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Stella by Starlight

by Sharon M. Draper

Other authors: Sarah Jane Coleman (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0144520,757 (3.95)12
When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

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» See also 12 mentions

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In this realistic historical fiction, young Stella and her younger brother, JoJo, are the first to spot a resurgence of the KKK in her community, as they practice burning a cross one night across the lake from her home. What will the consequences be if her father goes to vote as he plans? ( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
this Novel focuses on the African American culture and the unpleasant experiences that Stella dn her little brother have had to face within the community they live in. This Novel is very important for children to learn about because it focuses on important topics and background information of historical events. This Novel would work best for 4-8th grade because its very detailed and would be great for students to learn about while trash on topics that relate to that specific part of history. ( )
  nrortega3 | Feb 15, 2024 |
This novel follows a girl named Stella Mills, who lives in the segregated south during the Great Depression. Stella witnesses and deals with many racist acts, one being a KKK meeting that her and her brother witnessed near their home. Throughout the book we are able to witness Stella’s struggles, growth, and bravery. The book ends with Stella expressing her optimism for the future. This is a book I would recommend for 6th-8th graders. This book would be great to read as a class when teaching a lesson over the political climate of the south during the great depression. ( )
  DMM093 | May 5, 2023 |
CW: Hate crime/speech

2.5 Stars ( )
  Mrs_Tapsell_Bookzone | Feb 14, 2023 |
Twelve-year-old Stella Mills and her family live in Bumblebee, North Carolina. It's the Depression in 1930, and the Ku Klux Klan has a meeting she and her younger brother see one night near their home. The Black community of Bumblebee deals with that fear while Stella goes about her life, going to school, struggling with writing, and coming together with love when hardship happens.

The story is pretty episodic, in a way that I haven't read in a kid's book in awhile but reminded me of the pacing of a lot of books I would read as a child. It's much more about Stella's internal growth and coming of age than it is about one plot thread holding together. And Draper doesn't shy away from showing the racism and tensions Stella and her family deal with on a regular basis, from when Stella's father registers to vote to when an act by the Klan rocks her community. And yet, it's done with nuance and a light touch: there are white people who treat the Black community with respect and compassion as well. ( )
  bell7 | Feb 6, 2023 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sharon M. Draperprimary authorall editionscalculated
Coleman, Sarah JaneIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simms, HeatherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed


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Nine robbed figures dressed all in white. Heads covered with softly pointed hoods. Against the black of night, a single wooden cross blazed.
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When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

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Sharon M. Draper is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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