What Stars Are Made of
Twelve-year-old Libby Monroe is great at science, being optimistic, and talking to her famous, accomplished friends (okay, maybe that last one is only in her head). She’s not great at playing piano, sitting still, or figuring out how to say the right thing at the right time in real life. Libby was born with Turner Syndrome, and that makes some things hard. But she has lots of people who love her, and that makes her pretty lucky.When her big sister Nonny tells her she’s pregnant, Libby is thrilled—but worried. Nonny and her husband are in a financial black hole, and Libby knows that babies aren’t always born healthy. So she strikes a deal with the universe: She’ll enter a contest with a project about Cecelia Payne, the first person to discover what stars are made of. If she wins the grand prize and gives all that money to Nonny’s family, then the baby will be perfect. Does she have what it takes to care for the sister that has always cared for her? And what will it take for the universe to notice?

What Stars Are Made of Details

TitleWhat Stars Are Made of
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 31st, 2020
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
ISBN-139780374313197
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Contemporary, Fiction

What Stars Are Made of Review

  • TL
    January 1, 1970
    I won this via goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.----A wonderful, cute story with a heroine that is easy to root for and a delight to read about. I loved how she never gave up and kept going even when things got a little tough.The scenes with her family had me smiling. I loved how close knit they were and supportive of each other.Would highly recommend.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    I had the privilege of reading this book last year before it got a book deal and it is genuinely one of the most engagingly written, wonderful middle grade novels I've ever had the chance to read!(Edited 9/27 to remove the bizarre typos that came from voice transcription. What's a "bug deal," anyway?!)
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  • Cassie Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    I especially love stories that challenge my own personal understanding of things in the world, even as an adult. Libby who has Turner Syndrome is an audacious young girl with GOALS. When Libby’s sister, Nonny , has to come stay with them for awhile while her husband works in Florida due to money issues - to find out later she was expecting - Libby decides then and there she WILL help her family by winning a contest with the Smithsonian Institution. Something I especially loved about Libby is her I especially love stories that challenge my own personal understanding of things in the world, even as an adult. Libby who has Turner Syndrome is an audacious young girl with GOALS. When Libby’s sister, Nonny , has to come stay with them for awhile while her husband works in Florida due to money issues - to find out later she was expecting - Libby decides then and there she WILL help her family by winning a contest with the Smithsonian Institution. Something I especially loved about Libby is her persistence to get an unknown female, Cecilia Payne, the respect and the coverage she deserved as the first female to discover what stars are made of. This story shows what bravery can truly do for you as a young kid, especially a young female, and how using your voice for change can be one of the boldest and strongest things you can do. This novel is totally heart warming. It’s a story that I know will give my students courage when they may not feel capable, and confidence when they may not feel like they know who they are. Highly recommend.
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  • Leigh
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This story follows Libby, a bright science-loving girl with Turner Syndrome. When Libby's teacher mentions a contest to teach people about someone important who didn't make it into the history books, she knows right away who she is going to pick and why she has to win.This was a great story that made Libby a very relatable character. As a reader, it was easy to root for Libby and Talia. Her sister Nonny I received this ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This story follows Libby, a bright science-loving girl with Turner Syndrome. When Libby's teacher mentions a contest to teach people about someone important who didn't make it into the history books, she knows right away who she is going to pick and why she has to win.This was a great story that made Libby a very relatable character. As a reader, it was easy to root for Libby and Talia. Her sister Nonny gives Libby (and perceptive readers) some great practical hints on making conversations with friends. This is a great read.
