A Handful Of Stars
In parts of Maine late summer means blueberry harvest. Migrant
workers from other countries arrive to carry out this backbreaking
labor. Most year round residents know much too little about their
lives and the challenges they and their families face. Cynthia Lord's
A Handful Of Stars helps readers gain valuable insight.
Lily, a year round resident who lives with her grandparents over
their store, is facing challenges of her own. She's missing her
deceased mother. Her best friend Hannah, with whom she's done
everything since kindergarten, has become much more focussed on boys
than on their formerly shared interests. Worst of all, her beloved
dog, Lucky, is going blind.
Lucky's eye trouble expands Lily's world. When Lucky slips out
of his collar and starts running across a blueberry barren, Lily
chases him, terrified that he'll be hit by a truck. Much to her
relief, a worker her age, Salma, uses her lunch as bait to capture the
That is the start of a bee-utiful friendship, one that has to be
strong to surmount small town prejudices. You have to read the book
to appreciate the reason for the intentional misspelling.
Not all towns and cities have migrant workers. Nearly all,
however, have semi hidden populations. In Penobscot County we have
homeless families, many of whom have at least one working parent.
Child readers can be encouraged to think on the relatively unseen
folks in their own towns and neighborhoods.
On a personal note, I recently participated in Pride Day in Bangor. I
marched in the parade with Equality Maine and helped them run their
table which was conveniently located close to the music. It was
beautiful to see so many people coming out to be supportive of LGBTQ
A great big shout out goes out to folks who reach out to their
communities' marginilized folks.
Sent from my iPod