The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

By: Junauda Petrus

Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor’s daughter. Audre’s grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won’t lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. “America have dey spirits too, believe me,” she tells Audre.

Minneapolis. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels—about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that’s plagued her all summer. Mabel’s reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner.

Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer, and suddenly it’s Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

Music playlist inspired by the events of the novel.

ISBN: 9780525555483

JLG Release: Nov 2019


Sensitive Areas: Homophobic slur, Marijuana, Strong language, Strong sexual themes, Drug abuse, Domestic abuse, Homophobia
Topics: African Americans , Black people , Trinidad , Lesbians , LGBTQ , Minneapolis, Minnesota , Death

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, Booklist*, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly*

School Library Journal

Sixteen-year-olds Audre and Mabel are from different parts of the world, but over the course of a single bittersweet year they meet and fall in love. Audre has been sent from her home in Trinidad to Minneapolis after her very religious mother finds out she has been having a romantic relationship with another young woman. Meanwhile, Mabel, who has h Sixteen-year-olds Audre and Mabel are from different parts of the world, but over the course of a single bittersweet year they meet and fall in love. Audre has been sent from her home in Trinidad to Minneapolis after her very religious mother finds out she has been having a romantic relationship with another young woman. Meanwhile, Mabel, who has had a boyfriend but has never really been in love, finds herself diagnosed with terminal cancer. At a time when both young women are in desperate need of connection, they find it in each other. Both characters have unique and recognizable voices. Audre’s “Trini” accent and culture, in particular, come across loud and clear on the page. Intercalary poetry also enhances the story and will appeal to fans of verse novels. The love story is juxtaposed against the tragic story of a fictional wrongfully incarcerated man, whose death row memoir resonates with Mabel’s experience of knowing her death is likely near. This becomes a part of Mabel’s last wish through an organization like “Make a Wish Foundation.” The wrongful incarceration theme makes this title particularly relevant given the current conversations centered around the wrongful convictions of the “Central Park 5.” Told in alternating viewpoints and deeply romantic, this title will appeal to fans of Nicola Yoon’s The Sun Is Also a Star or Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera’s What If It’s Us.

Book Details

ISBN

9780525555483

First Release

November 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8" x 6"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Dutton

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Homophobic slur, Marijuana, Strong language, Strong sexual themes, Drug abuse, Domestic abuse, Homophobia

Topics

African Americans, Black people, Trinidad, Lesbians, LGBTQ, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Death,

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