A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

Published by Scholastic Press

Summary:  When Lily’s blind dog Lucky goes after Salma’s lunch, the two girls meet and become friends.  Salma is part of the migrant farm community that arrives every summer to pick the wild blueberries in Lily’s Maine hometown.  Although Lily has always known of this group’s existence, she’s never paid much attention to them until she meets Salma.  Salma proves herself a true friend by offering to help Lily raise money to help pay for an operation to restore Lucky’s sight.  In return, Lily offers to help Salma become the first migrant girl to win the annual Blueberry Queen pageant.  Last year’s winner, Hannah, used to be Lily’s best friend before she became so boy crazy, and Lily finds herself with divided loyalties between her two friends.  As the summer draws to a close and the pageant gets closer, Lily finds herself with more questions than answers about her relationships with her friends and family.

Pros:  Cynthia Lord’s many fans will not be disappointed with her latest work.  Once again, she portrays a sympathetic cast of characters faced with realistic dilemmas of growing up.

Cons:  Be careful that you don’t get caught without a box of Kleenex as you navigate your way through the last few chapters.

5 thoughts on “A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

  1. Am I correct in thinking that this would be a good book for sixth graders? What about as a read aloud – assuming I could make it through the last few chapters without breaking down?


  2. Hi Janet,

    I really enjoy your posts!

    I wanted to share one suggestion — would it be possible to provide an age range that the book might be appropriate for (or what it’s advertised for)? That would be really helpful for me in prioritizing which of these to check out now, and which titles to save until my girls get a little older.

    I would also love if periodically you provided your “top titles of the year” for a category — like picture books, chapter books, etc. Even if it’s just the top 3 and you do it close to holiday time or close to summer vacation, that would be so helpful to know.

    Hope you are well, and thanks for this great resource.

    Best, Jaime


    1. Thanks, Jaime. I will try to start including an age range. Just a reminder that Mondays are “Middle Grade Mondays”, which means I always post a review of a middle grade novel, generally grades 4-6. Reviews on “Third Grade Thursdays” are early chapter books, approximately grades 2-3, and on “Story Time Sundays” I do picture book reviews for younger kids.


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