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What Stars Are Made Of
Cover of What Stars Are Made Of
What Stars Are Made Of
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A Mighty Girl Best Book of 2020!From debut author Sarah Allen comes a pitch-perfect, heartwarming middle grade novel about growing up, finding yourself, and loving people with everything you're made...
A Mighty Girl Best Book of 2020!From debut author Sarah Allen comes a pitch-perfect, heartwarming middle grade novel about growing up, finding yourself, and loving people with everything you're made...
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Description-

  • A Mighty Girl Best Book of 2020!
    From debut author Sarah Allen comes a pitch-perfect, heartwarming middle grade novel about growing up, finding yourself, and loving people with everything you're made of.
    Twelve-year-old Libby Monroe is great at science, being optimistic, and talking to her famous, accomplished friends (okay, maybe that last one is only in her head). She's not great at playing piano, sitting still, or figuring out how to say the right thing at the right time in real life. Libby was born with Turner Syndrome, and that makes some things hard. But she has lots of people who love her, and that makes her pretty lucky.
    When her big sister Nonny tells her she's pregnant, Libby is thrilled—but worried. Nonny and her husband are in a financial black hole, and Libby knows that babies aren't always born healthy. So she strikes a deal with the universe: She'll enter a contest with a project about Cecilia Payne, the first person to discover what stars are made of. If she wins the grand prize and gives all that money to Nonny's family, then the baby will be perfect. Does she have what it takes to care for the sister that has always cared for her? And what will it take for the universe to notice?

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Sarah Allen is the author of What Stars Are Made Of, and has also been published in The Evansville Review, Cicada, and on WritersDigest.com. She grew up in the mountains of Utah where she got one MFA, and because she's a little bit crazy, she's now at work on a second MFA in the tropics of Florida. Other than writing poetry and books for children, she can be found singing show tunes too loudly, watching David Attenborough documentaries or, like Olivia and Ruth, hunting for treasure. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram!

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 24, 2020
    In this assured debut, science whiz Libby Monroe shines when she selects Cecilia Payne, an astronomer who first determined the composition of stars, for an American History profile of someone excluded from the textbook. Like the author, 12-year-old Libby has Turner Syndrome, which means she has a single X chromosome, her heart is “three sizes too big,” and she looks different from her classmates. Libby’s intellectual curiosity already makes her stand out from her peers, but some elements of her condition, such as the fact that she wears hearing aids, make forming friendships difficult. She considers the library her best friend, until new girl Talia Latu moves to Colorado. Allen deftly sketches the dynamics of Libby’s close-knit family, conveying Libby’s anxiety when her older sister Nonny’s pregnancy develops complications. To solve Nonny’s financial problems, Libby dreams of winning the Smithsonian Women in STEM contest, which offers a cash award. Though a thread about Libby’s contacting the textbook’s editor feels tangential, it offers comedy and a lesson in disappointment and persistence. This witty novel’s heroine proves winning, whether or not she gains top prize. Ages 10–14.

  • School Library Journal

    February 21, 2020

    Gr 4 Up-Twelve-year-old Libby was born with Turner's syndrome, which occurs when a female person is born with one X chromosome. Although this condition affects the way she looks and learns, Libby is just like every other kid with passions, dreams, and worries. When she finds out her sister, Nonny, is pregnant, Libby fears the baby will be born with complications. Wanting to help, she throws herself into the Smithsonian's Women in STEM competition; she's determined to win the top prize of $25,000 to give to her sister, who struggles financially. Libby's project? Earning a spot for the brilliant but overlooked scientist Cecilia Payne in the next edition of the textbook she uses in school. Along the way, her family and her new friend Talia support her. Allen, who herself has Turner's syndrome, gracefully tackles heavy topics in her debut novel, including bullying and premature babies. Readers will empathize with spunky Libby's social stumbles and will root for her as she dares to dream big. A tender novel about love, loyalty, and finding yourself, this will win a place in many readers' hearts. VERDICT An #OwnVoices novel that will be an important addition to any collection.-Amy McInerney, Falmouth Elementary School, ME

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    March 1, 2020
    Grades 4-7 Libby Monroe is a seventh grader who loves science and has a habit of conversing with notable people in her mind. She also has an optimistic disposition and Turner's syndrome, a chromosomal condition found only in girls. Turner's syndrome causes many complications in Libby's life: her body has characteristics associated with it, so she is sometimes bullied, and she struggles with some skills, including interpersonal ones. Her family life is warm and loving, however, with her sister, Nonny, providing a huge chunk of support. When Libby enters a competition from the Smithsonian, writing a letter to introduce an unrecognized woman in STEM, she works hard not only on her entry about astronomer Cecilia Payne, but also on developing a friendship with a new student at her school. Libby's sparkling first-person narrative is directed straight at the reader, and her optimism is infectious. Allen has Libby convey information about Turner's syndrome without sounding contrived, since it's part of Libby's somewhat filter-less personality. All the primary characters shine in this impressive debut.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • BookPage, starred review

    "In her stunning debut middle grade novel, Allen, who was also born with Turner syndrome, explores themes of family loyalty and personal resilience and resolve, wrapping them up in a clever story of science, how the universe works and how stars can truly guide the way. What Stars Are Made Of is a tender portrait of a compassionate heroine trying to make things right in her universe and in the lives of the people she loves. Allen is a remarkable new voice in children's fiction."

  • Booklist "Libby's sparkling first-person narrative is directed straight at the reader, and her optimism is infectious. . .All the primary characters shine in this impressive debut."
  • Publishers Weekly "In this assured debut, science whiz Libby Monroe shines. . .Allen deftly sketches the dynamics of Libby's close-knit family, conveying Libby's anxiety when her older sister Nonny's pregnancy develops complications. . .This witty novel's heroine proves winning, whether or not she gains top prize."
  • School Library Journal

    "Readers will empathize with spunky Libby's social stumbles and will root for her as she dares to dream big. A tender novel about love, loyalty, and finding yourself, this will win a place in many readers' hearts. . .An #OwnVoices novel that will be an important addition to any collection."

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    Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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