The Boy Who Ate Stars

Kochka, Author, Sarah Adams, Translator , trans. from the French by Sarah Adams. S&S $12.95 (107p) ISBN 978-1-4169-0038-2

Kochka's lyrical novel illuminates a caring 12-year-old girl's experiences with the four-year-old autistic boy who lives in her Paris apartment building. When Lucy and her parents move in, the outgoing narrator sets out to meet all of her new neighbors, but when Matthew "popped up in my life, he turned all my plans upside down and inside out." One of the novel's several intriguing supporting characters is the boy's mother, who invites Lucy to spend time with her son to help him become more sociable. In clear yet poetic language, the woman explains the complexities of autism accessibly to Lucy (and readers): "Autistic people are like small independent planets that have landed here by chance, and instead of looking at the other earthlings as they move around them, they spin inside themselves." Through Lucy's interactions with Matthew, her understanding of his interior world and the ways in which he communicates deepens. Readers may find some of Lucy's observations rather cryptic, yet those looking to better comprehend the autistic mind will appreciate her curiosity, candor and insight. Maougo, Matthew's Russian nanny who speaks no French, demonstrates the power of unspoken bonds and loving actions. Readers will close this book confident that Matthew is in good hands indeed. Ages 9-14. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/06/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Genre: Children's
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