Star in the Forest by Laura Resau
Zitlally’s father has been deported, and she feels alone. She hides in the junkyard of rusted car parts near her trailer park, where she finds a dog which has been chained and abandoned. Eventually she begins to trust the dog, and with the help of her next-door neighbor and new friend, Crystal, she finds the courage to rescue Star.
As Zitlally withdraws from her friends at school, she develops empathy for Crystal, a girl who is considered a liar and an outsider. Star in the Forest is an important story for children, because it opens the door to several good discussion points, like the meaning of friendship, and immigration. Immigration, a topic not normally discussed with children, does affect them. Why not begin the discussion around a book? Laura Resau’s website, www.lauraresau.com, has two discussion guides that might be useful, plus you’ll learn how to pronounce the author’s name. There are also pronunciation guides in the back of the book for Spanish and Nahuatl words.
Best for grades 3 to 6, I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Zitlally, Crystal and Star.