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Annotation: Chinese-American student Christine is devastated when her artistic best friend, Moon, falls dangerously ill amid revelations that she has been having visions about celestial beings telling her she does not really belong on Earth.
Catalog Number: #195135
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 208 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-18388-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-6232-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-18388-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-6232-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018944915
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In Wang's (The Prince and the Dressmaker, rev. 3/18) middle-grade graphic novel, Christine follows the rules and tries to live up to her strict Chinese-immigrant parents' expectations. When a new girl--unconventional, self-confident, uninhibited Moon--and her single mom move into Christine's family's in-law apartment, life gets more interesting: Christine learns some dance moves for the school talent show, lets Moon paint her toenails (her parents disapprove of nail polish), and tries new foods. Cracks appear in the girls' close friendship--especially when Moon and another classmate become friends, causing a jealous Christine to act like not a good friend--until a medical catastrophe befalls Moon. Family and friendship dynamics are portrayed honestly and realistically (Christine standing up to her father: "You want everyone to be perfect! Especially me!"), but the focus of the story is kept tightly on the two main characters. Panels in a variety of shapes and sizes and a judicious use of white space pace the graphic novel effectively. A natural for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Jennifer L. Holm, and Victoria Jamieson.
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The author-artist behind the award-winning Prince and the Dressmaker (2018) turns to middle grade in this exceptional friendship story. Initially, Christine isn't so sure about Moon and her mother, who just moved into the extra unit at Christine's family's house. Moon is loud, artistic, and confident, and she doesn't live under the same kind of rules as Christine does in her own Chinese American family. But despite these differences, they're soon spending nearly all their time together. Then trouble arises: Christine feels pressure from her baba to spend more time on her schoolwork than with her new friend, and Moon's popularity with their classmates starts to make Christine feel jealous. But when Moon's artistic thinking turns out to be more than just freewheeling creativity, Christine realizes how important Moon is to her. Wang masterfully communicates the majority of these emotional turns with marvelously expressive faces and body language, rendered in just a few careful brushstrokes. Pien's warm colors add great dimension to Wang's figures, which are refreshingly varied in terms of body shape and size, and Moon and Christine's lively doodles and drawings add playful insight into their characters. Wang tells a story that will ring true to just about any middle-schooler who's dealt with shifting friendships, but her additional insights into navigating differences within the Chinese American community will be a balm to readers in similar situations.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (7/1/19)
Horn Book (4/1/20)
Word Count: 5,097
Reading Level: 2.5
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.5 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 504742 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.8 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q77519
Lexile: GN510L
Guided Reading Level: I

Stargazing is a heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel in the spirit of Real Friends and El Deafo , from New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Jen Wang. Moon is everything Christine isn't. She's confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known. But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine's strict parents aren't around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn't where she really belongs. Moon's visions have an all-too-earthly root, however, and soon Christine's best friend is in the hospital, fighting for her life. Can Christine be the friend Moon needs, now, when the sky is falling? Jen Wang draws on her childhood to paint a deeply personal yet wholly relatable friendship story that's at turns joyful, heart-wrenching, and full of hope.

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