Stella by Starlight

Stella by Starlight

Sharon M. Draper

HB: Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2015

320 pp.   $16.99

Historical/Cultural Fiction

ISBN 978-1-4424-9497-8


“Nine robed figures dressed all in white.” With this powerful first sentence, on a dark night in 1932 in Bumblebee, North Carolina, readers crouch behind a tree with 11-year-old Stella and her brother JoJo as they witness the reemergence of the KKK. Not all of the white citizens agree with segregation, and many are opposed to their treachery. Still, tensions escalate in the small community. Young Stella loves going to school but notices the inequities between her school and the school for white children. Then a friend gives her a worn-out typewriter, and Stella dreams of becoming a journalist and writing the truth. When Stella’s papa joins a handful of others who decide to vote, family and friends prepare for inevitable consequences. This story, inspired by the diary of the author’s grandmother, brings us to the very heart of racial injustice in the early Depression years.


Reviewed by Vicki Sherbert

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS