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A Handful of Stars
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A Handful of Stars
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Set during a harvesting season among the blueberry barrens of coastal Maine, a small-town veteran, Lily, and Salma, a Hispanic migrant worker forge an unexpected friendship which leaves them both...
Set during a harvesting season among the blueberry barrens of coastal Maine, a small-town veteran, Lily, and Salma, a Hispanic migrant worker forge an unexpected friendship which leaves them both...
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  • Set during a harvesting season among the blueberry barrens of coastal Maine, a small-town veteran, Lily, and Salma, a Hispanic migrant worker forge an unexpected friendship which leaves them both forever changed.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Maria Cabezas captures the sweetness of a summer friendship in downeast Maine amid the blueberry barrens. Lily lives with her Franco-American grandparents above the general store; Salma is the daughter of migrant workers from Florida who longs to live in one place permanently. The two girls bond over dogs and art. They spend the summer painting mason bee houses and training Salma to enter the Blueberry Queen Pageant. As Lily and Salma teach each other about family and the courage to try new things, Cabezas strikes just the right youthful tone for the young protagonists. She evokes the feeling of sun, long summer days, and the smell of blueberry pies, and it all comes with a lovely dollop of warmth and sincerity. What a pity key Maine place names are mispronounced. A.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 23, 2015
    It is a summer of change for 12-year-old Lily, who lives with her grandparents above their general store in rural Maine. Having grown apart from her boy-obsessed best friend and coping with her dog’s increasing blindness, Lily finds a kindred spirit in Salma, whose migrant family works in the local blueberry fields. One constant in Lily’s life is her longing for her absent mother, whose personality and fate Lord (Half a Chance) reveals measuredly. Salma, too, is grieving, having lost her own dog and many friends due to her family’s frequent moves. Lord links images beautifully: Lily shows Salma how the fluted top of a blueberry resembles a star, and Salma confides that she is comforted knowing that the stars overhead are the same ones shining on her loved ones far away. Salma’s artistic creativity and gumption awaken Lily to the power of imagination, the importance of embracing change and knowing when to let go of the past, and the rewards of venturing beyond one’s comfort zone. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2015

    Gr 4-6-Lily is from Maine and has been raised by her maternal grandparents on a blueberry farm. The farm employs a summer staff of migrant workers who typically never interact with the local community. But when Lily's dog eats the lunch of Salma Santiago, one of the migrant workers, an endearing bond develops between the two girls. The narration by Maria Cabezas is wonderfully done. Listeners will enjoy hearing the rich descriptions of Maine and the evolving friendship between Lily and Salma. The story offers listeners an opportunity for discussion about friendship despite perceived differences. VERDICT A heartwarming and thoughtful story of friendship, courage, and compassion. ["A thoughtful work that examines cultural bias and will spark discussion": SLJ 6/15 review of the Scholastic book.]-Jessica Gilcreast, Bedford, NH

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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