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A Handful of Stars (2015)

por Cynthia Lord

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4811451,883 (4.18)2
When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship while painting bee boxes for Lily's grandfather--but as the Blueberry Queen pageant approaches Lily and Selma are confronted with some of the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 14 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
A sweet book that nonetheless tackles quite a few larger themes thoughtfully -- the blindness of a beloved pet, the difficulties of being a migrant worker and also being part of the settled community, the way waves of immigrants treat each other/ learn the same lessons (first french-canadian and then latinx), blueberry culture/ the challenges of living in a primarily rural and tourism economy, grief at missing both beloved pets and parents.

Mostly, however, I'd say it's a story about being a kid in Maine and negotiating friendships, and a really touching story at that. Enjoyable. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
My reading has been in a rut and it took a blind dog named Lucky to pull me out of it.

I do go fishing around for books for my wife who teaches middle school and this would make a brilliant possible book for a middle schooler. It begins with Lily's dog, Lucky, eating Salma's sandwich and that's how an unlikely and beautiful friendship began between the two girls from different worlds.

This book has a simple elegance. It has characters of depth with some rough and relatable histories. It was a beauty pageant which I'm not sure I support the idea now that I have a daughter. Now if I had to nitpick, I would say there could have been another chapter devoted to the pageant which ended way too quickly.

The book ended at just the right spot. It hit me just in the right spot.


( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
Ever since her mom died when she was little, Lily's been raised by her grandma and grandpa. They live right above their store in Maine. It's a bustling town during blueberry season when workers come to help with the harvest and the tourists buy blueberry products. This summer, Lily has been feeling distant from her best friend, and wishes things could go back to the way they were. Thank goodness, for her dog, Lucky. Unfortunately, he’s having trouble with his vision and can't see very well. Lily’s hoping to afford an expensive operation that might help Lucky. He's one of her last connections to her mom. After her dog gets loose and runs to the blueberry fields she meets Salma, a girl her age, who is helping with the picking. Lily and Salma become fast friends. Together they work to raise money to get Lucky the surgery he needs. Now the Blueberry Festival preparations are beginning and soon the pageant for Blueberry Queen will take place. This year her former best friend will be running against Salma. There's more than just the crown at stake, there’s money and a sense of belonging. No matter what Lily expected from the pageant there was no way she could've guessed the events that would unfold. Will the girls raise enough money for Lucky’s surgery? Who will be crowned the next Blueberry Queen? How will Lily deal with her friendship issues?


I have read many books by Cynthia Lord and I was pleased to read A Handful of Stars. I heard her speak about the book at the Connecticut Children’s Book Fair this past November. It was great to dive into the story knowing a little bit more about the background of the migrant workers who go to Maine, and I remembered Ms. Lord talking about how the cover was designed. This is a wonderful story about family and relationships. It helps kids learn about old and new friends. Another important theme is going outside of the box and learning to believe in yourself. It was also a good lesson for Lily that sometimes what we wish for most isn't what's best, so we shouldn't close our minds off to other ways our hopes can be answered. I recommend this book to kids in fourth grade and up who like realistic fiction. A definite treat for any dog lovers out there! There are great things throughout the book that make the story stay with you long after you turn the last page. This is a book that made me laugh and I even shed a few tears. I've thought about the characters a lot and that tells me something about the book. ( )
  Robinsonstef | Jul 10, 2019 |
When Lily's blind dog, Lucky, slips his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it's Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season. After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily's grandfather, and Salma's friendship transforms Lily's summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they'll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant-and possibly win?Set amongst the blueberry barrens and by the sea, this gorgeous novel by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord tackles themes of prejudice and friendship, loss and love.
  jhennessy627 | Jan 29, 2019 |
A sweet and simple story about the power of friendship, what's best for a person (or dog), and being open to new ideas. The tension was just right for grades 3 to 6 (and for this adult, too!). As a bonus, I learned more about Maine's blueberries and those behind the bountiful harvest. A definite add to our school library. ( )
  DonnaMarieMerritt | Jan 20, 2019 |
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When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship while painting bee boxes for Lily's grandfather--but as the Blueberry Queen pageant approaches Lily and Selma are confronted with some of the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.

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