Star in the Middle

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Star Peters is in the middle of a huge mess. She lives with her baby, Wil, and her grandmother. She's trying to be a mistake-free mom and come to grips with a hidden past that resurfaces with the uninvited, malicious reappearance of her grandmother's ex-boyfriend, Curtis, who raped Star years earlier. Wilson Fletcher outwardly denies that he's Wil's father, but he internalizes every detail of his present life. His shame buries his feelings for Star and prevents him from accepting the impact of his situation on his friendships and future. Both teens blame themselves for Wil's existence: Wilson pressured Star to have sex, and Star refused to use condoms because Curtis used them. Millward presents a broad range of characters and a complex plot told in a simple narrative that alternates between the teens' points of view. Star realistically depicts the struggles of teen parenthood and the responsibility, stress, and stigma it brings. The author successfully includes sex education and parenthood facts throughout the novel in a way that avoids eye-rolling didacticism. Minus the parenthood issue at the heart of the plot, most of the characters seem perfect, which serves to remind readers that pregnancy can happen to anyone. Look beyond the dated cover for a story appealing to realistic-fiction fans and reluctant readers.—Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934813133
  • Publisher: Westside Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: HL620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good read

    Star In The Middle is a story about a girl named Star who gave birth to a son as a result of teen sex. She named her son Wil after his father. She faced a lot of difficulties in caring for the child's needs and planning her own future, which seems bleak so far. And her boyfriend, the one who impregnated her is running away from his responsibilities as a father. He convinced himself that the child was not his and was doubtful about his maturity and ability to be a father when he still called his mother "mummy".

    This novel portrays the hardships of a single mother, the aftermath of unprotected teen sex and how this social issue is ruining teenagers' lives. The entire story is told from Star's and Wilson's (Star's boyfriend) alternating perspectives. Even though I tried my best to understand the characters' respective voices, I didn't manage to successfully connect with any of them. I failed to 'feel' the novel. I think the author's writing can be further improved with a little more emotion and descriptive words. There's not much going on, until the last part of the story where Star's dark secret originating from her childhood trauma starts to bubble up the surface.

    When Wilson learned about why Star had been acting so strangely, he tried to locate the one who caused her so much sadness and heartbreak. His actions were rash and irrational. I think this is where the story starts to appear not logical. The climax came and went hurriedly and easily, and this gave me an impression of a messy ending. Still, I won't say I disliked this book, for there are some parts where I really enjoyed reading. I observed the author's creativity in writing and her good sense of humour. She also managed to surprise me sometimes, such as how Star's best friend --- Elizabeth, reacts to Wilson's cowardice (not acknowledging his son).

    To sum up, this book offers readers a glimpse of what will happen if we do something without thinking the consequences. If you wish to have a child, please make sure that you are financially able to support his/her life, and that you are properly married. A kid who is born out of wedlock will be look down by others. Sorry, I'm blabbering again, isn't it?

    Pros: Original, amusing scenes, interesting climax.
    Cons: First half is plain, messy ending.

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  • Posted March 5, 2010

    Star in the Middle has something for everyone.

    The story centers on the teenage parents of a baby boy. The book is written from the viewpoints of both the teen Mother and the teen Father, presented in alternating chapters. It obviously deals with teen pregnancy, but in addition, it has several twists that make the story layered and very interesting. I think it is a great book for adults as well as teens and would provide Book Clubs several serious topics to discuss. In addition, I believe it will be helpful to professionals working with adolescents, both in the classroom and in the mental health field as a discussion book. I felt I knew the characters and that their voices revealed so much about the difficulties teen parents face. It explores the teen Mom's painful secret which enhances the story and opens another topic for discussion. A must read for teens and parents of adolescents. I couldn't put it down, so I highly recommend Star in the Middle!

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    Great read

    I literally could not put this book down. What a page-turner! Star in the Middle shows a realistic portrayal of the challenges that teen parents face. I found it engrossing that the author wrote in both the voice of Star (the teen mother) and Wilson (the father). I believe this book will spark interesting and important conversations among young adults and between young adults and their parents.

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