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  • Sabrina
    January 1, 1970
    When Libby learns that her older sister is pregnant, she is ecstatic at the thought of a new baby. But then come all the worries, what if the baby has the same problems she's had? Nonny's husband recently lost his job, how will they cope? Then she comes up with an audacious plan that will solve everything, if she can pull it off.I absolutely loved Libby right from the start. I just wanted to give her a big hug and protect her from the world. She's so smart and determined, with a slightly When Libby learns that her older sister is pregnant, she is ecstatic at the thought of a new baby. But then come all the worries, what if the baby has the same problems she's had? Nonny's husband recently lost his job, how will they cope? Then she comes up with an audacious plan that will solve everything, if she can pull it off.I absolutely loved Libby right from the start. I just wanted to give her a big hug and protect her from the world. She's so smart and determined, with a slightly hyper-active mind and a thousand thoughts a minute. The library is her best friend, but she also has tons of friends in her head. All the lesser known, underestimated, scientists and contributors to the world that she hears about.I loved how the details about Libby are revealed gradually, ensuring you never see Libby as anything but a girl like any other. She's going through many of the things all young girls go through, albeit with some additional challenges. But she never lets anything stop her. She even delays reading about something in case it tells her she's not supposed to be able to do things. She's much more interested in the many things she CAN do.This was such an incredible story, I just can't express how wonderful this book is! I got emotional way too many times and learnt some great new words such as Kintsugi. I also really want to learn more about Cecelia Payne. I think it is brilliant for teaching younger readers (and older ones) about acceptance. It really makes you think about how you see people and what can be going on in their lives that you just don't know about. The author's acknowledgement at the end is really touching. All about wanting to reach out and write about others like her.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    I dare anyone to read WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF by Sarah Allen and not fall completely in love with the main character, twelve-year-old Libby Monroe. Libby is irresistible: kind, smart, earnest, brave, and funny, with a voice that charmed me from the first page.Libby would do anything to ensure that her pregnant older sister, Nonny, has a healthy baby, so she makes a deal with the universe: she will convince the editor of her history textbook to add Cecilia Payne, the woman who discovered what I dare anyone to read WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF by Sarah Allen and not fall completely in love with the main character, twelve-year-old Libby Monroe. Libby is irresistible: kind, smart, earnest, brave, and funny, with a voice that charmed me from the first page.Libby would do anything to ensure that her pregnant older sister, Nonny, has a healthy baby, so she makes a deal with the universe: she will convince the editor of her history textbook to add Cecilia Payne, the woman who discovered what stars are made of, so everyone can learn about her, and she’ll win the grand prize in the Smithsonian Women in STEM competition and win enough money to pull Nonny and her husband out of their financial black hole. In return for sharing her legacy, Cecilia Payne will look out for the baby and make sure nothing goes wrong. Libby is conscious of how people sometimes give her looks that mean “you’re so cute,” and what I love so much about this book is that, while readers will realize the flaws in Libby’s magical thinking, they will also be so fully swept up in her emotions and desires that they will feel them along with her. Libby’s story is told with so much compassion and wisdom that I never thought, “Oh, Libby, you’re so cute and naive,” because I was right there with her, understanding exactly why she wanted to take control and be the hero who could help Nonny in the way she thought Nonny needed. I also love the way the book delves into Turner Syndrome. Like the author, Libby was born with Turner Syndrome, and Turner Syndrome is a big part of the narrative since it’s a big part of Libby’s life, but it’s also just one aspect of Libby’s vibrant identity, along with her love of science, her delightful relationships with her family members, her desire to be a good friend, her impressive determination and work ethic, and so much more. Libby is a total delight, and so is this book. In my opinion, this will especially be a hit with 4th-6th grade readers.
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  • Stacey DeCotis (Reading in the Middle Grades)
    January 1, 1970
    Libby is a 12 year old girl with Turner Syndrome. Using first person narrative, the reader learns a lot about her Turner Syndrome which means she is a girl missing an X chromosome. Libby loves science and is given an assignment to write about someone who is not featured in their textbook. She chooses Cecilia Payne, who in the 1920's discovered what the stars are made of - hydrogen and helium. Cecilia did not get credit for this discovery in the textbooks. Libby plans to win a Smithsonian contest Libby is a 12 year old girl with Turner Syndrome. Using first person narrative, the reader learns a lot about her Turner Syndrome which means she is a girl missing an X chromosome. Libby loves science and is given an assignment to write about someone who is not featured in their textbook. She chooses Cecilia Payne, who in the 1920's discovered what the stars are made of - hydrogen and helium. Cecilia did not get credit for this discovery in the textbooks. Libby plans to win a Smithsonian contest that will feature underrated women in STEM and writes to a publishing company to persuade them to feature Cecilia. This is all while handling teasing at school (which she has clever comebacks to!), making friends, and taking care of her older sister who is pregnant while her husband is away. Libby is a relatable character who is later diagnosed with a nonverbal learning disorder and struggles with communicating to friends. She has a supportive family and finds an unlikely friendship with a new girl named Talia. They both support each other as they take on their own separate projects. A great read with strong female characters, disabled characters, and family.
