Review of The Star That Always Stays

The Star That Always Stays The Star That Always Stays
by Anna Rose Johnson
Intermediate, Middle School     Holiday    224 pp.         g
7/22     978-0-8234-5040-4     $17.99
e-book ed.  978-0-8234-5289-7    $10.99

In her debut novel, Johnson (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) combines family history with an homage to such classics as Anne of Green Gables , Little Women , and Pollyanna , offering up her protagonist’s memorable perspective on life in the early twentieth century. When their divorced mother remarries, young Ojibwe teen Norvia and her siblings are uprooted from their home on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan to Boyne City, Michigan. Not only does that mean adjusting to life with a new stepfather and stepbrother, but she and her siblings have been warned by their mother not to disclose that they are Ojibwe. Norvia had loved learning about her family’s history and traditions from her grandparents; denying that part of her heritage feels wrong. She finds comfort in reading and longs to be a heroine like the girls in her favorite novels; she uses the stories from her grandfather, caring advice from her newstepfather, and the books she reads, along with her faith in God and the Bible, to become the heroine she wants to be. An author’s note details Johnson’s research process; a glossary, pronunciation guide, and family photos provide additional context for this engaging work of historical fiction.

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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