Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson - ADVISABLE

The Star That Always Stays
by Anna Rose Johnson,
273 pages. Holiday House. 2022. $18. 

Content: G. 



14yo Norvia grew up on Beaver Island hearing the stories of her mother's Ojibwe ancestors. Her Swedish father is often at sea or gambling and eventually, her parents divorce and the family moves to Michigan. With 5 children to support, Norvia's mother struggles, but soon meets Virgil Ward, a wealthy blacksmith with a lovely house and they marry, combining the families. Norvia is warned to keep her heritage a secret. She is thrilled that she will be able to attend high school (in 1914 that wasn't a sure thing for every girl), but soon discovers that being a daughter of a divorcee makes the most popular girls and even some of the boys not interested in being her friend. 

I loved the language and style of the text, authentic to the period. I loved the look at society and traditions at the time, and the struggles of merging two families. Norvia loves to read, and Uncle Virgil was a great resource for all the best books. I hope that someone reading "The Star That Always Stays" might also pick up one of the classics Norvia read, like "Anne of Green Gables" or "The Secret Garden". Based on the life of the author's great-grandmother, I appreciated the photographs at the end and the additional information included in the author's note. Norvia and her family are Swedish, Acadian and Ojibwe. 

Lisa Librarian

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