My trigger finger hit the purchase button the other night while looking at books on Amazon. I have been working really hard at using my local library and Amazon is where I store my wish list. I was tired and not watching very closely and soon I had found a thank you for buying notice staring me in the face. What did I just buy?
As it turned out I bought Connect the Stars by Marisa de los Santos, and David Teague. This little book was out last fall and I had seen it on several peoples lists and now I owned it.
As I began reading I was disappointed. The first two chapters dragged along with the same old middle grade story. Two kids, one boy, one girl – with skills beyond the usual and are set up as out casts among their friends and peers. By chapter three they are both sent off to a six week summer camp in the desert, a wilderness challenge for the “misfits” so to speak.
I almost stopped reading but there was something about these two characters and their new “friends” that caught me. The action picked up quickly with wilderness challenges, bullies at their worst and fears that we all understand and don’t want to admit to, plus a leaders who is a bit of a bully himself.
Connect the Stars has action, humor and points of seriousness and well as moments of stopping to enjoy a night sky full of stars. It turned out to be a great book with lots to talk about with kids. There is a great deal of learning going on –
- what makes a true friend,
- why do people lie might be more important than the fact that they lie,
- there is more to life than facts
- families are not all the same – in fact some are really hard to live with.
- bits and piece of what you need to know when hiking in the desert
This would make a great read aloud to a group of 4th, 5th and 6th graders. A fun read and lots of space to talk about friendship and bullies. It reaches both boys and girls with strong characters traits for both.
So I guess I am happy this book found its way into my reading life after all.
Let me know what you think about it!