Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE STAR THAT ALWAYS STAYS by Anna Rose Johnson! I’m so excited because today I have an excerpt of the book to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Published on July 12, 2022 by Holiday House
Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
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When bright and spirited Norvia moves from the country to the city, she has to live by one new rule: Never let anyone know you're Ojibwe.
Growing up on Beaver Island, Grand-père told Norvia stories--stories about her ancestor Migizi, about Biboonke-o-nini the Wintermaker, about the Crane Clan and the Reindeer Clan. He sang her songs in the old language, and her grandmothers taught her to make story quilts and maple candy. On the island, Norvia was proud of her Ojibwe heritage.
Things are different in the city. Here, Norvia's mother forces her to pretend she's not Native at all--even to Mr. Ward, Ma's new husband, and to Vernon, Norvia's irritating new stepbrother. In fact, there are a lot of changes in the city: ten-cent movies, gleaming soda shops, speedy automobiles, ninth grade. It's dizzying for a girl who grew up on the forested shores of Lake Michigan.
Despite the move, the upheaval, and the looming threat of world war, Norvia and her siblings--all five of them--are determined to make 1914 their best year ever. Norvia is certain that her future--both professionally and socially--depends upon it... and upon her discretion.
But how can she have the best year ever if she has to hide who she truly is?
Sensitive, enthralling, and classic in sensibility (perfect for Anne of Green Gables fans), this tender coming-of-age story about an introspective and brilliant Native American heroine thoughtfully addresses serious issues like assimilation, racism, and divorce, as well as everygirl problems like first crushes, making friends, fitting in, and the joys and pains of a blended family. Often funny, often heartbreaking, The Star That Always Stays is a fresh and vivid story directly inspired by Anna Rose Johnson's family history.
BEAVER ISLAND, NOVEMBER 1910
Mkadewzi | BLACK
“Pa promised he wouldn’t sail in shipwreck season anymore.”
The wind swallowed up Norvia Nelson’s words, and she wasn’t even sure if her older brothers had heard her. Only one question had circled the house for days: When would Pa come home?
Norvia ran from the little porch toward the shoreline of Lake Michigan, hoping to see any evidence of the stalwart schooner Rouse Simmons manifesting on the dusky horizon. The sky rumbled over- head, glowering with thunder. And the island’s harbor—a collection of wooden docks and flickering lights—was battered by waves below.
“Nothing yet,” said Norvia, returning to the porch where her brothers were waiting.
“He shouldn’t have gone on this trip.” Elton leaned against the doorway, gazing out at the shifting, gloomy waters.
“I say, the more he wants to go away, the better,” said Herman—but he glanced nervously at the tossing waves, too.
Elton folded his arms. “I just don’t understand why he’d break a promise like that. He told Ma he wouldn’t go out on a late run ever again.”
“He promised a lot of things,” Herman shot back.
“And he’s kept most of his promises,” said Norvia, turning away from them. All she wanted was for her father to come home— then everything could be normal. He would stride in—smiling, she hoped—and Ma would be so relieved to have him safely back that she wouldn’t be angry anymore. Perhaps Pa would even bring them gifts from the mainland—a necklace for her, something special for Ma— and they’d all laugh and sit around the hearth watching the flames of the fire unravel and snap and sparkle. . . .
“Let’s go in,” said Herman.
He was right. The wind was cold and the waterline empty. Norvia lingered just a few minutes more, then followed the boys inside.
Casper—the youngest of her three brothers—stood by the front window, pressing his face against the rain-spattered glass. “Suppose they’ve been wrecked off one of the Fox Islands. Suppose they have to send a search crew after ’em?”
“Don’t say that!” said Norvia.
“Aww, Norv,” said Casper. “It’d be exciting.”
She looked through the pane too, straining her eyes, willing Pa to sail home to them.
“The waters around Beaver Island are kind to their sons,” said Grand-père, who had come to look out the window with them. “He’ll come home all right.”
Excerpt from The Star that Always Stays / Text copyright © 2022 by Anna Rose Johnson. Reproduced by permission from Holiday House Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
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What do you think about The Star That Always Stays? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!