The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson

Five stars

When bright and spirited Norvia moves from the country to the city, she has to live by one new rule: Never let anyone know you’re Ojibwe.

Growing up on Beaver Island, Grand-pere told Norvia stories—stories about her ancestor Migizi, about Biboonke-o-nini the Wintermaker, about the Crane Clan and the Reindeer Clan. He sang her songs in the old language, and her grandmothers taught her to make story quilts and maple candy. On the island, Norvia was proud of her Ojibwe heritage.

Things are different in the city. Here, Norvia’s mother forces her to pretend she’s not Native at all—even to Mr. Ward, Ma’s new husband, and to Vernon, Norvia’s irritating new stepbrother. In fact, there are a lot of changes in the city: ten-cent movies, gleaming soda shops, speedy automobiles, ninth grade. It’s dizzying for a girl who grew up on the forested shores of Lake Michigan.

Despite the move, the upheaval, and the looming threat of world war, Norvia and her siblings—all five of them—are determined to make 1914 their best year ever. Norvia is certain that her future—both professionally and socially—depends upon it… and upon her discretion.

But how can she have the best year ever if she has to hide who she truly is?

Sensitive, enthralling, and classic in sensibility (perfect for Anne of Green Gables fans), this tender coming-of-age story about an introspective and brilliant Native American heroine thoughtfully addresses serious issues like assimilation, racism, and divorce, as well as every girl problems like first crushes, making friends, fitting in, and the joys and pains of a blended family. Often funny, often heartbreaking, The Star That Always Stays is a fresh and vivid story directly inspired by Anna Rose Johnson’s family history.

Such a sweet, adorable, and fun read!! I don’t always enjoy middle grade but this one was charming! I wish it had been published when I was younger and more the age of Norvia but even still I loved it!

I am a huge fan of classics, especially ones such as Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna, so with this book written in that sort of fashion was simply amazing! I loved all the classics mentioned throughout and it has now put me in the mood to dig up some old favorites.

If you love middle grade, classics, and family life, you will love this book!! A very endearing read that I’m sure I’ll return to again!

*I recieved an advanced reading copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Your turn!

Do you enjoy middle grade stories? What do you think of classics? Do you ever preorder books or wait for them to come out?

Blessings, Allyson


6 thoughts on “The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson

  1. *”Hallelujah” chorus begins to play* I LOVE ANNE OF GREEN GABLES!! (I think…That book probably has a place in me along with Little Women and the Laura Ingalls Wilder series LOL!) But this book sounds lovely!! *why are there so many books that sound splendid but such little time over the summer??*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂 Tell me about it!! Yes, that was definitely what drew me to the book as well!!! It also mentions Little Women in the book. 😍 Along with a lot of other classics! Haha! I know what you’re saying – so many books but not enough time!! 😂


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