This meaningful and heartfelt story called A Galaxy of Sea Stars by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo teaches the importance of friendship, making good choices and not letting someone else dictate your life.
In kindergarten, Izzy, Zelda and Piper met at a water table, where there were plastic sea stars. Holding the sea stars up, they became the “Sea Stars,” an inseparable trio. They did everything together. But this year, in sixth grade, everything changes. Izzy’s dad just came back from the war and is suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her mom doesn’t come home anymore.
But something that really turns the tide is when family of refugees moves into the upstairs apartment. The father was a interpreter for Izzy’s dad in the war. His daughter Sitara is Izzy’s age, and is different from Izzy’s friends. She will not eat hot dogs, and wears a scarf, called a hijab, every day.
The more time Sitara spends with Izzy, the more the “Sea Stars” drift apart. Soon, Izzy must choose between standing up for Sitara, and losing her closest friends, or joining the crowd in ridiculing her new friend.
I liked reading this book because it had a strong message that people often forget. The message is to always do the right thing, and not follow the crowd. Also, I loved that the author showed diversity in her story, encouraging others to accept people the way they are. The author ties in a bit about Afghan culture, including what they will typically eat and clothes they wear.
I recommend this book to readers ages 9 and up. This book is pretty easy to understand, but the topics of bullying and divorce are sprinkled in throughout the book, so an adult may have to answer some questions. Also, if you like the book Kat Greene Comes Clean, you will enjoy this book, because they both are for the same age group and both deal with family and friend drama.
I rate this book four out of four roses! Two words: Awesome book!