To begin with, I was mesmerized by the book cover. It is a beautiful fairytale-ish cover. The title says ‘The Healing Star’ and the girl on the cover is sweet little Julia with a net ready to catch a falling star.
‘The Healing Star’ by A. Kidd is a book for middle-grade children. I think little girls are especially going to love this story. It has all the elements of magic, fantasy, emotion, and adventure, making it an incredibly imaginative book.
‘Just remember, the sky is a living thing, just like we are. And it’s filled with magic we can’t begin to understand.’
Julia Wandersby strong-headed, brave and is also, the fastest girl in the fourth grade. Her accomplice is ‘Pete the dog’, greedy for chocolate, no matter if it makes him sick or not. Pete is ready to gorge on anything that might give him a sick stomach.
‘The Healing Star’ is set in a time when people suffer from an unknown ailment that makes them disappear little-by-little. The cure is in stardust or better catching a live star. So, there are ‘Star Catchers’, who arrive at 9 o’clock and spread out over Miller’s Wheat Field on specific nights. The star catchers have to be acrobats, swift in running and diving when a star falls.
Julia’s Grandmother, whom she calls Grammu is suffering from this mysterious disease. And, Julia takes upon herself to find a star and cure Grammu. She shares an endearing bond with Grammu who had told her stories about falling stars and star catching. Julia’s mother is rather skeptical, calling these stories mere ‘old wives tales’.
The alternative, therefore, with Julia is to sneak out at night and catch a star to save her Grammu. Her accomplice is Pete in this adventure. Gear up for his barfs, though. Yet, this may not be easy, star catching comes with inherent risks of burning one’s hand or getting bullied by other star catchers who sell star dust at the black market. And, then Melinda Lu’s story, the girl who went after a star but never returned. Julia shares her apprehensions with JG, her best friend but knows her path to catch a star is to be taken alone.
‘Was this the star she’d been waiting for-the star that would make Grammu well? She said a silent prayer to Asteria, goddess of falling stars, and then continued to watch and wait.’
Read this book to know when the stars had begun to fall on earth and became a cure for the mysterious illness that was spreading in this town. And, the path to star catching led through a ladder, the one like the Jack and the Beanstalk’s storybook. Besides, there are talking animals, shape-shifters and eccentric players for a game on a cloud castle. In all this, little Julia is out to save her Grammu.
Get Your Copy of The Healing Star
Feisty fourth-grader Julia’s best friend in the entire universe is her grandmother. Julia and Grammu share secrets while cooking soup together, stay up late eating junk food and watching scary movies, and go stargazing on Blackberry Hill. They even wish on the same star every night.
But everything changes when Grammu catches the disappearing disease: little by little, she’s turning invisible. If Julia can catch a falling star, then her wish to save Grammu will come true. All Julia needs to do now is find the legendary ladder to the stars…
It’s a middle grade light fantasy for grades 3-6 for fans of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, Savvy by Ingrid Law, and Keeper by Kathi Appelt.
About the Author
A. Kidd is the middle child in a family of three girls. She started making up her own stories at age four. Because she couldn’t yet write, her mom wrote the stories down for her while she painted the pictures. Her first story was called Wagland and featured an island community with sea creatures that ate tuna fish sandwiches.
She has a B.S. in Written Communication with a minor in Language, Literature, and Writing from Eastern Michigan University and an MLIS with a specialization in children’s librarianship from Wayne State University. Her poetry has been published in literary magazines. She is also an artist and a performance poet. In her free time, she enjoys finding and hiding painted rocks in her neighborhood and going on adventures with her family and friends.