I’m super excited to share this review! Not only is this an amazing book, but I also was able to slightly interview the author about the theme.
If I had to describe this book in two words they would be family and joy. However, this book is too good for only two words.
Why You Should Read The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson
When Norvia’s parents call it quits on their marriage, the becoming high schooler’s life is turned upside down. She just can’t seem to catch a break as one unfortunate thing happens after another.
With a new father figure, new siblings, and a new city, chaos is bound to happen. The thing that takes back Norvia the most is that she must hide her beloved heritage.
Needless to say, Norvia grapples with how to handle all life has to hand her (good or bad) and what it means for her future.
In short, this book is packed with bits of wisdom, life lessons, and laughs. It illustrates Who is by our side no matter what we face and how to choose joy no matter what our circumstances are.
The thing that stuck out to me the most about this story is the theme of joy. I could feel it radiating from the pages. I couldn’t help but smile.
Speaking of smiles, if nothing else, read this book for the character Dicta. She might be the most adorable character I have ever read about! 😍
While the writing is captivatingly beautiful, you may want to keep a dictionary nearby. I was not expecting so many tough words, but that’s okay! I enjoyed the challenge and learning experience! (Maybe middle schoolers simply have higher vocabularies than me…)
Genre: Christian historical fiction (inspired by the author’s ancestors) + slice of life + middle grade
Keywords: Native American, family, joy, growth, step family, coming-of-age.
P.O.V: Third person
Page number of paperback: 274
Publisher: Holiday House
- Presbyterian domination is mentioned. (Obviously, that’s not a bad thing, but I do like to note when particular denominations are referenced.)
- Mention of adults sipping on champagne + other mentions of champagne and whiskey. They are merely mentions.
- Mentions of the Catholic faith, as in mass and referring to a pastor as Father.
- Differences between Catholicism and presbyterian are mentioned.
- One use of golly.
- One use of gosh.
- One use of darn.
Trigger warnings: Discusses divorce and hurtful gossip. Mentions death and the pain/confusion that comes along with it.
Wait! Who is Anna Rose Johnson?
Storytelling has always been a part of Anna Rose Johnson’s life—especially timeless tales tinged with vintage charm. She grew up fascinated by the early 20th century and now writes historical middle grade novels that reflect her love of classic children’s literature.
A member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Anna Rose enjoys exploring her heritage through her stories, including her forthcoming middle grade novel The Star That Always Stays.
Anna Rose lives on a farm in northern Wisconsin, and you can visit her bookish blog at: http://annarosejohnson.com/blog/.
The words above were sent by Anna. I cannot take credit for them.
A Moment with the Author
Anna Rose is a part of the same writing community that I’m in, so I thought I would step out on a ledge and ask if she would answer a question for me. To my surprise, she agreed!
As we may all be wondering, why joy? Why did Anna choose joy to be the thing that beautifully weaves itself through every page, gently pushing the story forward?
When I asked her about this, she said her goal was to encourage her readers to lean into their faith and choose joy. I love this mindset! I feel like too many of us forget that faith plays a role in joy.
Dear Anna, what made you choose the theme of joy?
I really wanted young readers to come away from this book feeling uplifted and joyful, regardless of what’s happening in their life at the moment. I wanted to write a book with a main character who chooses joy no matter what, because I feel that it’s definitely an important message. Norvia’s faith helps her to become a happier person, and I think we need more stories that show that!
Thank you again, Anna Rose, for allowing me to take a little bit of your time. I loved having the opportunity to feature you on my blog! I wish the greatest of success for you and The Star That Always Stays. Keep praying and writing, Anna!
I honestly feel like this book will be in the homes of generations to come. Joy, faith, family, perseverance, heritage, depth, and an all-around uplifting story. What more could you ask for?
If you are older than middle grade (like me), don’t feel silly for getting this book. I actually highly encourage you to! It’s too amazing to pass up. Head on over to Amazon, Books-a-Million, or wherever else you buy books to get yourself a copy.
Have you read this book already? What did you think of it? Did I miss any content warnings or triggers? Let me know in the comments! ❤️