Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Little Crooked Bookshelf

Stella by Starlight
by Sharon M. Draper

This week's pick is by Cottager Anika Denise.

What it's all about...
Stella lives in the segregated South--in Bumblebee, North Carolina--with her mom, dad, and little brother, Jojo. From beneath a tree one evening, Stella and Jojo witness a gathering of the Ku Klux Klan across the pond. The incident sends fear through the tight-knit community, revealing to Stella the harsh reality of racial hatred, as well as the strength and grace within her family, neighbors and herself.

Why it's on The Little Crooked Bookshelf...
It's a deeply personal story—an amalgam of Draper's father's childhood and the stories her grandmother kept in a journal—gorgeously written, with hope and heart.

Our favorite lines…
Nine robed figures, dressed all in white. Heads covered with softly pointed hoods. Against the black of night, a single wooden cross blazed. Reflections of peppery-red flames shimmered across the otherwise dark surface of Kilkenny Pond. 

Why kids will love it...
Stella faces issues all kids can relate with, as she navigates the space between childhood and adulthood common to being twelve. She longs to be a good writer, but struggles with getting the right words out. She is learning who she is, and who she wants to be. That Stella faces these issues against the backdrop of segregation and the real and present danger of Klan activity in her tiny rural town, will enlighten and inspire young readers.

Why grown-ups will love it...
Draper is a master storyteller. Her lyrical prose catches you up in the tension of the time, the ripple of fear, the heat of flames, and the heart of her characters, to weave a tale that is both powerful and poignant.

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