Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Reuseaworld
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. Though second-hand, the book is still in very good shape. Minimal signs of usage may include very minor creasing on the cover or on the spine.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Boy Who Ate Stars Paperback – May 6, 2004

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$107.34 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-This stunning first novel is an eloquent meditation on autism, love, and courage. Having just moved to a Paris apartment, 12-year-old Lucy can't wait to meet her neighbors. She encounters Marie, the loving mother of autistic four-year-old Matthew, and Maougo, their silent Russian nanny. Fascinated by the boy, Lucy and her friend Theo try to understand what life is like for him. Lucy is also determined to help a family friend's fancy dog discover his wild side. Poetic writing is interspersed with the protagonist's wry remarks on mundane topics such as her clueless parents. She compares Maougo to a Russian matrouska because one must peel off layers in order to know her. The description of autism is mysterious and elusive. Matthew is characterized as a small independent planet spinning inside of himself, and as an extraterrestrial who feels reality intensely. The celestial imagery continues as Lucy, seeing the boy's fascination with a jar of sparkling marbles, observes that he eats stars as he goes to sleep. Little happens in the book, although the author does manage to change the pampered pooch's life and he becomes quite the rogue. Ultimately, Lucy decides she will be a teacher of autistic children, vowing to do away with all prejudices, languages, and rules, and to throw herself into outer space without being frightened. Some French references will be unfamiliar to American readers but there is much beauty in this spare and lyrical look at a condition that is so difficult to understand.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Kochka, born in Lebanon to a French father and a Lebanese mother,

now lives in France. The Boy Who Ate Stars is her first book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 105 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd (May 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405211296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405211291
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,208,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Reviewing children's books originally published in foreign countries is a somewhat complicated process. You've the obvious cultural differences, of course. Then there's the translation. How much fault or praise do you heap upon the person who has the unenviable job of transferring an author's vision from one language to another? Finally, there's the book itself. After all the work that's gone into it, and after all the time and effort to bring it to the American market, was it worth it in the end? By and large I am very positive on getting more foreign-language overseas literary hits translated and into our American bookstores and libraries. In this year alone we've seen amazing titles like, Guus Kuijer's, "The Book of Everything", and Sjoerd Kuyper's, "The Swan's Child". Now we've a book from Lebanese born French citizen (and one-namer) Kochka entitled, "The Boy Who Ate Stars". It's a book with a rather interesting premise, but I'm afraid that something somewhere went awry. Whether it was the writing itself or the translation, Kochka's book shows a great deal of promise. Here's hoping perhaps some of her future books will succeed where this one failed.

Twelve-year-old Lucy and her family have just moved into a new apartment. At first, Lucy decides to take on the enormous challenge of meeting and befriending everyone in her new apartment building. Then she meets the residents directly above her and immediately her plans change. One night the apartment above her own is privy to some incredibly loud noises. Lucy's father charges up the stairs to yell at the residents, then comes back down subdued. It seems that their upstairs neighbors are a single librarian mom, a Russian nanny, and a boy named Matthew.
Read more ›
1 Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I would like to disagree with the other reviews. I thought this book was thought provoking and gave beautiful insights about autism.

The fact that this book was translated also did not bother me. Sure, there were a few sentences that were a little strange, but seeing as how the author comes from a different country I can forgive that. I love reading books from foreign authors because they offer a different perspective which is something all children should experience. I could not possibly expect the author to explain all of the dissimilarities between her culture and my own and vice versa. If you don't get it, do some research.

Yes, autistic people do communicate, but it is not in a usual way. Lucy, the narrator of the story, knows this and is determined to show everyone that Matthew "talks" in his own unique language. When he plays with people's hair he is communicating to the outside world.

Overall, I thought 'The Boy Who Ate Stars' was a wonderful read. Kochka did a great job of depicting the relationship between an empathetic girl and a boy with autism. This book is a good example how friendship can change how we experience the world. I would consider this a must-read for children and adults.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The overall writing in this story was dreamy and light. The topic of autism is a delicate and heavy issue with no black and white, as every autistic child, like any other child, is unique.
The author gave a distinctive look into the life of one autistic child- through the eyes of a child. The narrator, Lucy, is a twelve year old girl who told the story as a child would tell it. Her inquisitive personality is reminiscent of Scout Finch. I agree with another reviewer who said it jumps scenes. Yet, to keep in the world of a child, when they tell a story, the lesser details disappear. As I tell a story I get caught up in details of little importance. I felt the story flowed well and I didn't get caught between the time warps. The way in which Lucy discovered the world around her was with dreamy revelations of each mystery. The connection between Matthew and his nanny was explained that "Either Maougo (the nanny) was a fairy in disguise, hiding under her blond hair, or her past life had made her so wise that now she understood everything."
The review that complained about the definitions of Autism that were given are exactly the purpose of the book. These are the definitions that Lucy is given, and she sets out to prove them wrong. Lucy rewrites the dictionary definition in the book and passes on to the reader a wonder and respect of those with Autism. Her enthusiasm and curiosity is contagious, maybe we still don't completely understand, but I feel it intrigues us to look for more.
The reviewer also complained about the books remarks about autism affecting communication. This was another goal of Lucy's. Although Matthew was non-verbal she remarked about all the different ways Matthew did communicate, ending one chapter with: "I'll eat my hat if that's not communication.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reminds me of Stephen Stills' classic, "Dark Star." In fact, it is more like a black hole, that is a hypothetical void allowing no light to penetrate as a result of a collapsing star.

Lucy, 12 is determined to get to know every one of her neighbors on her block. She decides to work her way up from the ground floor, literally. When Lucy meets single mother Marie, her son Matthew, 4 and Matthew's helper, Maougo, she is determined to get to know Matthew better. Matthew has autism.

Marie explains autism as best she can; Matthew likes to spin himself as well as discrete objects; he had difficulty in pronoun usage; his verbalizations are sporadic and he quotes what he hears from television. He is bound to routine and insists on listening to his favorite tape each night. Maougo appears to have rapport with Matthew and lets him play with her hair, which seems to be one of his favorite activities. Upon meeting Lucy, Matthew plays with her hair.

I didn't like the way Bettelheim was quoted, calling autistics "empty fortresses" who are "trapped within their own walls" and don't communicate which simply isn't true. Bettelheim was not a real psychoanalyst, as the author claims he was in this book. The definition Lucy's seemingly impersonal parents give her for autism is also unsatisfactory as is the dictionary definition she finds, which said autism is a "pathological withdrawal into an interior world resulting in a loss of contact with reality and an inability to communicate with others." That is not true.

Autism is a neurobiological condition that is NOT caused by one's parents, as Bettelheim claimed and is NOT an inability to communicate. Marie was a good mother to her son.
Read more ›
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse