There is a lot to love about “What Stars Are Made Of” by Sarah Allen. I bought it for my 11-year-old daughter and she devoured it in a day. I like to read some of the books she is reading and I am so glad I read this one.
What Stars Are Made Of is a moving story about family, friendship and how it’s OK to be different. The characters in this book are refreshsingly real and relatable. I could not adore the main character, Libby, more. She has a brilliant outlook on life and is both vulnerable and brave, and sensitive and savvy.
Like the author, 12-year-old Libby Monroe has Turner Syndrome, which means she has a single X chromosome, her heart is “three sizes too big,” and she looks different from her classmates. Some elements of her condition, such as the fact that she wears hearing aids, make forming friendships difficult. She considers the library “her best friend”, until new girl Talia Latu moves to Colorado.
Libby faces many challenges, but she doesn’t let any of them hold her back. This book is a celebration of difference, and a masterclass of empathy. Libby is kind-hearted, curious and immediately loveable. She has a keen interest in STEM and the remarkable work of Ceclia Payne, a scientist who discovered what stars are made of.
When Libby’s older sister becomes pregnant, she worries that there may be something wrong with her niece. It tackles topics like bullying, failure and premature babies with wisdom and sensitivity. And it is laugh out loud funny at times.
What Stars Are Made Of is a book about identity, what makes us unique and how “all you need to change your world is YOU.” The chapters are short, which makes it an easy read, but it is packed with powerful messages of resilience, loyalty and persistence.
You will fall in love with Libby who is a young brave, intelligent girl who wants to change the world. It’s a marvellous and uplifting read. Buy it for your daughter and read it yourself so you can enjoy it together.
In the words of my daughter:
“Recently for my birthday I received a beautiful book called What Stars Are Made Of. It is a gorgeous story of family, friendship, and believing in yourself. I loved this book so much because the main character, Libby, is so strong and sure of herself, and she doesn’t let having Turner Syndrome stop her from achieving her dreams. What Stars Are Made Of is a book for anybody and everybody; it is simply brilliant.”
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