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  • Hannah Miles
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, what a book!! At first I wasn’t 100% sure what the book was about just that it had stars in it but oh boy, I am so glad I read it. Libby is a 7th Grader who has Turner Syndrome. I’d never heard of that before, knew nothing about it but through Libby, it is clearly explained what it is, the effects and the implications for her future. Not only did I learn about that but also about Cecilia Payne. I don’t want to give anything away but I have definitely come away feeling a lot more Wow, what a book!! At first I wasn’t 100% sure what the book was about just that it had stars in it but oh boy, I am so glad I read it. Libby is a 7th Grader who has Turner Syndrome. I’d never heard of that before, knew nothing about it but through Libby, it is clearly explained what it is, the effects and the implications for her future. Not only did I learn about that but also about Cecilia Payne. I don’t want to give anything away but I have definitely come away feeling a lot more knowledgeable on a number of subjects. Libby comes from such a supportive, loving and caring family and the bond between all of them shines through Sarah’s words. Talking of words, I loved the Hard reading words that are dotted throughout the book, it really made me think about my vocabulary choices. The friendship Libby eventually finds in Talia is lovely. They initially bond through them both suffering at the hands of the class bully. One of my favourite parts is Libby’s retort to him when she is doing her presentation on Eleanor Roosevelt. I did shed a tear or two towards the end of the book but they were most definitely happy tears. Such a fabulous book that I am definitely going to be recommending.
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  • Arianne Costner
    January 1, 1970
    Finished this lovely book in one day! Libby is a great character--so lovable and driven. When she finds out her sister is pregnant, she makes a deal with the universe to ensure the baby is born without complications. The tone of this story reminds me of Wonder. Lots of sweet family relationships and poignant moments. It was interesting to learn more about Turner's Syndrome, and it will be so great for girls with Turner's to see themselves represented. There was also a lot of interesting Finished this lovely book in one day! Libby is a great character--so lovable and driven. When she finds out her sister is pregnant, she makes a deal with the universe to ensure the baby is born without complications. The tone of this story reminds me of Wonder. Lots of sweet family relationships and poignant moments. It was interesting to learn more about Turner's Syndrome, and it will be so great for girls with Turner's to see themselves represented. There was also a lot of interesting information about women scientists, and I could see this being a good book for a classroom study. I'll be thinking about moments in this book for a long time to come--highly recommend!
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    Seventh grader Libby is a science-loving girl who faces many challenges, but still manages to call herself lucky. She has Turner’s Syndrome, which I didn’t really know much about until I read this book. The author, Sarah Allen also has Turner Syndrome, and she portrays what it’s like to live with this in an authentic voice through Libby. I loved the relationship between Libby and her sister, Nonny. Their talks demonstrate the sweet connection they have and how she wants to help her and her Seventh grader Libby is a science-loving girl who faces many challenges, but still manages to call herself lucky. She has Turner’s Syndrome, which I didn’t really know much about until I read this book. The author, Sarah Allen also has Turner Syndrome, and she portrays what it’s like to live with this in an authentic voice through Libby. I loved the relationship between Libby and her sister, Nonny. Their talks demonstrate the sweet connection they have and how she wants to help her and her husband with their finances so their pregnancy will be smooth. I also enjoyed reading about a previously unknown-to-me female astronomer, Cecilia Payne. I think what draws me to stories like these is not just the development of a good storyline and likeable characters but also how much I learn from them. In this case, I had a bit of insight into Turner Syndrome and learned about a historical figure whom I had never even heard of before this book. Libby is selfless and courageous and this heartwarming STEM-filled story will be enjoyed by lots of readers.
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  • Tess Rijks
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! the bravery and courage and pure love for her family made this book so incredibly special. Libby is a girl who was born with something that is called Turner syndrome which means she is missing one chromosome. This did not stop her from doing everything to help her sister Nonny get out of a sticky financial situation. Libby is truly inspirational! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU ALL READ THIS BOOK! Comes out in March 2020!
