Book-In-Focus: What Stars Are Made Of by Sarah Allen
From debut author Sarah Allen comes a pitch-perfect, heartwarming middle grade novel about growing up, finding yourself, and loving people with everything you’re made of
About the Book
Twelve-year-old Libby Monroe is great at science, being optimistic, and talking to her famous, accomplished friends (okay, maybe that last one is only in her head). She’s not great at playing piano, sitting still, or figuring out how to say the right thing at the right time in real life. Libby was born with Turner Syndrome, and that makes some things hard. But she has lots of people who love her, and that makes her pretty lucky.
When her big sister Nonny tells her she’s pregnant, Libby is thrilled―but worried. Nonny and her husband are in a financial black hole, and Libby knows that babies aren’t always born healthy. So she strikes a deal with the universe: She’ll enter a contest with a project about Cecilia Payne, the first person to discover what stars are made of. If she wins the grand prize and gives all that money to Nonny’s family, then the baby will be perfect. Does she have what it takes to care for the sister that has always cared for her? And what will it take for the universe to notice?
Reviews and What Readers Say
“ In this assured debut, science whiz Libby Monroe shines. . .Allen deftly sketches the dynamics of Libby’s close-knit family, conveying Libby’s anxiety when her older sister Nonny’s pregnancy develops complications. . .This witty novel’s heroine proves winning, whether or not she gains top prize." —Publishers Weekly
“ Readers will empathize with spunky Libby’s social stumbles and will root for her as she dares to dream big. A tender novel about love, loyalty, and finding yourself, this will win a place in many readers’ hearts. . .An #OwnVoices novel that will be an important addition to any collection.” —School Library Journal
“ Libby's sparkling first-person narrative is directed straight at the reader, and her optimism is infectious. . .All the primary characters shine in this impressive debut.” —Booklist
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Sarah Allen has been published in The Evansville Review, Allegory, and on WritersDigest. She has an MFA from Brigham Young University. Like Libby, she was born with Turner Syndrome. What Stars are Made Of is her first novel.