Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass

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This year’s summer library theme is “A Universe of Stories”. So far in my career as Children’s Librarian, this has been my favorite theme. Besides the extraordinary amount of decoration, craft, and program ideas, there are also a tremendous amount of great books written about space, time travel, the metaphysical universe, the scientific universe, aliens, stars, etc. Prepping for my Tween Yoga Book Club classes means rereading some of my favorite space themed novels.
Enter: Every Soul a Star. I actually sort of forgot about the details of this novel and I was pleasantly reminded of what a simple and sweet book this is. Last year I brought one of my Halloween Yoga Book Club’s a scary novel. In one library it was a mega hit. They loved that it was scary… in another library, the book was a total flop. They hated the scary theme. In that experience I realized I had a somewhat dark group of tweens at my library…. But seriously, I never made the mistake of bringing a book in blind again. So in the overwhelming amount of super intense, sometimes dark, often heartbreaking narratives that take over juvenile fiction, it’s nice to find the occasional novel that is just easy and pleasant to read. Of course, there’s still conflict. But it’s more like average tween angst, which is sometimes a nice reprieve. I reread Every Soul A Star and tried it out with a pretty wide spread group of Tweens (3rd- 6th grade). It worked really well with this group because it had different components that appealed to each age: the younger ones liked the idea of a camp underneath an eclipse (they liked the adventure of this plot line) while the older ones like the complicated relationships (friendships and family). There’s a lot in this novel about identity; growing and changing at an age when they are dramatically doing both. So while it’s not as dark or as intense as the average juvenile fiction novel; it has a lot to offer and may be more entertaining and easy to digest because it isn’t extreme.
For Those That Liked:
See You in the Cosmos, When You Reach Me, Apartment 1986
For Ages: 9 years old and up