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  • Kathie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author and publisher for an ARC of this book.I love a story that teaches me something new, and WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF did that while also entertaining me. Libby has Turner syndrome, a genetic condition where she only has one X chromosome, which impacts her body and mind in many ways. Libby does an excellent job of educating the reader about it, and the author has surrounded her with an incredibly supportive family who accept her unconditionally. Libby's relationship with her Thank you to the author and publisher for an ARC of this book.I love a story that teaches me something new, and WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF did that while also entertaining me. Libby has Turner syndrome, a genetic condition where she only has one X chromosome, which impacts her body and mind in many ways. Libby does an excellent job of educating the reader about it, and the author has surrounded her with an incredibly supportive family who accept her unconditionally. Libby's relationship with her sister, Nonny is undoubtedly one of my new favorite MG sibling bonds and when Nonny moves back home while her husband is working out of state and tells Libby that she's pregnant, this relationship deepens in a new way. Libby's excitement is sometimes overshadowed by her worry that something might be wrong with the baby, which causes her to make a deal with the universe to keep the baby safe. Her selfless devotion to her family, despite her somewhat innocent and naive logic, is so heartwarming. This deal involves entering a contest, which leads her to make new connections, and discover truths about herself and life.I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and I really hope that middle grade libraries will add it to their collections when it is released in March 2020.
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely fabulous!!!! Great story for a school read on so many levels. Libby is likable, relatable, and experiences so may things happening to kids today. Even the "good" kids pull pranks that get them in trouble Also great for introducing or continuing exploring strong women in history. Just all around good story!
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  • Bushra Noor
    January 1, 1970
    I read an excerpt and can not wait to read the whole thing. Libby is such an interesting character. I see my nine year old daughter in her. I want her to read this book so the things that go on in her head will make sense to her. She will definitely relate to her. I plan on reading it my homeschool group of girls.
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  • Karen Biggs-Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    An amazing middle grade book that includes characters that inspire and get readers thinking at the same time! Loved meeting Libby and learning more about her her Cecilia Payne. A must have for anyone who loves stars and what they are made of!
  • Shireen Hakim
    January 1, 1970
    Must read. Girl version of Wonder.
  • Cathleen Barnhart
    January 1, 1970
    12-year-old Libby, the narrator of Sarah Allen’s beautiful debut novel, was born with a heart three sizes too big. Her big heart is due to a genetic disorder called Turner Syndrome, but it’s also a beautiful metaphor for the way this spunky, funny, smart and vulnerable girl walks through the world. Libby’s big heart shines out of every scene in Allen’s gorgeous, emotionally resonant novel. The story opens with Libby’s parents announcing that they have a surprise: her beloved big sister, Nonny, 12-year-old Libby, the narrator of Sarah Allen’s beautiful debut novel, was born with a heart three sizes too big. Her big heart is due to a genetic disorder called Turner Syndrome, but it’s also a beautiful metaphor for the way this spunky, funny, smart and vulnerable girl walks through the world. Libby’s big heart shines out of every scene in Allen’s gorgeous, emotionally resonant novel. The story opens with Libby’s parents announcing that they have a surprise: her beloved big sister, Nonny, is coming home, and she’s going to have a baby. Although Libby and her parents welcome Nonny home joyously, there’s an undercurrent of worry: Nonny and her husband are struggling financially, so he’s had to take a job far away. Libby also knows, from first-hand experience, that babies aren’t always born healthy. Anxious about her sister’s financial situation and about the baby, Libby makes a deal with the universe: she will win a Smithsonian Women in STEM contest, which comes with a large financial prize, by teaching the world about the amazing Cecelia Payne, the first person to correctly identify what stars are made of. As Libby embarks on her bold plan to ensure the baby’s safe birth and rescue Nonny from financial worry, she also struggles to comprehend and navigate the mysterious workings of the social world of middle school. Allen beautifully weaves factual information about Turner Syndrome, genetics, premature birth and Cecelia Payne into a compelling story of one girl’s wish to be seen and to make her mark on the world. The factual information comes to us through Libby, who is smart and funny, so it never overwhelms the story in the novel. At several points, I read out Libby’s words to my husband, a high-risk obstetrician, because the science is so perfectly and interestingly relayed for a middle school audience. I loved Libby from the first page of this novel. But I also loved the constellation of characters who surround her. Her wise and loving sister Nonny works to give Libby the tools she needs to make her way socially, teaching Libby about Silent Questions (which are brilliant). New girl, Talia (pronounced Ta-LEE-ah), facing her own struggles, opens herself up to a friendship with Libby. And Mrs. Trepky, Libby and Talia’s history teacher, both supports and challenges her students, encouraging them always to reach for the stars. I read the ARC of this novel, which will be available on March 31, 2020. But don’t wait; pre-order the book today because Libby and her big, beautiful heart will stay with you long after you finish reading this one.
