Thursday, April 29, 2010

Every Soul a Star

Every Soul A StarEvery Soul A Star Wendy Mass

Ally (short for Alpha) lives in the middle of nowhere, on a campground dedicated to amateur astronomers. For most of her life, her family has been preparing for this week, when they have the best place in the world to view the upcoming solar eclipse. And after that, she will be moving away.

Bree wants to be a model when she grows up. She isn't like her scientist parents and geeky sister. She likes makeup and clothes and being popular and only wishes her family understood that. She is not happy to find out that they're moving to the middle of the woods, at least an hour away from anything else.

Jack isn't sure what his science teacher was thinking-- why would he pick him to assist on the eclipse tour? Jack is fat, doesn't have any friends, and just sits in the back of class drawing aliens and wizards, which is why he failed science, but... if assisting on this tour will get him out of summer school...

There lives are thrown together during a major astronomical event. Although there are only three narrators to the story, it's actually six kids that form a group of friends-- Ally, Bree, Jack, Ally's brother Kenny, Bree's sister Melanie, and Ryan who comes to the camp every summer with his grandparents. While the friendships are unlikely, there isn't a lot of drama surrounding them. Mass makes each of these kids multi-faceted and likable, even Bree. It's so easy to make the pretty, popular girl be mean and horrible, but I really liked Bree. (I have some further thoughts on how her story ended here. SPOILERS!) I was NOT such a fan of the parents (really, dropping huge 'we're moving!' bombshells on your kids days before the fact? NOT COOL. And yet both sets of parents did it! What the what?

I also like the way Mass handled all the science (and there is a lot of science.) She explains a lot of astronomical things without letting the explanations bog down the story or the text. There's also a great further reading list at the end of the book if you want to know more.

Overall, a great book about eclipses and friendship and change and life and the big and little things that make up the in-between.

Book Provided by... my local library

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