Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Every Soul a Star

On July 8th, I took part in the first #virtualbookclub on Twitter. Our first book was Every Soul a Star by the talented Wendy Mass. If you would like to join us for the next #virtualbookclub then read the Middle Grade book RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff. Details are at the bottom of this post and will appear on tomorrow's post. 

Every Soul a Star
by Wendy Mass
Ages: 8-12
Themes: Family, New Friends, Astronomy
 Download the Educator's Guide
My Reading purpose: pleasure reading, book talks, and to meet goals for #virtualbookclub #bookaday #bookdare #summerthrowdown

And when he (the author of the universe) had compounded the whole, he divided it up into as many souls as there are stars, and allotted each soul to a star. And mounting them on their stars, as if on chariots, he showed them the nature of the universe and told them the laws of their destiny. -from "Timaeus" by Plato (427-347 BCE)

Every Soul a Star really hit home for me bringing back a flood of happy memories of days camping with my family at the Rio Frio. Believe me, that river was aptly named. We shivered so much, but it was wonderful. As a kid, there are few things more thrilling than to be thrust into a new situation for a couple of weeks where you can be a totally different person if you chose, or completely be yourself knowing that you will only see the same people once a year. What a thrill to explore wild woods, hike snaky trails, swim in clear, cold waters, form summer friendships that you will remember for a lifetime, and experience the sweetness of a summer romance.

Every Soul a Star appeals to me because of the richness of the characters. They are flawed but likeable and realistic. I love the characters because they have those special dreams that kids hold in their hearts when they see that everything is possible in life and haven't learned the pessimistic ways of many adults. I especially like Jack because he is a rough diamond who realizes he can and will change to become the person he is destined to become. Kids need to understand that they are valued no matter what their physical appearance might be.

The novel is told from the point of view of the three main characters. Wendy Mass gives Ally, Bree, and Jack their very own chapters 1-7 plus their own Epilogues. There is a Ally-chapter 1, Bree-chapter 1,and Jack-chapter 1. That's pretty cool. I will not spoil your enjoyment of the book by analyzing it. Instead, I will share some quotes and favorite parts that made these characters so special to get to know and love.

Bree, a popular and beautiful girl, is thrilled to become a junior beauty consultant in the mall and sees herself on a path to becoming a supermodel one day. She seems shallow but this girl is deeper than she appears with a inner beauty and lots of potential. 

Ally would be happy to live out her days at The Moon Shadow, a campground for amateur astronomers. She has been in love with star gazing since the day her grandfather gave her a meteorite that once fell from the sky and nicked him on his ear. Her deepest desire is to discover a comet one day.

Jack is a pudgy and shy boy who has experienced a series of step dads known as SD1, SD2, and SD3. The only thing he knows about his real dad is that he tucked a bunny in his crib the day he abandoned his family. Jack is content to spend his days reading Fantasy/Science Fiction novels and drawing instead of paying attention in class. Jack harbors a secret. He can fly.

Bree in the beginning
(Bree, Chapter 1, p. 6)
"We all have things to offer the world. My beauty is what I have to give. And the best thing about being beautiful? No one ...expects me to be anything else."

Ally in the beginning
(Ally, Chapter 2, p. 15)
 "I prefer looking up, rather than down, and have a different plan to secure my immortality. I'm going to discover a comet."
  • Ally wears a leather pouch with a piece of meteorite inside that had fallen from the sky and hit her beloved grandfather nicking his ear. It has been passed down to Ally and is a treasured memento. 
Jack in the beginning
(Jack, Chapter 1, p. 9)
All I want to do is be left alone so I can read (fantasy and SF), draw (aliens, monsters, and wizards). and conserve my energy so when everyone else is sleeping and dreaming their normal dreams, I can do something that most other people can't. I can fly.

Favorite Every Soul a Star Quotes:

Kenny (Ally's younger brother)
"Great Galileo's Ghost!" (Ally Chapter 2, p. 12).

Bree's pivotal A-Ha moment
(Bree, Chapter 6, P. 235)
"The thing that I've smothered since third grade has resurfaced. My inner geek has been released."

Jack (Epilogue, p. 322)
"Wherever you wind up, I wish you clear skies."

I am most grateful to all my Twitter friends for this wonderful book chat.I look forward to reading Rump, followed by Doll Bones, and having more engaging discussions. Julee


  1. You really captured the book. Fabulous! Looking forward to our next conversation.

    1. Thank you. Every Soul a Star was a very moving story. I loved watching the better nature of these kids begin to unfold. Wendy Mass must have had a strong friendship at the same point in her life to have been able to capture the essence of early teenager life so well.


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