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The Starplace

The Starplace

4.6 13
by Vicki Grove, Joy Peskin (Editor)

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It's the early 1960s and Frannie has never given much thought to the color of her skin-until an African-American girl named Celeste moves to her hometown in Oklahoma. At first, Frannie ignores Celeste, but when the two girls are chosen to be in a special vocal ensemble, they find themselves becoming friends. But others are not so quick to accept the idea of racial


It's the early 1960s and Frannie has never given much thought to the color of her skin-until an African-American girl named Celeste moves to her hometown in Oklahoma. At first, Frannie ignores Celeste, but when the two girls are chosen to be in a special vocal ensemble, they find themselves becoming friends. But others are not so quick to accept the idea of racial integration, and Frannie discovers a dark secret from the town's past that threatens the future of her friendship with Celeste.

"A wonderful, well-written, multilayered novel with lots of appeal."-School Library Journal, starred review

"The account of Frannie's emerging conscience, increasing awareness of history, and developing friendship with Celeste is compelling."-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Grove (Reaching Dustin) cuts social commentary with a hint of mystery in this story set in small town Quiver, Okla., during the early '60s. Although the local junior high is not officially segregated, it remains all white until an African-American girl, Celeste Chisholm, and her professor father move into the old Teschler place, a rambling house reputed to be haunted. Celeste's enrollment causes a rift among students, and for the first time, narrator Frannie Driscoll becomes aware of the strong undercurrent of prejudice in her community. Celeste's cruel reception jolts Frannie out of her own unwillingness to make waves, and she and Celeste become friends. Quiver's sunny image is gradually shattered for Frannie, especially when she learns the horrible truth about the Teschler place, where Ku Klux Klan lynchings were once organized. The secret past of Quiver will shock most readers; the author's acknowledgments, of anonymous neighbors who found Klan "rule books" hidden in their attic, speak to the authenticity of this powerful story. Ages 10-up. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Frannie learns hard truths about racism in her small Oklahoma community when she befriends a black girl who is new in town. The balanced narrative incorporates serious issues, adolescent angst, and the transcendent power of friendship. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6-9In this powerful coming-of-age tale, written with grace and poignancy, Grove transports readers to Quiver, OK, in 1961. Thirteen-year-old Frannie Driscolls world is turned upside down by the arrival of Celeste Chisholm, the first black student in the school. Celeste is ignored by most of her classmatesuntil she sings in choir with a voice that takes ones breath away. When both girls are chosen for a special vocal ensemble, their friendship blossoms. They practice together in an abandoned playground rocket ship, a place they go to get above things, but which is unable, finally, to isolate them from the racism of the town. Celestes father, a professor, is doing research on the house he has purchasedresearch that exposes the rituals of the Ku Klux Klan and uncovers how Celestes great-grandfather was tortured to death. Racism is not limited to the past, however. When the vocal ensemble, ironically called Ladies in Harmony, is invited to a very select competition, the town fathers manage to remove Celeste from the group, and Frannies feelings about her hometown are changed forever. Even as Celeste moves away, Frannie learns that friendship survives skin color. The characterizations, particularly of Frannie and Celeste, are strong and memorable. Grove richly evokes the era of the early 60s, from Dragnet and American Bandstand to teased hair, Vietnam, and the beginning of the Womens Movement. A wonderful, well-written, multilayered novel with lots of appeal.Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A quirky cast and some heavy issues never quite mesh in this ineffective tale about a teenager who discovers some ugly truths about her small town in 1961. Despite having lived in Quiver, Oklahoma, her entire life, Frannie Driscoll doesn't know that her town is segregated until Raymond Chisholm and his daughter, Celeste, arrive for a brief stay. Disturbed by the way Celeste, the school's only African-American student, is shunned and insulted, Frannie makes awkward overtures that are coolly received, but soon result in friendship. After dropping hints about her father's research, Celeste shows Frannie a hidden room in the attic of her house and later relates a horrifying tale of Ku Klux Klan atrocities in Quiver in the 1920s. For no obvious reason, Grove keeps present prejudice and past racism separate, disassociating the contemporary cast from any taint of the Klan, even though it's logical to think that some of the area's white families had ancestors who were members. A subplot involving Frannie's mother and a sexist employer only muddies the waters; a protest that Celeste's classmates mount comes as a surprise, considering their earlier behavior; and the irony is anything but subtle when Celeste is cut from the school choir just before a statewide competition that is, predictably, won by an integrated group. Celeste—beautiful, mature, worldly, and a great singer—comes close to being a type; Frannie's other friends are an engagingly diverse lot, which lightens the ship, but not enough to keep it afloat. (Fiction. 11-13)

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 7.72(h) x 0.61(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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The Starplace 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that the starplace is a great book and really gives insite to what actually happens and what has happened. Racism is very wrong in any part of the world and I think the starplace really lets people know that you don't have to be like others and follow their ignorant judgment. Whoever hasn't read the starplace needs to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved the book it was a educational and good books. its really cool
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Starplace is an absolutely awesome book. It teaches the values and importance of people of other countries, nations, and colors. Not only is it set for reading of any ages, it is interesting to the older audience as well. I think Vicki Grove did a tremendous job on this book. Frannie is an average white girl entering the 8th grade school year. She has friends and family that all care about her, and her life is running smoothly, until the day she sees young Celeste in a black car. Celeste is like no other in the city, she is African-American. At first, Frannie ignores Celeste in school, and doesn't care about her, but it's impossible to ignore her forever, in chorus she is the best singer around. They quickyl socialize a bit and become fast friends. The name 'The Star Place' came from the place Frannie and Celeste practice every night, it soon becomes a second home, and a second life to the culture of the city Quiver. This book is awesome and is a must read for people of all skin colors. There really isnt a special age you have to be to read this book. I first read it in 3rd grade, and have re-read it over the years. This book definetly deserves all the credit it gets.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best books i read!it was soo good!id recommed it to anyone. this gives you the creeps but also you can relate somewhat to her story.it made me get teary eyed and i just loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
" This book was the best! It's a heart warming story that takes place in the 1960's, about a girl who learns that her world is not as perfect as she thought. She learns this when she meets a new friend who tells a frighting secret about her towns past. I recommend this to anyone who likes chills up their spine, and a good mystery! "
Guest More than 1 year ago
My reading teacher read this to use and at first I thought it would be the most boring book but twords the end it taked a weird turn and becomes the BEST!!!!E-mail me and tell me what you think of it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a book that I scarcely ever put down! This book was one of my favorite books. Grove did an awesome job writing this novel and getting all of the information to go along with the book! I gave it 5 stars because this book kept my attention throughout the entire book! There wasn't a dull moment in the book! I am so glad that I got a chance to read this because if I hadn't been assigned to read this book, I would never have picked it up. I am really glad that it is on the Mark Twain list this year! I will definately recommend The Starplace to all of my friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Starplace is a fictional story that focuses on the lives of two 13-year-old girls, Frannie and Celeste, in the year of 1961. In their small Oklahoma town, Quiver, the two girls are struggling through adolescence. While brown-skinned Celeste is struggling with prejudice, Frannie is trying to discover who she truely is and what she believes. Together, the two girls form a tight-knitted friendship. In the mist of prejudice, racist, and gossip, the teenagers learn about each other, themselves, and society. However, even the girls' strong determination to stay friends may not be strong enough to keep them together when a dark secret is revealed about Quiver's horrifying past. The Starplace is an excellent book, and although fiction, includes many accurate historical facts. I would highly recommend this book to adolescents between the ages of 12-14. =)