|Hope is a Ferris wheel|
Author: Herrera, Robin
After moving from Oregon to a trailer park in California, ten-year-old Star participates in a poetry club, where she learns some important lessons about herself and her own hopes and dreams for the future.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 165467
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 63916
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/14)
School Library Journal (+) (04/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (05/14)
The Hornbook (00/05/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2014 Star Mackie is a fifth-grader overflowing with hope—especially for friends. But that seems impossible at her new school since she is teased for living in a pink trailer and having strangely layered blue hair. Her goth sister, Winter—her closest ally—fuels Star’s hope of one day connecting with the father she has yet to meet. Taking a clue from Winter, Star starts a school club in order to make friends, and along the way she develops a fascination with Emily Dickinson’s poetry and declares that to be the club’s focus. Star does everything she can to make the club work, and, little by little, a small misfit group of students become regulars. When Star learns the shocking truth about her own family, Dickinson’s poetry helps her understand her crazy world and accept who she is. In her debut, Herrera has created a delightful narrator with a memorable voice and surrounded her with a unique supporting cast. Got fans of Joan Bauer in your neck of the woods? Send them this way. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2014 Gr 4–6—Quirky Star Mackie, who lives in a trailer park and has blue hair, desperately wants to make some friends in her new town. She decides that starting a poetry club is the perfect vehicle. Unfortunately, there aren't many other 10-year-olds as enamored with Emily Dickinson as she is. The only other kids who will join her club are a couple of boys in detention and a brother/sister team. Star has many dreams—she longs to meet her father, hopes her beloved big sister, who is coping with an unexpected pregnancy, will be happy again, and wishes most of all for a true friend. Herrera's first novel is quite accomplished, with plenty of heart and humor, especially apparent in the spelling assignments Star has to complete but refuses to turn in, as she uses them as a sort of journal. Star is a unique, determined, and loving child making the best of a bad situation; readers cannot help but root for her.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, CA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2014 When ten-year-old Star naïvely lets it be known that she lives in a trailer park, her fate at her new school is sealed: no one wants to be her friend. Determined in spite of the setback, she starts a Trailer Park Club, hoping that it will attract people to her so that she can change their minds about the stigma of trailer park life. First Genny, a spunky fourth-grader, joins the club and brings her sullen older brother with her, and then the group becomes an Emily Dickinson club after Star is introduced to the poet by her teacher. The club’s new theme does attract some new members, but one of them, Eddie, is more poetry-savvy than Star, and she is threatened by his attempts to shift the attention to other poets. Her school drama is outmatched by home drama, as she finds that her beloved older sister is pregnant, and the man she always thought was her father isn’t. There are a lot of loose ends and unanswered questions in the plot, and the school setting and diverse secondary characters lack credible solidity and organic connection; they seem to have been artificially assembled for the purposes of playing a supporting cast to a character and conveniently provide her with plot fodder. However, Star’s contemplation, through poetic metaphors and real-life relationships, of what really matters in her life is compelling. Additionally, the poetry angle offers food for thought for those just coming to understand the power and purpose of metaphor, and Star’s vocabulary assignments, occasionally interspersed between chapters, provide inspiration and entertainment for word-lovers. KC - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.