Stella by Starlight

Sharon M. Draper. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4424-9497-8
After 11-year-old Stella and her brother witness late-night Ku Klux Klan activity, word spreads through their North Carolina town. It’s 1932, and every “Negro family in Bumblebee knew the unwritten rules—they had to take care of their own problems and take care of one another.” Draper (Panic) conveys a rich African-American community where life carries on and knowledge is passed along (“My mama taught me. I’m teachin’ you. You will teach your daughter”), despite looming threats. While in town, Stella notes the white children’s fine school building and speculates about who might be Klansmen; in her parents’ backyard, spontaneous potluck celebrations chase away gloom as adults trade tall tales: “remember last summer when it got so hot we had to feed the chickens ice water to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs?” Stella’s desire to become a writer parallels her father’s determination to vote. In a powerful scene, the entire black community accompanies three registered black voters to the polling location and waits silently, “Ten. Fifteen. Twenty-five minutes,” until the sheriff steps aside. This compelling story brims with courage, compassion, creativity, and resilience. Ages 9–13. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 01/06/2015
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4424-9499-2
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4423-8040-0
Compact Disc - 288 pages - 978-1-4423-8039-4
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-4424-9498-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-9747-7
Prebound-Glued - 352 pages - 978-0-606-38255-7
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