Review of What Came from the Stars

What Came from the Stars 
by Gary D. Schmidt
Middle School     Clarion     293 pp.
9/12     978-0-547-61213-3     $16.99     g

Schmidt brings high heroic fantasy and contemporary realism together in this novel of a bereaved family. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, Tommy grieves for his mother, who died eight months ago. And on a distant planet in “Weoruld Ethelim,” Young Waeglim invests all the Art of the destroyed Valorim — his culture — into a chain necklace, sending it into the universe to keep it safe from evil Lord Mondus. When the chain falls through worlds and lands in Tommy’s lunchbox, it brings Tommy vivid memories of the Valorim — and gives him superhuman abilities, including the power to create paintings that move and to conjure alien creatures from sand. But Lord Mondus wants the chain himself, and Tommy is caught up in a fight that mingles humdrum real estate chicanery with cosmic greed; the school bully with an epic warrior; and human consolation with celestial triumph. Schmidt gives us two parallel stories, one told in the formal, archaic style of epic Tolkienesque fantasy, with Old English and biblical resonances; the other in down-to-earth contemporary language. Gradually, the two styles merge, underscoring that inner change is itself the stuff of classic heroism. The life and power of Art is central to this artful interplanetary story in which a boy misses his mother “like he would miss the planet.”

From the September/October 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Deirdre Baker
Deirdre F. Baker
Deirdre F. Baker, a reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine and the Toronto Star, teaches children’s literature at the University of Toronto. The author of Becca at Sea (Groundwood), she is currently at work on a sequel—written in the past tense.
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Italia Salazar

All i have to say is"Tell me who Gary d. Schmidt is to give him a round of applause. "This book is incredible,in my opinion.This book has everything a reader would want in a book,there's action there's court rooms,a mean girl called Cheryl Lynn Lumpkin,a distant world,a new language, a father who paints portraits,an O'mondim,a magic chain,a boy who plays accordion,an evil Mrs.Lumpkin, and so much more.I have a serious obssesion with this book.I checked it out in the library about 3 months ago because i was roaming through the book shelfs without a clue on what to read.Then i saw"WHAT CAME FROM THE STARS"and it caught my attention,so here i am reading it for the 3rd time because i just can't get tired of this book.Wow!

Posted : Jun 20, 2014 06:54

Tate K.

Hello even though I am younger than most book reviewers I found this book to be the most adventurous and suspenseful. I understood so much more than all my other classmates and think the book is amazing. I applaud Gary Schmidt for this amazing book. If you haven't read this book and intent on doing so I would suggest it unless you are not a big fan of mystery, love, and suspense. Bye For Now, Tate

Posted : Feb 05, 2013 08:47

Gary D. Schmidt on What Came from the Stars — The Horn Book

[...] Gary D. Schmidt on What Came from the Stars October 17, 2012 By Deirdre Baker Leave a Comment From the September/October issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Reviewer Deirdre F. Baker asks What Came from the Stars author Gary D. Schmidt about the function of elevated language in the novel. Read the full starred review of What Came from the Stars here. [...]

Posted : Oct 17, 2012 04:22



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