Draper, Sharon M. Stella by Starlight, 336 p. Atheneum (Simon), 2015. $17. Content: G (Klan actions, but nothing graphic).
As a black girl in Bumblebee North Carolina in 1932, Stella knows that her life is different and poorer from the white kids in town. The night Stella and her little brother see the Klan burning a cross out by the nearby pond, however, she realizes that something has changed in the attitude of the black community as a whole - they are no longer willing to lay down and be walked on. It will be dangerous - after Stella’s dad and two others register to vote in the next election, one of them has their house burned down but he Klan. But there are also good people around them of all races.
Stella’s story is a good introduction for readers who don’t know much about the KKK and the Civil Rights struggles of African Americans. The issues are addressed plainly, but not graphically. If you are looking for a new class read for an upper elementary class, this is a good option, with a wealth of possibilities for discussion and projects.
EL, MS - ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS.