Every Soul a Star
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|Publisher||Little, Brown and Co.|
Every Soul a Star is a 2008 novel for children and young adults by Wendy Mass. Taking turns in first person from each of the main characters' point of view, it follows the stories of Jack, a confidence-lacking 13-year-old who is slightly overweight, Ally, an almost-13-year-old home-schooled girl who wants to be an astronomer, and Bree, whose life goal is to be on the cover of Seventeen before she is seventeen. They all meet and see an eclipse of the sun together while learning about what's truly important in life and becoming better people.
Almost 13-year-old Ally lives at a campsite called The Moon Shadow where she is home schooled by her parents along with her 10-year-old brother Kenny. Although they don't have phone reception and have barely seen any TV lives, Ally P Shadow and her dream is to find one of the Messier Objects. She then discovers that her family is moving to Chicago and she will be put in public school.
Meanwhile, 13-year-old Bree is the "A-Clique" in her school and proud of it. Everyone calls her beautiful and she makes sure she stays that way. She wants to become a Prom Queen in high school and eventually be on the cover of Seventeen magazine before she's seventeen. Her "nerdy" family, however, has other plans. She and her 11-year-old sister, Melanie, are going to move to The Moon Shadow and take the place of Ally and her family as the caretakers of the campsite. Bree is appalled at the thought of moving and doesn't want to be home schooled in the middle of nowhere, with no boys, no friends, and no chance of any model coming up to her and giving her a job offer.
13-year-old Jack only finds comfort in reading and drawing in his tree house. His mom has been married four times and he has no friends as well as being shy and slightly overweight. One of his other escapes is lucid dreaming, taught to him by his third stepfather, which also is how he can "fly" in his dreams. After failing science, he is faced with the choice of either attending summer school or going to The Moon Shadow as a part of a group tour to watch an eclipse with his teacher, Mr. Silver. He chooses to go to The Moon Shadow and meets several people during the trip to the campsite.
Eventually, all three children meet each other at The Moon Shadow and form an unlikely friendship. Bree and Ally plot to convince their parents to change their minds about the move, but they fail in their attempt. Jack is smitten with Ally even though they may not see each other again (although, there is a good chance they will) and Bree is able to walk the labyrinth at the campsite, which she has been avoiding since she arrived. The group witnesses the eclipse, which amazes all of them, and leave all of them to accept their separate fates. Ally's family invites Bree's to visit for their annual "Star Party" each summer, while Bree personally teaches Ally the "ways of the world". At the end, Ally notices Jack's stuffed bunny. He hesitates at first, then explains that it is the only connection he has to his father, showing how he got over his lack-of-confidence issue while at The Moon Shadow. Friendship is shown strongly in this novel.
This book brings up great discussions about topics of the real world. If you or someone you know enjoys realistic fiction young adult novels, this is the book for them.
Nominated for the:
Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award, Illinois, 2012 South Carolina Children's Book Award, 2011 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award, 2010–2011 Iowa Children's Choice Award, 2010–2011 Maud Hart Lovelace Award, Minnesota, 2010–2011 Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, Maryland, 2011 Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2011 William Allen White Award, Kansas, 2011 Kentucky Bluegrass Award, 2010 New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award 2009-10 Chosen as a CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center) Choice Selection