    As Claudine said losing a good friend is something most of us, adults and children, will relate to.

    Great stuff, thank you for featuring this book.

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    1. Tracy- I agree! Yeah for the awesome grandparents! :) ~L

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  3. This sounds like a delightful story!

    betty

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  4. One that can stay with you long after is sure a great book indeed

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  5. Sounds like a winner. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. The Armchair Squid- It is a winner! :) ~L

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  6. This book sounds adorable and sweet! Plus, the setting sounds wonderful. It's so great when characters stay with us after reading!

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  7. Aquele demaquilante é incrível! Estou adorando! ;D

    Não conhecia esse livro. Parece ser uma leitura maravilhosa! Gosto de histórias que nos fazem rir e chorar.

    Ótima sexta!

    Beijo! ^^

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  8. This might be a good one to read with my daughter. I will add it to our list. Thanks!

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    1. Heidi- 100% you should add it to your list. It will be perfect for you and your daughter. :) ~L

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  9. It sounds great. And a book where the characters stay with you is always a winner.

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    1. EC- I love when the characters say with me. :) ~L

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  10. Gosh, I love books that I think about long after I have read the final chapter, that really is a sign of a good book... I hope she was able to get the money to help Lucky xox

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    1. Launna- I can't give away the ending- but I will say it made me cry and smile. :) ~L

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  11. That dog is adorable! You can't go wrong making the heroine worry about her dog and try to save him. Very relateable. Wishing Cynthia much success!

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    1. Lexa- I agree with you that the book is hard to resist. Just look at that dog. :) ~L

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  12. I haven't read many of her books but I've heard of her. Sounds like she's very talented!

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    1. Stephanie- She is a fantastic writer. I have enjoyed all of her books so far. :) ~L

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  13. This sounds like a wonderful read! I love the cover too :)

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  14. I haven't read this book or others by the author, but this sounds like a sweet story that I would enjoy. If only I had more time to read. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Beverly- You will love her books! :) ~L

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  15. Not familiar with the book or the author. The story tugs at the heartstrings. Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar may well end up getting the book and reading it to me.

    Gary :)

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    1. Gary- You will love Penny's reading of this book. I am sure she will really help the characters come to life. Both of you will be rooting for Lucky too! :) ~L

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