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  • Charlotte Burns
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant story with a wonderful main character. It takes on some difficult issues (and touched on some things I find especially hard) but I was so hooked I had to know how it ended
  • Kaitie Harty
    January 1, 1970
    The excerpt is absolutely amazing! Libby sounds like an interesting and intriguing character. I was automatically pulled into the book before even reading a few paragraphs. The plot and the way that Libby’s mind works makes it all the more eye catching, is something that I have never heard of before. I can’t wait to read more of it!
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    This oh-so-gorgeous cover perfectly depicts Libby’s passion for the stars and the hope and inspiration they bring. Set to release on 3/31/20, WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF by Sarah Allen is a brilliant story of selflessness, persistence, and science. Libby is an intelligent and lovable character who has Turner syndrome (the author was born with it as well). I learned a lot about the genetic condition through Libby’s engagingly candid voice. She doesn’t play the sympathy card with the effects of the This oh-so-gorgeous cover perfectly depicts Libby’s passion for the stars and the hope and inspiration they bring. Set to release on 3/31/20, WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF by Sarah Allen is a brilliant story of selflessness, persistence, and science. Libby is an intelligent and lovable character who has Turner syndrome (the author was born with it as well). I learned a lot about the genetic condition through Libby’s engagingly candid voice. She doesn’t play the sympathy card with the effects of the rare disorder—in fact, she proclaims multiple times how lucky she is, which only made me admire her more! Libby wants to become a scientist when she grows up (just like her friends she converses with in her head) and she is well on her way with her work ethic and enthusiasm for National Geographic and the library. Her latest school semester project demonstrates just how knowledgeable she is of women in STEM and her go-getter attitude. This story has such a wonderful balance of really educating the reader with fascinating scientific facts and pulling at your heart strings with her darling family’s scenario. Libby and her sister, Nonny, have such a beautiful relationship and many memorable, warm, and wise conversations are had between the two. Libby’s drive and determination for wanting to care for her sister is so touching and generous. WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF is a dazzling debut and heartfelt coming of age story that will bring light and love to readers everywhere—or as Libby would say, in the universe!
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  • Laurie Hnatiuk
    January 1, 1970
    This was a book that I could not put down and know that when it is widely released In March 2020 other readers will fall in love with Libby just as much as I did.In Sarah Allen's stunning debut, we learn about the many challenges that Libby faces as a result of having Turner's Syndrome allowing readers to gain insight to someone afflicted with this condition. When Libby sister moves back home due to financial difficulties and discovers that her sister Nonny is pregnant, Libby takes it upon This was a book that I could not put down and know that when it is widely released In March 2020 other readers will fall in love with Libby just as much as I did.In Sarah Allen's stunning debut, we learn about the many challenges that Libby faces as a result of having Turner's Syndrome allowing readers to gain insight to someone afflicted with this condition. When Libby sister moves back home due to financial difficulties and discovers that her sister Nonny is pregnant, Libby takes it upon herself to enter a Women in STEM Smithsonian contest in an attempt to win the grand prize to alleviate her sister's problems. There is such a wonderful balance between the relationships and the sciences in this book. We see the start of a friendship with new student Talia allowing us to see Libby’ spunk, the vulnerability and sisterly bond between Libby and Nonny, the acknowledgment of getting and knowing when to ask for help and witness her gutsy courage to take on unsympathetic classmates who tease her. All of this delicately interspersed with what it is like to have Turner’s Syndrome and her love of all things related to science. Libby is a character that will stick with readers a long time not because she has Turner Syndrome but because of her passion for science, her conversations with scientists and people she has read about and met and finally, her unconditional love for her family and friend Talia and how willing she she is to go out of her comfort zone to help them. Preorder this one friends, this is one you will want to have ready to go.