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Superstar



by
Mandy Davis

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
HarperCollins
Imprint
HarperCollins
ISBN
9780062377777

Awards and Honors
Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Awards 2019 Nominee Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017, Middle Grade
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: Mild Violence
$19.56   $16.30
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Lester’s voice pulls you in from the first page. He has undiagnosed Asperger’s (no longer called Aspberger’s) but his issues and trials are ones that all kids can relate to.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: Mild Violence

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

336

Trim Size

7 3/4" x 5 1/2"

AR

3.8: points 9

Lexile

580L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

14

JLG Release

Sep 2017

Book Genres


Topics

Single-parent families. Family life. Autism. Schools. Teachers. Classmates. Mother-son relationships. Science fair projects. Friendship.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Lester loves two things: science and homeschooled life with his devoted mother. So it’s a shock when Mom announces that Lester will be attending fifth grade in public school because she is going back to work full-time. The pair have been especially close since the tragic, mission-related death of Lester’s astronaut father five years earlier; unresolved grief still haunts the family. Lester’s behaviors make his transition to public school a challenge (he later discovers he has autism), but caring staff and a kindhearted classmate, Abby, offer support. Then the annual science fair gives Lester both a way to fit in and an opportunity he’s been longing for: a chance to study space and flying, taboo subjects at home. Emphasizing characterization over action, the first-person narrative helps readers understand the social difficulties experienced by a child on the autism spectrum. In Lester and his mother, debut author Davis creates genuine, emotionally engaging characters who, over the course of the novel, grow and move toward heartfelt triumphs. While Lester’s mother is aware of his behavioral issues, it is not clear whether she sought services for him before he received a diagnosis and IEP from his new school. This may lead to comparisons with Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s Fish in a Tree, but Ally’s and Lester’s home lives are quite different. The book also overlooks Davis’s larger story of a family recovering from devastating loss. VERDICT Give to sensitive readers who enjoy rooting for the underdog and to fans of realistic stories with scientific themes.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY

Horn Book

Flight trajectories consume autistic ten-year-old Lester’s thoughts: those of meteors, planes, even kickballs. Up till now Lester has led a sheltered, home-schooled life, but Lester’s astronaut father has died, the family’s savings have dwindled, and his mother has a full-time job. Suddenly, Lester finds that his own trajectory is about to change: he’ll now have to attend public school, with a realistically portrayed about-to-retire teacher who is not thrilled to have him in her class, no less. Fortunately, Lester finds a friend in classmate Abby—that is, until a new student joins the class and steals Abby away. If readers accept the fact that Lester has never heard of autism (despite his mother being a librarian), there is plenty to enjoy in this story of friendship, bullying, education, and community. Lester’s literal perceptions are often different from what the adults (and readers) understand, providing insight into his character, especially surrounding his relationship with Abby and his ideas of what a friend should be. And that’s a superstar message for all readers. ed spicer

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Lester loves two things: science and homeschooled life with his devoted mother. So it’s a shock when Mom announces that Lester will be attending fifth grade in public school because she is going back to work full-time. The pair have been especially close since the tragic, mission-related death of Lester’s astronaut father five years earlier; unresolved grief still haunts the family. Lester’s behaviors make his transition to public school a challenge (he later discovers he has autism), but caring staff and a kindhearted classmate, Abby, offer support. Then the annual science fair gives Lester both a way to fit in and an opportunity he’s been longing for: a chance to study space and flying, taboo subjects at home. Emphasizing characterization over action, the first-person narrative helps readers understand the social difficulties experienced by a child on the autism spectrum. In Lester and his mother, debut author Davis creates genuine, emotionally engaging characters who, over the course of the novel, grow and move toward heartfelt triumphs. While Lester’s mother is aware of his behavioral issues, it is not clear whether she sought services for him before he received a diagnosis and IEP from his new school. This may lead to comparisons with Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s Fish in a Tree, but Ally’s and Lester’s home lives are quite different. The book also overlooks Davis’s larger story of a family recovering from devastating loss. VERDICT Give to sensitive readers who enjoy rooting for the underdog and to fans of realistic stories with scientific themes.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY

Horn Book

Flight trajectories consume autistic ten-year-old Lester’s thoughts: those of meteors, planes, even kickballs. Up till now Lester has led a sheltered, home-schooled life, but Lester’s astronaut father has died, the family’s savings have dwindled, and his mother has a full-time job. Suddenly, Lester finds that his own trajectory is about to change: he’ll now have to attend public school, with a realistically portrayed about-to-retire teacher who is not thrilled to have him in her class, no less. Fortunately, Lester finds a friend in classmate Abby—that is, until a new student joins the class and steals Abby away. If readers accept the fact that Lester has never heard of autism (despite his mother being a librarian), there is plenty to enjoy in this story of friendship, bullying, education, and community. Lester’s literal perceptions are often different from what the adults (and readers) understand, providing insight into his character, especially surrounding his relationship with Abby and his ideas of what a friend should be. And that’s a superstar message for all readers. ed spicer

Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

This 14-book category features stories with relatable characters that portray believable contemporary or historical real-life experiences.

14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,History,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year

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