Stella by Starlight

This past weekend I was hunting through what has become a rather long wish list in my digital loan app from the library. I came across Stella by Starlight by Sharon M Draper and spent a few days reading. It’s a book about segregation, the 1930s, men standing up for themselves, and a town that is not sure it wants to go as far as the KKK would want them to.

Stella is a delightful young girl who thinks a lot. I was drawn to her as I saw myself in her. She’s trying to figure out how to write down all her ideas and finds going outside at night to think is the best way for her to practice writing and get better at it. But it quickly become apparent that being outside at night may not be safe for her, as the Klan has come to her small town of Bumblebee, North Carolina.

But what is so lovely about the book is the way in which so many of the white characters don’t necessarily like the segregation and in their own ways are trying to fight against it. As the story continues and we see voting rights challenged and Stella’s community come together during tragedy, that community includes whites. It is an uneasy relationship and one in which neither side quite knows how to navigate, but they are trying.

I think that’s what I liked about this book. So many people were trying, be it Stella herself, the daughter of the rich white doctor in town, or the pastor of Stella’s church.