Monday, July 20, 2015

A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

Lily has her hands full this summer, helping her grandparents run the family store and taking care of her beloved dog Lucky who is slowly becoming more and more blind.  But Lily has a plan.  There’s an operation that just might save Lucky’s sight, the only problem is it costs a lot of money.  Lily, with the help of Pépère (her grandfather), is painting and selling bee houses to help raise the money.  Lily has plenty of time to work on the bee houses since her best friend Hannah has become boy crazy. Then one day Lucky gets loose and runs through the nearby blueberry fields.  It’s here that Lily meets Salma, a migrant worker in town with her family to help with the blueberry harvest. Lily has seen migrant workers before at the store, but has never known one personally.  Could the girls become friends?  Or are their differences too great?

I’ve read many books by Cynthia Lord including both Rules and Half a Chance.  While I enjoyed both those books, this is my favorite!  Lily and Salma are engaging characters. I liked how both girls helped each other, but also how the character of Hannah (the “boy crazy” best friend) evolved in the story.  I learned a lot about blueberries and the blueberry business in Maine, something I knew little about before reading this book.  Now when I see blueberries in the store, I have a new appreciation for where they came from and how they got to the store.  I also connected to the story of Lucky the dog.  I have always had pets and I understand how they become a part of the family.  I felt Lily’s desperation to help Lucky and enjoyed the final solution!

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