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THE STAR MAKER by Laurence Yep


by Laurence Yep

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-025315-8
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

In the way that young children often do, when pressed by his bullying older cousin Petey 8-year-old Artie boasts that he’ll provide the whole family with firecrackers for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Firecrackers are expensive, and he quickly regrets the promise, but Petey won’t let him forget it. Uncle Chester, like Artie, is the youngest of his generation and has also been the target of a little bullying. He has yet to achieve financial independence, wasting too much time and money betting on horses and enjoying the camaraderie of a vividly depicted 1950s-era San Francisco Chinatown. Chester tries to help Artie out by spending time with him, but he also begins to enjoy the company of a young female shopkeeper, a relationship the child at first regards jealously but then accepts because of its positive effect on his beloved uncle. Reminiscent of Tomie dePaola’s 26 Fairmount Avenue books, this brief tale tenderly portrays a large, loving extended family and presents a rich multicultural theme and an engaging plot for middle-to-upper–elementary readers. (Historical fiction. 8-12)