Isn’t it nice when you finish a book and you think to yourself… I’m glad I read that! These Unlucky Stars left me feeling like that. So glad that I took the time to read it through. I’d love to tell you all about Gillian McDunn’s touching middle school novel. Affiliate links will be used in this review.
Annie is such an unlucky girl, who has learned to keep people away, and yet… people keep intruding. Can she learn to trust anyone? To let a door into her life crack open… just a bit? Enter into.. sticky situation. What will Annie do? And thus the story unfolds as Annie works to solve her problem and learns a few things along the way.
I loved seeing her heart…. Through all 288 pages, Gillian McDunn unwraps Annie’s character showing us her angst as she tries to do what is right, even when she knows she should have done better. Well-developed additional characters help to round out the story, each with their own struggles. The whole community gathers around building a parade showcasing the rosy maple moth.
Published by Bloomsbury books, I am reviewing on behalf of Raincoast books. I received an advanced readers copy. Geared for middle school, it is being released as a hardcover.
What I liked
BUT Annie makes an error in judgment… and solves the problem. Therein we find Gloria and her weird dog. And yes… the dog is a tad bit weird. But Gloria is interesting, and watching the relationship between Gloria and Annie (as an adult reader) develop is just fun. Thinking as a middle school reader, I think kids would see themselves in the awkwardness between the two. This is a fun book to read, there were times when I laughed aloud. Thoroughly enjoyable.
I’m actually finding it hard to write this review because I enjoyed it and think most middle schoolers would as well. It would be easy for them to see themselves in the story. It’s hard to not tell you the whole story.
The characters were interesting, the back-stories made them so real. The way the community worked together and recognized the gifts of each other was heart-warming. The struggles that Annie had are real ones, that could totally happen to any child.
There was artwork scattered throughout. All was just roughed in since I received an ARC. Annie is a young artist, and it is her artwork featured.
Should you get These Unlucky Stars?
Yes! If you have middle schoolers who like to read real people stories where individuals their age solve problems in a realistic way. Annie in These Unlucky Stars, didn’t solve her problems in isolation, she had a community around her. She needed to learn who to depend on and what errors in judgment she had made. Others around her also needed to learn this as well. It was all-around well done and worthy of reading. I would have liked to see more of the illustrations done so I could better tell you about them. I didn’t see anything objectionable within the covers.