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC provided by NetgalleyLibby is in 7th grade, but finds it a little hard to make friends. She's quiet, and likes science, and has Turner Syndrome, which isn't that big of a deal to her. Sure, she has to inject herself everyday, is a little short, and has a few health problems, but she still does very well in school. When her older sister Nonny comes home to live because her husband has to go away to work and Nonny is pregnant, Libby starts to worry. What if the baby will have something wrong E ARC provided by NetgalleyLibby is in 7th grade, but finds it a little hard to make friends. She's quiet, and likes science, and has Turner Syndrome, which isn't that big of a deal to her. Sure, she has to inject herself everyday, is a little short, and has a few health problems, but she still does very well in school. When her older sister Nonny comes home to live because her husband has to go away to work and Nonny is pregnant, Libby starts to worry. What if the baby will have something wrong with it? She makes a deal with the universe; if she can do really well on a biography project and win a Smithsonian magazine $25,000 prize with an entry about a famous woman scientist she would like included in her school textbook, the baby will be okay. It helps that she and a new student, Talia, hit it off, and Libby throws herself into contacting the textbook editor and even managing to travel to where he is attending a conference. The textbook falls through, although she does win a local prize, and Libby blames herself when her niece is born early. Will her attempts at making a deal with the universe be enough to keep her niece safe?Strengths: It is great to see a depiction of a tween with Turner Syndrome, and I've seen this referred to as an #Ownvoices book, so the details are good. It's a fairly hopeful tale, with the only big crisis being the sister's difficulty pregnancy and financial difficulty (which these days is pretty tame!). It's nice to see Libby making friends and trying to help her sister. Weaknesses: At the beginning of the book, I thought that Libby was in about third grade, and even after we see her in middle school, the way her magical thinking is portrayed makes her seem very young. Details like calling her medicine "Magic Beanstalk Juice" contribute to this feeling.What I really think: Like Meena Meets Her Match, I love the idea of a student who faces different challenges than her classmates, but would prefer a book with a character who is a bit older.
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  • Sarah Allen
    January 1, 1970
    Hello friends, author here! Thank you so much for supporting this book. It's been such an incredible journey seeing this book come to life. Growing up, I never saw stories about girls like me. There are even a lot of people in the medical community who haven’t heard of Turner syndrome. I have been thrilled seeing books like WONDER, COUNTING BY 7’S, and RAIN, REIGN that highlight kids who are different in some unique ways. I hope my book can do that same thing for my readers. Thank you all so, so Hello friends, author here! Thank you so much for supporting this book. It's been such an incredible journey seeing this book come to life. Growing up, I never saw stories about girls like me. There are even a lot of people in the medical community who haven’t heard of Turner syndrome. I have been thrilled seeing books like WONDER, COUNTING BY 7’S, and RAIN, REIGN that highlight kids who are different in some unique ways. I hope my book can do that same thing for my readers. Thank you all so, so much for reading. YOU are what stars are made of!
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  • S
    January 1, 1970
    Such a lovely, endearing book - the best in a long time I have read. Reminded me of The Boy At the Back of the Class, with another lovable young character trying to achieve a selfless grand gesture. Female STEM protagonist with lots of mentions of other real female STEM icons. Protagonist also has Turner Syndrome, and NLD (non-verbal learning disorder). American and many scenes take place in American History class which may alienate some UK readers, but overall well known figures in history. Such a lovely, endearing book - the best in a long time I have read. Reminded me of The Boy At the Back of the Class, with another lovable young character trying to achieve a selfless grand gesture. Female STEM protagonist with lots of mentions of other real female STEM icons. Protagonist also has Turner Syndrome, and NLD (non-verbal learning disorder). American and many scenes take place in American History class which may alienate some UK readers, but overall well known figures in history. Recommend 11+
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  • Niki
    January 1, 1970
    NOTE: I received an ARC via a book sharing group, Book Portage, in exchange for my review.What Stars Are Made Of is a sweet middle grade novel. Libby is a passionate, caring young girl that many readers will be able to relate to. She also has Turner Syndrome and sometimes struggles to fit in with her peers. Libby advocates for a lesser-known female scientist, while attempting to alleviate her sister's financial concerns.
