FICTION

What Stars Are Made Of

Farrar. Mar. 2020. 288p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374313197.
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Gr 4 Up–Twelve-year-old Libby was born with Turner’s syndrome, which occurs when a female person is born with one X chromosome. Although this condition affects the way she looks and learns, Libby is just like every other kid with passions, dreams, and worries. When she finds out her sister, Nonny, is pregnant, Libby fears the baby will be born with complications. Wanting to help, she throws herself into the Smithsonian’s Women in STEM competition; she’s determined to win the top prize of $25,000 to give to her sister, who struggles financially. Libby’s project? Earning a spot for the brilliant but overlooked scientist Cecilia Payne in the next edition of the textbook she uses in school. Along the way, her family and her new friend Talia support her. Allen, who herself has Turner’s syndrome, gracefully tackles heavy topics in her debut novel, including bullying and premature babies. Readers will empathize with spunky Libby’s social stumbles and will root for her as she dares to dream big. A tender novel about love, loyalty, and finding yourself, this will win a place in many readers’ hearts.
VERDICT An #OwnVoices novel that will be an important addition to any collection.

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