Cover image for Hope is a Ferris wheel
Title:
Hope is a Ferris wheel
Author:
Herrera, Robin, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Amulet Books, 2014.
Physical Description:
261 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
After moving from Oregon to a trailer park in California, ten-year-old Star participates in a poetry club, where she learns some important lessons about herself and her own hopes and dreams for the future.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
860 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.3 7.0 165467.
ISBN:
9781419710391
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Ten-year-old Star Mackie lives in a trailer park with her flaky mom and her melancholy older sister, Winter, whom Star idolizes. Moving to a new town has made it difficult for Star to make friends, when her classmates tease her because of where she lives and because of her layered blue hair. But when Star starts a poetry club, she develops a love of Emily Dickinson and, through Dickinson's poetry, learns some important lessons about herself and comes to terms with her hopes for the future.
With an unforgettable voice with a lot of heart, Hope Is a Ferris Wheel is the story of a young girl who learns to accept her family and herself while trying to make sense of the world around her.

Praise for Hope is a Ferris Wheel
STARRED REVIEW
"Herrera's first novel is quite accomplished, with plenty of heart and humor, especially apparent in the spelling assignments Star has to complete but refuses to turn in, as she uses them as a sort of journal. Star is a unique, determined, and loving child making the best of a bad situation; readers cannot help but root for her."
-- School Library Journal , starred review

"Well-constructed, thought-provoking and appealing, this first effort bodes well for the author's future."
-- Kirkus Reviews

" In her debut, Herrera has created a delightful narrator with a memorable voice and surrounded her with a unique supporting cast. Got fans of Joan Bauer in your neck of the woods? Send them this way."
-- Booklist

"A tender and truthful novel that addresses stereotypes without promising easy answers or cookie-cutter closure."
-- Publishers Weekly

"First-time author Herrera, telling the story from Star's point of view, gives readers a front-row seat to all the embarrassment and angst of Star's jumbled life--and all of the triumphs. Here's hoping we hear more from this author."
-- The Horn Book Magazine

"Star's contemplation, through poetic metaphors and real-life relationships, of what really matters in her life is compelling. Additionally, the poetry angle offers food for thought for those just coming to understand the power and purpose of metaphor, and Star's vocabulary assignments, occasionally interspersed between chapters, provide inspiration and entertainment for word-lovers."
-- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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Author Notes

Robin Herrera received her MFA in writing for children at Vermont College. This is her first book. She lives in Portland, Oregon.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Star Mackie is a fifth-grader overflowing with hope especially for friends. But that seems impossible at her new school since she is teased for living in a pink trailer and having strangely layered blue hair. Her goth sister, Winter her closest ally fuels Star's hope of one day connecting with the father she has yet to meet. Taking a clue from Winter, Star starts a school club in order to make friends, and along the way she develops a fascination with Emily Dickinson's poetry and declares that to be the club's focus. Star does everything she can to make the club work, and, little by little, a small misfit group of students become regulars. When Star learns the shocking truth about her own family, Dickinson's poetry helps her understand her crazy world and accept who she is. In her debut, Herrera has created a delightful narrator with a memorable voice and surrounded her with a unique supporting cast. Got fans of Joan Bauer in your neck of the woods? Send them this way.--Fredriksen, Jeanne Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Herrera's vivid debut introduces a contemplative girl who finds an unlikely community at her new school. Ostracized for living in a trailer park (and, according to her classmates, having a mullet), Star decides to launch a school club, hoping to make friends. Her second attempt-a club about Emily Dickinson-actually attracts a handful of members, including an offbeat girl and two boys who are always in detention. As Star faces painful realities about her own family and continued prejudice at school, even from her teacher, her fellow club members come to her rescue in surprising and frequently heartening ways. Star's motivations for reaching out to her classmates are pure and affecting (she initially forms a trailer park club to "teach our members all the good things in trailer parks so that they'd stop thinking trailer parks were full of trash"). Despite Star's demoralizing circumstances, she maintains optimism, exploring her emotions through confessional vocabulary-word sentences, and without resorting to empty affirmations. A tender and truthful novel that addresses stereotypes without promising easy answers or cookie-cutter closure. Ages 8-12. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Quirky Star Mackie, who lives in a trailer park and has blue hair, desperately wants to make some friends in her new town. She decides that starting a poetry club is the perfect vehicle. Unfortunately, there aren't many other 10-year-olds as enamored with Emily Dickinson as she is. The only other kids who will join her club are a couple of boys in detention and a brother/sister team. Star has many dreams-she longs to meet her father, hopes her beloved big sister, who is coping with an unexpected pregnancy, will be happy again, and wishes most of all for a true friend. Herrera's first novel is quite accomplished, with plenty of heart and humor, especially apparent in the spelling assignments Star has to complete but refuses to turn in, as she uses them as a sort of journal. Star is a unique, determined, and loving child making the best of a bad situation; readers cannot help but root for her.-B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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