Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

Cover image for A handful of starsLily lives in a small town in Maine, famous for its wild blueberries.  She doesn't usually get to know the migrant workers who come each summer to pick the blueberries, but this year she meets Salma when the girl from Florida saves Lily's blind dog from running into danger.  The two girls become fast friends, and together make a bold plan to earn money for an eye surgery for Lily's dog.  When Salma hears about the annual Blueberry Queen competition, she decides to enter, hoping to win money for college. As both girls make solid plans to obtain their goals, they have to overcome prejudice and fear and come to grips with their own feelings of loss.

This is a short, sweet story of friendship. Of course, there were a bucket load of social issues, but they were not too heavy handed.  A couple of things felt a little off to me.  Lily's friend, Hannah, had been Blueberry Queen the year before, but it sounded like they were only in Junior High.  I had always associated beauty pageants with older teens, on 12 or 13-year-olds.  I also thought the story resolved a little too easily.  Those are pretty small things, and, all in all, I liked it and I can think of a couple of our regular little girl patrons that I would give it to. (184 p)

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