The Trouble with Shooting Stars

S. & S. Aug. 2019. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534428966.
Gr 4 Up–After a car accident, 12-year-old Luna struggles to come to terms with the mask she wears while her facial injuries heal. Though she doesn’t feel up to hanging out with her friends or spending time in public, she does enjoy drawing things she sees through her binoculars in her neighborhood. This is how she first notices the Sapienti siblings, her new neighbors who secretly watch over infant stars. As Luna gets to know the Sapientis, she enters a world of magic, adventure, and history. This is an elegant, beautifully written story that pairs well with the work of Madeleine L’Engle and Kelly Barnhill. Luna’s struggles in the aftermath of a traumatic accident are vivid, and the comfort and healing she draws from friendship and community are well represented. However, Luna’s desire to change her face to something more traditionally beautiful is never challenged, which is at odds with the book’s message of resilience and self-love.
VERDICT Luna’s journey to self-acceptance follows a formulaic path that some readers may find overly predictable, and the entirely white, upper-middle-class cast limits the book’s perspective. An additional purchase

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