Find the Elements. Grow the Light. Save the Starling.
Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped―even though she’s told her parents that they have. She’s homesick and friendless and every day she feels less and less like herself.
But one day she finds a telescope in the town’s junk shop, and through its lens, she watches a star―a star that looks like a child―fall from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it’s like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and she knows that it’s up to her to save the star. And so, with the help of some unlikely new friends from Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of science, a little bit of magic, and her whole self.
This title has Common Core connections.
This will be popular with readers who like to see a little magic in everyday life. Alma's story has an Ingrid Law, Wendy Mass, and Natalie Lloyd vibe as does this author's The Miraculous. This is also somewhat similarto Haydu's Eventown or Staniszewski's The Wonder of Wildflowers. (less)
That night, Alma sees a star explode and then streak down to the Earth. She knows that this may be the Starling, but she can't quite believe that the eccentric ShopKeeper may have said what she thought he did or that any of this might be real. When she sees the flyer for the Astronomy Club, Alma decides to show up. However, it seems none of the other students seem to know who started the Club, but they connect on what they saw in the sky. As things develop, they embark on a quest that they never could have expected.
This was an absolutely enchanting middle grade read. The writing flows so well, and there is just enough mystery and magic to keep the reader hooked. With the ShopKeeper interludes and Alma's journey, this book is really engrossing. I would recommend it for people who enjoyed A WRINKLE IN TIME.
The characters are easy to connect with, and the writing pulls the reader in easily and keeps the pace perfectly enchanting all the way to the conclusion. Magical with plenty of adventure, QUINTESSENCE is a new middle grade fantasy that will delight a new generation of middle grade readers.