Every Soul a Star

by Wendy Mass

Ally has spent most of her life at the Moon Shadow campground in rural Montana. She... read more

Ally has spent most of her life at the Moon Shadow campground in rural Montana. She is full of anticipation for her first total eclipse, an event that will draw campers from around the world at summer’s end. Bree is looking forward to a summer spent improving her chances at a modeling career. Jack is paying the price for failing science with summer school looming. Wendy Mass draws these three distinct and disparate young teens into the circle of one another’s lives, and the lives of those they touch. When Bree discovers her scientist parents are giving up their city lives to run a campground and further their work, she simply cannot believe it, not even when they arrive in the middle of nowhere. The arrival of Bree’s family prompts Ally’s parents to disclose that they are moving to Chicago at the end of summer to give Ally and her brother the chance to live in the larger world. Neither girl can fathom the difference this will mean to her life. Meanwhile, Jack has ended up at Moon Shadow in lieu of summer school—his science teacher invited him to be his assistant on an eclipse-watching tour. For Jack, who has little self-confidence, the pressure to not mess up feels huge. The full eclipse that is the novel’s climax is a stunning—and beautifully described—reflection of these three characters’ new ways of seeing themselves and one another by story’s end. Narrated in their three separate voices, and featuring a solid cast of secondary characters, this is a quiet and deeply affecting novel about changes both small and large. (Ages 10–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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