Cover image for Stella by starlight
Title:
Stella by starlight
Author:
Draper, Sharon M. (Sharon Mills)
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [2015]
Physical Description:
320 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
740 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.8 8.0 171389.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.5 12 Quiz: 64659.
ISBN:
9781442494978

9781442494985
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

When the Ku Klux Klan's unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella's segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this Depression-era tour de force from Sharon Draper, the New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind .

Stella lives in the segregated South--in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can't. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn't bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they're never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella's community--her world--is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don't necessarily signify an end.


Author Notes

Sharon M. Draper was born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 21, 1952. She taught high school English for twenty-five years and received numerous honors including Ohio Teacher of the Year and the NCNW Excellence in Teaching Award. She has also written numerous books including Romiette and Julio, Darkness before Dawn, Double Dutch, and the Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs series. She is a a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award for Copper Sun, Forged by Fire, Tears of a Tiger, The Battle of Jericho, and November Blues. Her title Out of My Mind made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It's 1932 in segregated Bumblebee, North Carolina, and times are tough for the tiny town. The residents of Stella's African American neighborhood scrape together what they can to get by, and that spirit of cooperation only grows stronger when Stella and her brother, Jojo, spot a Klan rally close by. Tensions are high, and nearly everyone is frightened, but Stella's community bands together to lift each other's spirits and applaud one another's courage, especially when Stella's father and a few other men register to vote, undaunted by the cruel and threatening remarks of some white townspeople. Brave Stella, meanwhile, dreams of becoming a journalist and writes down her feelings about the Klan. Inspired by her own grandmother's childhood, Draper weaves folksy tall tales, traditional storytelling, and hymns throughout Stella's story, which is punctuated by her ever-more-confident journal entries. This uplifting and nostalgic tale of community and family movingly captures both 10-year-old Stella's relatable experiences as well as the weighty social issues of the period.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

After 11-year-old Stella and her brother witness late-night Ku Klux Klan activity, word spreads through their North Carolina town. It's 1932, and every "Negro family in Bumblebee knew the unwritten rules-they had to take care of their own problems and take care of one another." Draper (Panic) conveys a rich African-American community where life carries on and knowledge is passed along ("My mama taught me. I'm teachin' you. You will teach your daughter"), despite looming threats. While in town, Stella notes the white children's fine school building and speculates about who might be Klansmen; in her parents' backyard, spontaneous potluck celebrations chase away gloom as adults trade tall tales: "remember last summer when it got so hot we had to feed the chickens ice water to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs?" Stella's desire to become a writer parallels her father's determination to vote. In a powerful scene, the entire black community accompanies three registered black voters to the polling location and waits silently, "Ten. Fifteen. Twenty-five minutes," until the sheriff steps aside. This compelling story brims with courage, compassion, creativity, and resilience. Ages 9-13. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-Coretta Scott King Award winner Draper draws inspiration from her grandmother's journal to tell the absorbing story of a young girl growing up in Depression-era, segregated North Carolina. One frightening night Stella and her brother Jojo witness a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan, practically in their own backyard. This meeting is the signal of trouble to come to the black community of Bumblebee. The townspeople must come together to find strength and protection to face the injustices all around them. This is an engrossing historical fiction novel with an amiable and humble heroine who does not recognize her own bravery or the power of her words. She provides inspiration not only to her fellow characters but also to readers who will relate to her and her situation. Storytelling at its finest.-Tiffany Davis, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Stella by Starlight 1 Flames Across the Water Nine robed figures dressed all in white. Heads covered with softly pointed hoods. Against the black of night, a single wooden cross blazed. Reflections of peppery-red flames shimmered across the otherwise dark surface of Kilkenny Pond. Two children, crouched behind the low-hanging branches of a hulking oak tree on the other side of the pond, watched the flickers of scarlet in the distance in fearful silence. Dressed only in nightshirts, Stella Mills and her brother Jojo shivered in the midnight October chill. Stella yanked the boy close, dry leaves crunching beneath his bare feet. "Shh!" she whispered, holding him tightly. "Don't move!" Jojo squirmed out of her grasp. "It was me that saw 'em first!" he protested. "You'd still be 'sleep if I hadn't come and got you. So lemme see!" Stella covered her brother's lips with her fingers to quiet him. Even though her toes were numb with cold and she knew they needed to get out of there, she could not take her eyes from the horror glimmering toward them from across the pond. "Do you know what would happen if they saw us?" she whispered, shifting her stinging feet, the crushing of dry leaves seeming far too loud. Jojo pressed himself closer to her in answer. Besides the traitorous leaves, Stella could hear a pair of bullfrogs ba-rupping to each other, but nothing, not a single human voice, from across the pond. She could, however, smell the charring pine, tinged with . . . what? She sniffed deeper--it was acrid, harsh. Kerosene. A trail of gray smoke snaked up to the sky, merging with the clouds. "Who are they?" Jojo whispered, stealing another glance. "The Klan." Just saying those words made Stella's lips quiver. The Ku Klux Klan. Here. Here! "What are they doing?" "Practicing, I think." "For what?" Stella paused and smoothed his bushy hair, trying to figure out the best way to answer. Jojo was only eight. "Nothing good," she said at last. A horse whinnied in the distance--it sounded nervous. And there, in the shadows of the trees across the pond, Stella could make out half a dozen of them. The flames must be scaring them, too, she thought. The horses began to stamp and snort as the fire flared. Stella inched forward, trying to get a better look. One of the harnesses seemed to sparkle in the darkness. Or was it just a stray ember from the flames? The men in the white hoods were now all raising their arms to the sky, and they cried out as one, but their exact words were muffled by cloth and wind. "Jojo, we've gotta get out of here!" she whispered, now edging backward. "Should we tell Mama and Papa?" Jojo asked. Stella did not answer her brother. Instead she caught his hand in her tightest grip and ran. Excerpted from Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.