Every Soul a Star: A Novel
Every Soul a Star: A Novel

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Annotation: Ally, Bree, and Jack meet at the one place the Great Eclipse can be seen in totality, each carrying the burden of different personal problems, which become dim when compared to the task they embark upon and the friendship they find.;
Catalog Number: #30094
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2009
Pages: 322 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-00257-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-20820-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-00257-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-20820-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2008009259
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Three young teens witness a total solar eclipse and are changed forever in this novel, told in alternating narratives, that weaves exciting astronomy facts into the teens' personal lives. Ally, 13, is fascinated by the scientific event, as are 1,000 other people from all over the world who come to view the Great Eclipse at her family's wilderness site. Glamorous teen Bree has an opposite view and is appalled that her parents, both physics scholars, want to move to the site: how can she manage without the mall? Then there is Jack, who loves art and science fiction but is a failure at science and is brought to the site by his teacher. The anticipation building up to the great event brings thrilling changes in all three young lives. Bree's hilarious account of her experience as a glamour queen in the wilderness is right-on, but she moves beyond total stereotype and allows herself to release her inner geek, at least for a while, while Ally and Jack bond and also break their rigid character roles. The contemporary voices ring true, and readers will want to read more about the science surrounding eclipses.
Horn Book
In alternating chapters, three middle-school narrators tell their stories. Ally is devastated to be leaving the campground her family runs. Bree is equally horrified that her family is taking it over. Jack is surprised to be leading a group of "eclipse chasers" at the camp. Author Mass succeeds in making the eclipse a truly moving experience, for her protagonists and her readers.
Kirkus Reviews
Three lives are transformed at a much-anticipated total solar eclipse. Ally, almost 13, lives at the Moon Shadow Campground, purchased years ago by her parents as the perfect eclipse-viewing site. Ally loves the place and yearns to discover a comet. Jack, 13, glumly chooses helping his science teacher lead an eclipse tour over attending summer school. Bree, 13, who scoffs at science and believes that "[a] good hair day is worth its weight in gold," is horrified to be yanked from her mall-and-makeup life and taken to Moon Shadow. Readers learn through Bree what Ally doesn't know: Immediately after the eclipse, Bree's parents are taking over the campground, and Ally's family is moving to civilization. Each girl is heartbroken about her future until Bree sees the moon through a telescope, which inadvertently releases her "inner geek." Bree's shallowness is initially narratively weak beside Ally and Jack, who are both smart and honestly childlike, as the three voices alternate in the storytelling; however, by the gorgeous climax, Bree is special too. Glowing astronomical details entrance. (author's note, further reading) (Fiction. 8-12)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 59 The lives of three young people intersect and transform against the backdrop of a total solar eclipse. Homeschooled Ally has grown up at the remote Moon Shadow Campground, which her family runs. An eclipse, which can be viewed only from this site, is approaching, and ahead of it come Bree, an aspiring model obsessed with popularity, and Jack, a reclusive artist and avid sci-fi reader. Ally's sheltered world is about to open up as she discovers that her parents plan to cede management of the campground to Bree's parents after the event. Neither Ally nor Bree is excited about the prospect, but as the teens interact they come to terms with the changes they face. Meanwhile, introverted Jack finds himself making friends and becoming a leader. As they go their separate ways, all three approach the future with a newfound balance between their internal and their external lives. The characters are well drawn and likable. Even the seemingly shallow Bree reveals hidden layers as the story progresses. The campground setting affords the youngsters independence, allowing them to interact freely and make their own choices. The astronomical details are fascinating and lyrically incorporated into the narrative. An author's note includes the date of the next solar eclipse in the mainland United States and additional resources. Readers who like quietly self-reflective novels like Lynne Rae Perkins's Criss Cross (HarperCollins, 2005) or Jerry Spinelli's "Stargirl" books (Knopf) will also enjoy this compelling and thought-provoking story. Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
Voice of Youth Advocates
Taylor Markham has been living at the Jellicoe School since her mother abandoned her at a gas station when she was eleven. Taylor's whole life is a mystery to her-from what happened to her mother and who her father was to why certain people in town are so interested in her well-being. As the Jellicoe School students begin their annual territory wars with the Townies and military school cadets, Taylor is thrown together with Jonah Griggs, the leader of the Cadets. Although they are sworn enemies, Taylor and Jonah have a history and find themselves drawn to one another. Together they begin to unravel the tragic story of the five teenagers who started the territory wars a generation before and how their lives are tightly linked with Taylor's own. Marchetta, author of the highly acclaimed Looking for Alibrandi (Orchard, 1999/VOYA June 1999) and Saving Francesca (Knopf, 2004/VOYA October 2004), provides yet another great story. The interwoven lives of Taylor and the doomed teenagers from the past create a complex tale with some great twists that readers will not see coming. It is a great choice for more sophisticated readers and those teens who like multifaceted stories and characters.-Stephanie Petruso. 3Q 4P M J The Moon Shadow Campground is perfectly positioned for eclipse chasers. Ally, her brother Kenny, and her parents have been waiting years for three minutes of sheer amazement-one of the rare times when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, creating a total solar eclipse. So have hundreds of other people-in the weeks before the eclipse, the Moon Shadow begins to overflow with eclipse chasers. Although most of the chasers are giddy with excitement, Bree, a self-proclaimed wanna-be-model craves fashion, color, and lipstick and not the stars, planets, and other amazing things just a telescope glance away. So when Bree and Ally's parents conspire to "switch places," Bree is devastated to learn that she will be staying in country bumpkin land and Ally is terr
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review (Sat Nov 01 00:00:00 CDT 2008)
ALA Booklist (Mon Dec 01 00:00:00 CST 2008)
Horn Book (Wed Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2009)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Voice of Youth Advocates
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Wilson's High School Catalog
Wilson's Junior High Catalog
Word Count: 77,369
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 126118 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.5 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q45508
Guided Reading Level: U
Fountas & Pinnell: U

New York Times bestselling author of The Candymakers, Wendy Mass weaves an intricate and compelling story about strangers coming together and establishing unlikely friendships.

Three middle schoolers are brought together at Moon Shadow, an isolated campground where thousands have gathered to catch a glimpse of a rare and extraordinary total eclipse of the sun.

Ally's parents own Moon Shadow, where she's lived pretty much her entire life. When her parents tell her they're moving away to the city, she's suddenly frightened and desperately wants to stay at the only home she's ever known.

Bree is popular and gorgeous, but with scientist parents and a brainiac little sister, she is the black sheep of the family. When her parents break it to her that they're moving to Moon Shadow, Bree realizes that popularity doesn't mean a thing when there's no one there to see it.

Overweight and awkward, Jack is confused when his science teacher asks him to go on a trip to view the eclipse at Moon Shadow, especially since he failed science class. Although this is a chance for Jack to bypass summer school, it also gives him the courage to come out of his shell and find true friends for the first time.


With breathtaking descriptions of nature and its ultimate phenomenon, the eclipse, Every Soul a Star is a powerful and humorous story about dealing with change and discovering one's place in the universe.


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