A Sea of Stars by Kate Maryon
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My Summary of A Sea of Stars
Maya’s going to finally have a sister, a real sister like she has always dreamed of. Her new adopted sister Cat is close to her in age, and Maya knows that Cat will enjoy surfing and all the favorite activities of her new family.
But, loving someone whose heart is broken turns out not to be easy:
A tight band squeezes my heart. I try to catch her eye again, to catch the twinkle she blinked at me. But her eyes are flat and cold and dull.
Maya dreams for her and Cat’s first moments together don’t turn out as planned. Cat refuses to go near the sea and would rather hang out with a new-found neighborhood friend than with Maya.
Cat thinks that Maya is too perfect. But, Maya’s family holds their own secret heart-hurt from the tragic loss of Maya’s baby brother.
Maya and Cat learn to love, forgive, and earn freedom and respect.
My Opinion of A Sea of Stars:
I really enjoyed reading this middle-grade novel.
Kate Maryon develops weighty topics for a middle-grade novel in a way that will encourage thoughtful dialogue.
- the emotions and trauma of adoption
- grief and loss
- parental protection versus children’s freedom
I was also impressed by:
- the interesting story and character development
- the realistic portrayal of grief and adoption
- although the writing reflected more juvenile speech and thoughts, the novel was still entertaining and well-written enough for an adult to enjoy.
Since my blog is written for parents and educators, I always include notes for parents who screen books. These comments merely reflect my opinion and may not be fully complete. If you ever have any additional questions about a book’s content, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Religious Elements -
From a Christian perspective, this novel did not have any distinctive Christian elements. Maryon did touch on religious questions of providence but answered the questions with an agnostic but not anti-religious tone. The themes of the book though especially of unconditional love and acceptance are themes that Christians will easily resonate with.
Sexual Elements -
The book had no sexual references. Maya does sneak out of her home one night to surf on the beach and finds a male friend there. Although she spends the entire night surfing and talking with him, the book is clear that there is no romantic development between him and Maya.
Violent Elements -
The book had no violence. Some of the plot, such as Cat’s neglectful upbringing and Maya’s brothers’ death in a car crash, might be aspects that parents will want to discuss with their children.
Other Elements -
Parents should be aware that this book shows the normal tension parent/child relationship from both perspectives of a parent trying desperately to keep control and a child longing for freedom. Maya does break free from her parents on several occasions, but the book concludes with family dialogue, mutual understanding, and lessons of earning respect. I was impressed with Maryon’s ability to create a normal child wanting independence without creating a mouthy brat, as well as, parents who loved their child but sometimes erred by being over protective. Again, Maryon’s descriptions are incredibly realistic, respectful, and promote healthy dialogue between parents and kids.
In my opinion, this book stands out for covering important life themes while remaining clean and appropriate for a juvenile reader. While certainly worth just reading for enjoyment, it would also make an excellent selection for a Mother and Daughter book club.
I was provided with a free review copy in order to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own. This blog contains Amazon affiliate links.