See You on a Starry Night
June 26, 2018
Juliet has just moved to a beachside town with her newly separated mother and her moody older sister. When she meets their new neighbor, Emma, the girls form an instant bond. Emma's big family takes Juliet in, and the girls have fun together -- starting with the night they throw bottles with secret messages into the sea.
Then someone writes back to Juliet's message. An email arrives, inviting her to join the Starry Beach Club. All she has to do is make someone else's wish come true.
So Juliet and Emma set off to help as many other people as they can. It's fun! But as Juliet spends more and more time away from home, enjoying her new town and Emma's family more than her own mom and sister, she starts feeling lost. It's been easy to find others to help. But maybe her star would shine a little brighter if she brought it closer to home.
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Every child who has divorced parents has a different story, so it's good to see a variety of different ones. Moving is often part of that experience, and Juliet (and the reader!) is lucky that she has moved to such an interesting place and was lucky enough to meet a friend fairly quickly. There is still plenty of drama, but it is reassuring that in the end, Juliet is able to construct a new life for herself, and is able to adapt her relationships with her family to fit her new circumstances. All of the characters have very realistic reactions to the situation-- her mother is stressed but trying to move on, Miranda fits in quickly but still takes time to make sure that Juliet is okay, and we get a fairly vague idea of how the father is coping, in just the same way that his existence is frustratingly shadowy for Juliet as well.
Emma's family is a reassuring presence, and the beach setting makes this a winning choice for readers who enjoyed Greenwald's Dog Beach, Hannigan's Cupcake Cousins or Beil's Summer at Forsaken Lake and I was glad to see that the cover is similar to Schroeder's other middle grade novels, Keys to the City, Sealed with a Secret and My Secret Guide to Paris, since this will make this book easy to find for her fans. This will make a great fall reading book for students who aren't quite ready to be done with summer vacation!
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