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This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl Hardcover – January 28, 2014


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 960L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (January 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525426361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525426363
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Through letters, journal entries, blog posts, stories, poems, and drawings, readers get to know the life and times of Esther Grace Earl, the young woman to whom John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars (Penguin, 2012). Although she died from cancer in 2010 at only 16, Esther (known affectionately as "Star" by her family) was a prolific writer, a "nerdfighter," a "Harry Potter" enthusiast, and a deeply spiritual person. She inspired—and continues to inspire—several online communities and a dedicated Internet fan base. This unique title will be appreciated by fans of John Green and those looking for an uplifting and emotional tear-jerker.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

From Booklist

Esther was 16 when she died from complications of thyroid cancer in 2010. By that time, she’d become a fixture among the Nerdfighters, a community dedicated to intellectualism and creativity, created by YA author John Green and his brother, composer Hank Green, via their popular YouTube channel, the Vlogbrothers. She loved Harry Potter–themed “wizard” rock music and Doctor Who, and she was part of Catitude, a group that ran the Project for Awesome, a Nerdfighter charity campaign. John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars (2012) to Esther, and in his introduction to this memoir, he notes that while he’s proud of Fault’s success, “the one person I most want to read it never will.” Featuring essays from friends, family, and doctors and curated by her parents, this collection—part autobiography, portfolio of her fiction and drawings, and photo album—is a touching eulogy, and it fulfills her dream to be an author. An intimate portrait of a vibrant, deeply engaged teen, this title reveals the power of the internet as a mode for connection, which comes through with each reproduced chat session and blog post. As the Nerdfighters say, rest in awesome, Esther. Grades 7-12. --Courtney Jones

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Customer Reviews

Yes, it was sad- but it was also full of joy and love.
Amy Y.
I finished the book in one day, and I must say, it was one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read.
Amazon Customer
Reading Esther's story has changed the way I think about life and so many things.
Tina Falconi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Amy Y. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While Esther Grace Earl never did get to grow up, her family and friends did make her dream of becoming an author come true.

I have no idea how to review a book like this. I personally loved it. Yes, it was sad- but it was also full of joy and love. The book is a compilation of journal entries, posts, letters, pictures etc. from Esther, her friends and family as she deals with both living and dying from cancer. I was struck by how much love and admiration this young girl inspired in those around her. I think it is an amazing tribute that her family went on to make this book happen. And I love the idea that everyone who reads this book will contribute to Esther's wish to be an author 'someday'.

The book is filled with real stories from the daily life of a teenaged girl- some are sad, some are funny- it runs the entire range. It was easy to be drawn in and feel as if I were getting to know Esther myself.

There are some very sad, depressing parts of this story- for me, it was a real tearjerker but I couldn't put it down. This is not a novel and it does not read like one. This story is told in bits and pieces from many sources. It made me think alot about what would be left behind at the end of my life, how my story would read.

John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) writes a lovely introduction. Esther was very involved on the internet. Even though her physical world became somewhat limited due to her illness, she managed to expand virtually where she could not physically. She garnered a large and close-knit community of friends and support through the internet.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By B. Allyn on January 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is the story and experiences of Esther Earl, a girl that John knew and was a huge part of the online Nerdfighter community, who unfortunately died of cancer at just 16 in 2010. I can’t claim to have known her but her story is one that I think everyone in the community knows a little about and I just wanted to read her story in her own words, as well as from the viewpoint of the people around her.

I couldn’t review this book in the way I usually would because you cannot put a non-fiction real-life story into the same group as fiction, so this will be more of a discussion and a recommendation than a review.

From the beginning of this, I was in tears. John Green’s introduction was the most heart-warming yet devastating things that I have read. I always knew that there was a connection between Esther and The Fault in our Stars but reading this book really proved just how much Esther’s presence effected John and how her story is one that needs to be seen as complex and human, and how Hazel is not Esther, though without Esther, Hazel wouldn’t exist.

The book itself really captures the feeling of the book. Although it is sad, I like that the publisher decided on a bright cover and packaging for this book because it stops it feeling like a bleak depressing story. Of course, it is sad but the colourful pages, the inclusion of photographs, drawings and handwritten passages, make it a lot more approachable and real. Esther was a real person, a complex and unique individual and I think that this book really does reflect that and stops it being another cancer story.

One thing that was a little odd for me to read about was Esther’s faith.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tamaralynn Shute on February 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is just wonderful. I really loved the way that it was set up and organized. It's so refreshing to read the story of such a beautiful-on-the-inside-and-outside person. I would be so proud if this were the story of my generation (Esther was born less than four months after me.

It's so hard not to read the date and remember what I was doing that day. Esther's perspective gives you so much joy that it hurts so much to read her write about her uncertainties and her pain. It has made me analyze myself and question who I want to be. Esther makes it all look so easy. She stands in the face of death and still continues to be a loving person who finds the joy in life when there is so much pain. Also, Esther writes very well, even as a young girl. Esther will live on forever in these words that her parents have collected and published.

Congratulations on becoming an author. Rest in awesome, Esther.

To everyone else, DFTBA.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By drbrydges on February 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I never ever (and I mean never EVER) write reviews for books on Amazon. I mean, there are so many people that write reviews for books that I just feel like they get lost in the vast abyss of book reviews, never to see the light of day or ever reach those who want an honest review of the book you just read. With that said, I shall now bring forth to you my very first Amazon book review. Bear with me, for I am about to embark on an unknown journey.

This book is beautiful. The way it is set up gives not only an impression of how Esther lived her life, but how her life affected those around her. Beginning with an extremely heart wrenching introduction by John Green (which literally caused me to sob in the book store I first found this book in), I was fascinated by how thoughtful and energetic Esther was throughout her life. I mean, regardless of the cancer taking its toll on her she never lost that spunky teenage beauty that we all remember and ponder on. She wrote beautiful letters, diary entries, and made wonderful YouTube videos which showed us that humanity and beauty are all around us.

Esther helped me realize that you have two choices: you can wallow in self pity and let yourself fade away, or you can go seek happiness wherever you are and understand that while life is not necessarily fair or understandable, we can make do with what we have, love all those who come into our lives, and provide happiness and compassion to those who need it. She was and still is a shining star. She didn't deserve to be taken away from us, but I believe that she accomplished so much in her short life that those accomplishments will echo onwards for decades to come. I had lost hope in my life before I found this book.
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