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I wasn’t expecting much when I opened this book. The story initially struck me as odd, but the further I got into Stargazing by Jen Wang, the more interested I became. Humour and friendship filled the pages.
What I am Reviewing
Jen Wang (author and illustrator)
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
Received Advanced Reader Copy.
Friendship, Asian, China, Children’s Illness, Asian American, Graphic Novel, Middle School,
Moon is everything Christine isn’t. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.
But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine’s strict parents aren’t around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn’t where she really belongs.
Moon’s visions have an all-too-earthly root, however, and soon Christine’s best friend is in the hospital, fighting for her life. Can Christine be the friend Moon needs, now, when the sky is falling?
Jen Wang brings to life of Chinese-American youth who, just like other youth, sometimes have strict parents, or more lenient ones. And so a friendship blooms between two unlikely girls.
The first 10 pages in my copy were done in colour. The pastel hues bring to life these two girls and their families. Even without the colour though, the careful outlines told the story well. We see the pain, the hurt, the hope, the laughter, and the full-on friendship between girls.
Pushing their own boundaries, learning to trust, and to become people they need to be. Protective and at times afraid, jealousy and anger raise their heads. But in the end.. friendship holds true. Stargazing by Jen Wang is a good story for upper elementary to middle school readers.
If you enjoy graphic novels, this book might well appeal for itself humour and it’s friendship themes. A good read, I would happily read more books by Jen Wang. Stargazing is worth your youth’s time.