Bright Star

Bright Star

by Gary Crew, Anne Spudvilas
     
 

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The year is 1871. Alicia is a farm girl, doomed to a life of needlework and milking cows � but she is very bright at school, especially at maths and science. When she meets the famous Australian astronomer John Tebbutt, she realises that her future is as limitless as the stars.

Author Biography: Queensland author Gary Crew has an outstanding reputation as a

Overview

The year is 1871. Alicia is a farm girl, doomed to a life of needlework and milking cows � but she is very bright at school, especially at maths and science. When she meets the famous Australian astronomer John Tebbutt, she realises that her future is as limitless as the stars.

Author Biography: Queensland author Gary Crew has an outstanding reputation as a writer of young adult fiction and innovative picture books. His numerous prizes and awards include CBC Book of the Year: Older Readers for Strange Objects and Angel's Gate (1991 and 1994); CBC Picture Book of the Year shortlisting for Lucy's Bay (1993); CBC Picture Book of the Year for First Light (1994) and CBC Picture Book of the Year for The Watertower (1995). Gary was editor of the After Dark series and author of the picture books First Light, The Lost Diamonds of Killiecrankie, Bright Star, The Viewer, Troy Thompson's Excellent Peotry Book, Troy Thompson's Radical Prose Folio, Memorial and Leo the Lion Tamer. His previous Lothian YA Fiction titles are Mama's Babies and Dear Venny, Dear Saffron.
About the Illustrator: Anne Spudvilas lives in Geelong, Victoria, where she works as a graphic designer, fine artist and book illustrator. Her illustrative work for The Race by Christopher Mattingley, won the 1997 Crichton Award for Book Illustration.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cheryl Peterson
Alicia is a farm girl who lives in Australia in the year 1871. Her days primarily consist of chores that include milking the cows and cooking for her brothers. She is happiest while attending school, and she especially enjoys her math class. At home in the evenings she often gazes at the stars and dreams about the planets. One day a famous astronomer, John Tebbutt, visits her class and is impressed with Alicia's knowledge of geometry. He invites her to visit his observatory, and while gazing at the stars Alicia realizes that it's up to her to make her dreams come true. Though this story is fiction, John Tebbutt (1834-1916) was a real- life Australian astronomer who discovered the Great Comet of 1861. The beautiful illustrations capture Alicia's wonder as she contemplates the universe. An inspiring story that will inspire girls who are interested in the sciences.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3Alicia obediently goes about her daily farm chores, but dreams of being free to follow her inclination to learn about the stars. Her family seems unaware of her special talents, and even the teacher who praises her skill in class insists on her adhering to the curriculum that sends the girls off to needlepoint class while the boys do nature study. When the local celebrity, a noted astronomer, visits the class, Alicia impresses him favorably. The "Star Man's" remarks to her parents after church on Sunday finally motivate the child's mother to do something about her daughter's aspirations. The two pay a nocturnal visit to Mr. Tebbutt's observatory, and Alicia comes away with the knowledge that she must choose her own destiny. Amateur astronomer John Tebbutt (1834-1916) lived in New South Wales, and the author notes that some of his observatories are still standing. Spudvilas's illustrations, which have the look of oil paintings, nicely complement Crew's thoughtful prose. The colors are rich and there is a nice variety in terms of size and placement on the page. Even the typeface has a faintly old-fashioned quality that blends nicely with the pictures and with the overall tone of the story. A lovely bit of historical fiction, set in 1871, that is both thought-provoking and entertaining.Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Alicia, growing up in the 19th century on an Australian dairy farm, rankles at the restrictions placed on girls. Her brothers are like swallows, she thinks, free to come and go as they please—while she is like one of the cows plodding through a life of chores, cooking, and needlework. Alicia gazes out at the heavens at night and dreams of the mysteries of space. Much happier are her days at school, where she's particularly good at math and science. When John Tebbut, an amateur astronomer who discovered the "Great Comet" of 1861, comes to speak, he recognizes Alicia's intelligence and invites her to visit his observatory. Alicia's father is characteristically silent about his daughter's gifts and the invitation, but when the men and boys are asleep, Alicia's mother takes her to look through the "Star Man's" telescope. Alicia takes a look at the heavens, and suddenly feels her horizons expand. This lovely book, based on an actual historical figure, doesn't feel like a lesson, though it contains all the elements of one. Instead, Crew (Angel's Gate, 1995, etc.) focuses on a child's dreams and the moment when she realizes that her fate is in her hands. Spudvilas's glowing oil paintings capture Alicia's expressions, conveying, with the text, a message of affirmation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780916291754
Publisher:
Kane/Miller Book Publishers
Publication date:
10/01/1997
Edition description:
1 AMER ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.56(w) x 11.31(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile:
AD570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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