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Star in the Forest Hardcover – March 9, 2010


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Read an excerpt from Star in the Forest by Laura Resau [PDF].

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: William Allen White 2013, Grades 3-5
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385737920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385737920
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,058,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* As in Francisco Jiménez’s The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (1997) and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising (2000), Resau’s novel tells a child’s migration story with simple immediacy. After her father is imprisoned in Colorado and then deported to Mexico as an illegal immigrant, lonely 11-year-old Zitlally befriends her neighbor and classmate, Crystal. Together, the girls care for Star, an abandoned dog they find chained up in their trailer-park “forest,” made up of heaps of rusted car parts. Zitlally’s stressed, angry mama works many jobs and sells the family’s truck so that they can send Papá money to pay border smugglers, who will help him try to return. Then Papá is kidnapped and held for ransom, and Zitlally’s illegal family cannot go to the police. Crystal’s family is also in trouble: her father is in prison in the U.S., although she makes up wild stories about him working in Antarctica and Madagascar. Always true to Zitlally’s viewpoint, the unaffected writing makes clear the anguish of illegals. The thematic parallels with the dog, also an illegal of sorts, are redundant; it’s the family story, more than the pet plot, that will grab readers. A pronunciation guide, a glossary, and a note about immigration from Mexico to the U.S. close this unforgettable narrative of a girl’s daily struggle to find a home. Grades 4-8. --Hazel Rochman

About the Author

Laura Resau lived in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca, Mexico, for two years as an English teacher and anthropologist. She now lives with her husband, her dog, and her son, Bran, in Colorado, where she teaches cultural anthropology and English as a Second Language. She is also the author of What the Moon Saw and Red Glass.

More About the Author

With a background in cultural anthropology and ESL-teaching, Laura Resau has lived and traveled in Latin America and Europe - experiences that inspired her books for young people. Her latest novel, The Jade Notebook, was praised by School Library Journal for "the lush descriptions, intermittent action sequences, and sprinkling of fantasy [that] all come together to form an engaging reading experience."

Her previous novels - The Queen of Water, Star in the Forest, The Ruby Notebook, The Indigo Notebook, Red Glass, and What the Moon Saw - have garnered many starred reviews and awards, including the IRA YA Fiction Award, the Américas Award, and spots on Oprah's Kids' Book List. Acclaimed for its sensitive treatment of immigration issues, Resau's writing has been called "vibrant, large-hearted" (Publishers' Weekly) and "powerful, magical" (Booklist).

Resau lives with her husband and young son in Colorado. She donates a portion of her royalties to indigenous rights organizations in Latin America.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
This book is a must-read for youth and adults.
Carrie
It's a great gift for children and families who aren't afraid to discuss difficult topics like immigration, class, and race, and the writing is beautiful.
S. Ryan
My daughter (in the 4th grade) read this book for school and loved it.
ChicagoMom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cathe Fein Olson VINE VOICE on November 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Scary topic put into a format for younger readers: Zitlally's dad is stopped for speeding and the police discovered he was an illegal immigrant so he's deported. Zitlally and her family try to make ends meet without him while worrying whether he will safely make it back to them.

This is a great story for kids to learn about a tough situation that many children go through. The addition of the dog and the friends issues make the book even more relatable to everyone. Recommended for 3rd - 6th grade.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carrie on June 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In Star in the Forest, Laura Resau uses beautiful language and endearing characters to tell a compelling story about family, friendship and unconditional love. Resau addresses real life issues with compassion, including the challenges faced by undocumented immigrants living in the United States. This book is a must-read for youth and adults. It provides many excellent opportunities for discussion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Ryan on April 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Zitlally is the best child narrator I have read in years. She is smart and funny, perceptive and caring, big-hearted and wise. She tells the story of an illegal family and a child caught between worlds (and languages) with more honesty and insight than you'll find anywhere else. I will give this book to my nieces and nephew. It's a great gift for children and families who aren't afraid to discuss difficult topics like immigration, class, and race, and the writing is beautiful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Sandford on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The `forest' is a junkyard of old cars outside of a trailer park. Eleven-year-old Zitlally often escapes to the forest to cry after her father has been deported back to Mexico. Here she befriends a neglected dog whom she names Star. Laura Resau packs a lot of content into this story for young elementary readers, including Zitlally's brief alliance with false school friends, her befriending by a quirky classmate, her family situation as undocumented immigrants, and even her father's kidnapping! What really makes a difference to the book are the poignant illustrations at the head of each chapter, which depict in loving detail characters and situations. Perhaps beginning the book with the nine-page folktale, rather than incorporating it at the end, would offer more intrigue to the reader. "A note about immigration" and a Spanish and Nahuatl glossary push the book out to 149 pages. Short sentences for young readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tina Says VINE VOICE on June 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I teach in a very diverse school, full of a range of ethnicities. I absolutely love the way these students are able to look at each other and notice more similarities among them than differences, but finding books that represent the different groups can sometimes be challenging. I always feel like we are in need of some books featuring Latino characters and have to look hard to find some books written at the elementary level for my students.

Laura Resau has written some YA novels that I have enjoyed, but I had not read anything written for elementary students until today when I enjoyed Star in the Forest. This book is not very long, preventing students from becoming overwhelmed by it. Zitlally is an immigrant child, sharing the story of her father's deportation to Mexico. She and Crystal, her neighbor, start a friendship and find a dog, Star, in a "forest" of rusty and old cars that they need to take care of. Crystal creates outlandish stories about her own father that Zitlally is able to recognize for the tales they are, as Crystal yearns for her father to get out of prison. Zitlally's own father is trying to come back to America and her mother is working many jobs in an attempt to earn money for his return. When he is kidnapped by the coyotes her mother hires to get him across the border Zitlally and her family must come up with even more money to ensure her father's safety.

I have already ordered this one for my school library, knowing that many of my students may have their own experiences about immigrating to the United States. Resau includes information at the novel's end about the process of immigration and asks for readers to engage on an online discussion about a way for the current practices to be changed. This is definitely a thought provoking book, appealing to many readers in my school.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Chambers on August 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Caring, kind, and a touching tale. It makes me want to curl up with my own dog. 5 stars! XD
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ChicagoMom on February 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter (in the 4th grade) read this book for school and loved it. She could not put it down and read it in two days. She is a reluctant reader and so I am always thrilled when she finds something that she can not wait to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The book star in the forest, by Laura research was a 2013 battle book. I naturally read all of the battle books so I decide to buy it on my kindle and read it. Ok it was so good, I couldn't take my eyes off of it. I would recommend it to anyone fRom third to sixth grade!!
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