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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Stargazing is a graphic novel about two elementary-school girls, Christine and Moon, who become unlikely friends given that they're so different. Twice Moon knocks another kid down and the illustrations imply she punches their faces without showing the actual punch; she knocks one kid's tooth out. Later she apologizes to one of her victims and sees a counselor about her anger. There's also some scariness, worry, and sadness when a character has to have brain surgery, but there's a safe resolution. Lots of positive messages about doing what's right, learning from mistakes, and supporting one another through difficult times. Also lots of positive role models for Asian Americans that can inspire thought about how to be your unique self, and what exactly being "Asian" is, anyway.
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What's the story?
STARGAZING tells the unlikely friendship story of elementary schoolers Christine and Moon. Christine's friends warn her to stay away from Moon, who has a reputation for beating people up. But when Moon moves in next door to Christine, Christine finally meets someone very different from what she expected. Their friendship grows as the two girls ride to school together and start working on a talent-show routine. Moon is truly different, in many ways that Christine wishes she could be, too. So why does Christine betray Moon and draw away from her, just when a serious medical condition means Moon needs a friend more than ever?
Is it any good?
This is a sweet, lively, and engaging graphic novel about friendship and fitting in. Stargazing is also a refreshing glimpse into a tight-knit, Asian American community that shows a wide variety of people, types, lifestyles, and beliefs all getting along and supporting one another in tough times. Big kids and tweens will relate to Christine as she struggles with both wanting to fit in and to be her own person, and with what it means to be a friend. Author-illustrator Jen Wang brings warmth, grace, and plenty of humor that'll keep even reluctant readers engaged in this heartwarming story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the different kinds of people in Stargazing. Why is it important to show different kinds of people living and going to school together? How important is fitting in?
Have you or someone you know ever had a serious medical condition? Many people who do feel worried and scared. What makes you feel better when you're worried or scared about something?
Have you read many other graphic novels? How did you like this one? What would you like to read next?
- Author: Jen Wang
- Illustrator: Jen Wang
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: First Second
- Publication date: September 10, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: ALA Best and Notable Books
- Last updated: February 4, 2020
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