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  • Kate Waggoner
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Group for allowing me the opportunity to read a digital ARC of What Stars Are Made Of by Sarah Allen. This book will be published on March 31, 2020. All opinions are my own. Libby loves science and she does pretty well in school. She's great at making friends and having conversations in her head with the interesting and renown individuals she learns about, but she struggles with making actual friends. When her sister moves home to stay with them Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Group for allowing me the opportunity to read a digital ARC of What Stars Are Made Of by Sarah Allen. This book will be published on March 31, 2020. All opinions are my own. Libby loves science and she does pretty well in school. She's great at making friends and having conversations in her head with the interesting and renown individuals she learns about, but she struggles with making actual friends. When her sister moves home to stay with them during her pregnancy, Libby is determined to make sure that her niece will be perfect and that the pregnancy will go smoothly. To do this, she makes a deal with Cecilia Payne, an astronomer, if she can get Cecilia into her school's textbook, then Cecilia will make sure that the baby is born healthy. She also hopes that getting Cecilia into the textbook will help her win the Smithsonian's women in STEM contest grand prize of $25,000, so she can give it to her sister's family. Does she have what it takes to win the contest? Can she help her sister and niece? Is the universe even listening to her?This was a heartwarming and cute book. I love that Libby has Turner Syndrome and that readers who also have Turner Syndrome are represented and those who don't, get the opportunity to learn about it. Another thing I love is Libby's passion and love of science and learning. The use of metaphor throughout the book to help convey theme is wonderfully done. There is so much for the reader to learn from Libby about kindness, love, and never giving up. While I enjoyed the book, it did have a few weaknesses. I found that Libby sometimes came across as younger than middle school age (especially at the start of the book). This aside, the book has wonderful messages and vibrant characters that middle grade readers will be able to connect to.
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  • Jane(Janelba)
    January 1, 1970
    Twelve year old Libby has Turner Syndrome. She is full of hope, has a beautiful zest for life, loves science and her family. Especially her family. Libby discovers that her pregnant older sister and her husband are having financial difficulties and is moving back home whilst her husband takes a job away. Libby decides to enter a competition by the Smithsonian Institute, doing a project on her idol Cecilia Payne, who discovered what stars are made of but has not been recognised along the other Twelve year old Libby has Turner Syndrome. She is full of hope, has a beautiful zest for life, loves science and her family. Especially her family. Libby discovers that her pregnant older sister and her husband are having financial difficulties and is moving back home whilst her husband takes a job away. Libby decides to enter a competition by the Smithsonian Institute, doing a project on her idol Cecilia Payne, who discovered what stars are made of but has not been recognised along the other celebrated people in her school textbook. The first prize of $25,000 is in her sights. Libby is worried that Nonny’s baby will have health problems like her. She has decided that if she can win the first prize, then she can give all the money to Nonny and her husband. Then just maybe Nonny’s baby will be born perfect. Libby’s friend Talia is also entering a poetry competition and it is wonderful to see Libby’s support for her friend with the guidance of Nonny to help her express her feelings of support.A story with beautiful friendships, compassion for friends and family. Great portrayal of Turner’s syndrome presented in a compassionate way but fully explained in an easy to understand way. Full of passion, a great sense of justice for all and entertaining.Highly recommend this book. This book was kindly given to me by NetGalley, the Author and the publisher Penguin Random House UK Children’s in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Denise Forrest
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance reading copy through NetGalley. Libby has Turner Syndrome which means that she views things differently in her world. Friendships are challenging but the love of her family makes up for that. Libby is intrigued with science and with the woman who discovered what stars are made from. This launches her quest to have the work more widely acknowledged. This is a lovely story, in which the child’s voice comes through loud and clear. A beautiful ending.
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  • Lorraine
    January 1, 1970
    Lovely story.
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