The Healing Star
A. Kidd, author
Quiet Storm Publishing, Fictioin, July 15, 2019
Suitable for ages: 8-12
Themes: Stars, Adventure, Magic, Fantasy, Intergenerational relationship, Hope
Book Jacket Synopsis:
Feisty fourth-grader Julia’s best friend in the entire universe is her grandmother. Julia and Grammu share secrets while cooking soup together, stay up late eating junk food and watching scary movies, and go stargazing on Blackberry Hill. They even wish on the same star every night.
But everything changes when Grammu catches the disappearing disease: little by little, she’s turning invisible. If Julia can catch a falling star, then her wish to save Grammu will come true. All Julia needs to do now is find the legendary ladder to the stars…
Why I like The Healing Star:
A. Kidd has written a magical story filled with heart and hope. Pause a moment to gaze at the beautiful fairy-tale cover.
What really stands out in The Healing Star is the endearing bond between Julia and her grandmother. They stay up late watching scary movies and sharing secrets. They enjoy cooking together. They snuggle in bed together. Grammu shares wonderful stories about star-catching, healing star dust and the star constellations. They even pick their own star. Julia and Grammu are so close that they think of themselves as cosmic twins. So when Grammu falls ill, Julia has to catch a falling star to save he life. Julia’s mother is skeptical, calling Grammu’s stories “old wives tales.”
When Julia fails to catch a falling star in Miller’s Field one special night, she and her loyal flatulent beagle, Pete, embark upon a dangerous journey to find the legendary ladder that leads to the stars. She discovers magical clouds, cloud people, and a cloud castle with a video game parlor. The story fantasy elements are fun but also teach Julia that not everyone is trustworthy.
This empathetic novel also dives into the uncertainty of life — disaapointment and loss — that many young people experience in their daily lives with loved ones. It is a story about family and how we keep those memories in our hearts forever. The ending is very moving and will surprise readers. Julia will inspire readers to find their own inner strengths during difficult times. This novel is a perfect read-aloud for younger kids and a read-alone for middle grade readers.
A. Kidd is the middle child in a family of three girls. She started making up her own stories at age four. Because she couldn’t yet write, her mom wrote the stories down for her while she painted the pictures. Her first story was called Wagland and featured an island community with sea creatures that ate tuna fish sandwiches.
She has a B.S. in Written Communication with a minor in Language, Literature, and Writing from Eastern Michigan University and an MLIS with a specialization in children’s librarianship from Wayne State University. Her poetry has been published in literary magazines. A. Kidd lives with her husband and daughter in a suburb of Detroit, MI. The Healing Star is her debut novel. She often wishes on stars but hasn’t caught one yet. Connect with A. Kidd through her Facebook page.
Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.
*Review copy provided by the author in exchange for a review.