Tuesday 28 August 2012

241. Star by Catherine Bateson

Star by Catherine Bateson
Published August 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:
Star lives with her mum and her mum's old university friend, Charlie, who has broken up with his wife. Star doesn't always like Charlie she certainly doesn't like his two kids, Talia and Gabe. So when Star's mum, Nell, begins to fall in love with Charlie and he moves in properly, Star isn't sure how she feels about it. Charlie hates the way his kids just want to eat Maccas and have mobile phones, so he proposes a complete change of lifestyle. Star discovers that moving to the country doesn't solve her friendship problems maybe Charlie has an innovative solution to that as well. After a Japanese Hamani viewing of the new backyard's plum tree, Star finds a friend who shares some of her interests. At the same time she realises that being a step-sister to Talia and Gabe might not be such a bad thing after all.

I seem to be reading a lot of books about one parent families, where one of the parents have died. In this case the story is about Star and her mother getting on with life with their Dad/husband gone.

Star and her mum have been settling into their new lives, their new kind of normal, when Charlie moves in. Charlie is an old university friend of her mother's and he is having relationship problems. Charlie also suffers from shocking mood swings, he is happy and carefree one minute, and then mean and spiteful the next. Not only that, but he also has two children who Star is often left to entertain, which she is not too happy about.

As well as the changes at home, Star is not having much fun at school either.  12 months ago Star's best friend was Hayley, but during the time Star's Dad was sick, Hayley started changing, and she made new friends, now she wants nothing to do with Star.  When things get more serious between Charlie and her mum, a move to the country is just the new start that Star was hoping for. It turns out however, that simply moving to a new town is not enough to fix all of your problems.

It never states how old Star is in this book, I would guess she is about 10 or 11.  I find it difficult to tell because Star comes across as quite a mature character in many ways. That may have something to do with her being an only child, perhaps that's what happens when a child spends so much time in adult company.

One of the things I really look forward too when I read a Catherine Bateson novel is the thoughtfulness of the storytelling and the interesting characters. I was not disappointed with this thoughtful book about a family adapting and changing.

Who will like this book: Girls age 10+
Read it if you like: 

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