Hawes, Louise The Language of Stars, 356 pages. McElderry (Simon), 2016. $18. Language: R (24 swears, 1 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13 (teen drinking, innuendo); Violence: PG (breaking and entry, set a house on fire).
Sarah used to love hanging out with her very intelligent, funky friends, but when she catches the eye of one of her high school’s Big Men on Campus, her life has become more around of parties and admiring her love of life surfing. One night, however, the party moves to the secluded home of Rufus Baylor, North Carolina’s native son world-famous poet. Things get out of hand and kids set the house on fire to stay warm. As punishment, the kids who are caught must do community service by helping rebuild the poet’s home and also take a summer school class about poetry taught by the famous man himself. The class rekindles Sarah’s love of language and reignites her desire to be more than what her mother wants her to be and may open her eyes to her main squeeze’s true personality.
Ok – one creepy thing about this book, Sarah keeps referring to Baylor as “my poet” – every time she thinks about him. On the other hand, page 133 describes the class writing a poem together and it is a brilliant description that would make an excellent lesson plan at any school level with a little practice. I am definitely sharing that part with every Language Arts teacher I know. This is a great book for girls who like Sarah Dessen, especially with its realistic look at high school romance.
MS – OPTIONAL; HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher