The Stars at Oktober Bend
The Stars at Oktober Bend
To purchase this item, you must first login or register for a new account.

Annotation: A lyrical novel told in the voices of two traumatized teens finds one ritually embellishing posters with the words she cannot speak and the other, a former child soldier who was forced to commit acts of violence, experiencing solace, friendship, and healing from a poem he finds.
Catalog Number: #156069
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 266 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-9272-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-9272-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018944785
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
When she was 12, Alice was badly broken. Although she was sewn up on the outside, her words remained trapped on the inside. Now at 15, Alice finds a way to allow her words to sail free: she captures them on paper in tiny poetic creations and leaves them in unexpected places around town. This is how Manny, a former child soldier, discovers Alice. To the outside world, these are two damaged souls, but to each other, they are precious and whole. Millard relates their love story in a dreamlike, fractured style that emulates the schism between the tenderness of their relationship and the threats of the outside world. Alice's first-person narration is bereft of capital letters, which adds a sense of fragility and nicely contrasts with Manny's third-person perspective. An additional romance between Alice's brother and Tilda, a girl with dangerous connections, comes off a bit contrived; indeed, everything outside the core story feels tangential. Still, this is an original and gritty love story that will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins.
Publishers Weekly
Millard-s quiet, piercing novel, told in two voices, is full of brokenness-broken people, broken families-but also love. The predominant voice is 15-year-old Alice-s-in an arrested state of -twelveness,- having been brutally assaulted at that age and left with an acquired brain injury. Alice lives with her ailing grandmother; protective 14-year-old brother, Joey; and Bear the dog; the love among them all is fierce. The other voice belongs to 16-year-old Manny, a brutalized refugee from Sierra Leone, who has been taken in by a local couple. Alice makes beautiful fishing lures and writes anonymous poems, which she scatters about town, hoping a kindred spirit will find them. Manny is that kindred spirit, and, in spite of ugly opposition from some in the community, the two come together. Alice-s chapters are presented in all lower-case letters, and though this device is initially off-putting, it slowly draws readers into the singularity of her struggling yet strikingly poetic mind. Manny-s hair, for example, is -row-on-row of tight french knots,- and Alice-s grandmother -took my face in her hands and my heart by surprise.- The lyrical narrative-s unhurried pace demands careful attention as it builds to a dramatic climax and bittersweet ending. Ages 12-up. (May)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (4/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 51,185
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 501484 / grade: Upper Grades
Lexile: HL700L

Beautiful, lyrical prose, told in two voices, lifts up a poignant story of two traumatized teens who find each other in a small riverside town.

i am the girl manny loves. the girl who writes our story in the book of flying. i am alice.

Alice is fifteen, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone. Something inside Alice is broken: she remembers words, but struggles to speak them. Still, Alice knows that words are for sharing, so she pins them to posters in tucked-away places: railway waiting rooms, fish-and-chips shops, quiet corners. Manny is sixteen, with a scar from shoulder to elbow. Something inside Manny is broken, too: he once was a child soldier, forced to do terrible, violent things. But in a new land with people who care for him, Manny explores the small town on foot. And in his pocket, he carries a poem he scooped up, a poem whose words he knows by heart. The relationship between Alice and Manny will be the beginning of love and healing. And for these two young souls, perhaps, that will be good enough.

*Prices subject to change without notice and listed in US dollars.
Perma-Bound bindings are unconditionally guaranteed (excludes textbook rebinding).
Paperbacks are not guaranteed.
Please Note: All Digital Material Sales Final.