Reviews for Every Soul a Star
Booklist Reviews 2008 December #1
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. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
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. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2008 September #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 October #2
Confirming her mastery of the middle-grade novel, Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life ) combines astronomy and storytelling for a well-balanced look at friendships and the role they play in shaping identity. Three narrators take turns: Ally, who lives with her parents and younger brother at the Moon Shadow Campground and loves every tree and every rock on it, but most especially the stars above it; glamour-loving Bree, who announces to readers that she must have been "switched at birth" to explain her presence among physicist parents and a geeky younger sister; and Jack, who is helping his science teacher lead a solar eclipse tour to the Moon Shadow to make up his failing grade. The trio's paths converge because Ally's parents have sold the Moon Shadow to Bree's, and everyone meets up at the campgrounds during a major eclipse. The voices reflect the distinct personalities, and while the outcome is never in doubt--each character discovers unexpected powers of adaptability and new talents--Mass keeps the developments believable. Information about solar eclipses and astronomy is carefully woven into the plot to build drama and will almost certainly intrigue readers. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) [Page 54]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 November
Gr 5-9--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 [Page 130]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.