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When the Stars Begin to Fall
     

When the Stars Begin to Fall

by James Lincoln Collier
 

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Everyone in Timber Falls knows that his family is trash, and sometimes Harry White thinks he’ll always be trash. But he can’t help getting angry—what had he and his sister, Helen, ever done to anybody? When he discovers the local carpet factory is polluting the river, he comes up with a bold expose to make people sit up and show him respect—if

Overview

Everyone in Timber Falls knows that his family is trash, and sometimes Harry White thinks he’ll always be trash. But he can’t help getting angry—what had he and his sister, Helen, ever done to anybody? When he discovers the local carpet factory is polluting the river, he comes up with a bold expose to make people sit up and show him respect—if his plan works. He wants to do it alone even though he knows he’s asking for trouble. As trash, Harry’s got nothing to lose. Or does he? Gripping, disturbing, and exhilarating, When the Stars Begin to Fall reveals the hidden forces that conspire against well–meaning innocents. Harry’s desire to change himself and society is so powerful, his voice so direct and real, that listeners won’t forget his struggle for dignity. In this striking departure from the historical novels he is so well known for, James Lincoln Collier has written a powerful—even shocking—novel that challenges and defies the rhetoric of contemporary America.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Older boys come to visit Harry's older sister Helen, knowing she'll let them ``use'' her. It makes Harry angry, but he knows he can't do anything about it. In Timber Falls, people think his father is a thief and the whole White family is ``trash.'' Harry tries to overcome the label by being neat and well-behaved. Nothing works until he discovers that a factory is polluting the river. He's sure that if he exposes it, people will finally show him respect. But even those who know about the factory won't help Harry, and he learns the harshest fact of allthat only if he leaves Timber Falls will he get a chance to succeed. The compassion found in Collier's award-winning historical fiction carries this story through the betrayals and terrible truths of Harry's life. Readers will be angered by Harry's treatment at the hands of others, as well as enlightened by his intelligence, which comes shining through. (12-up)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10 When Harry White, whose family is considered ``trash,'' finds that the carpet factory is polluting the Timber River, he decides to make public this moral and legal violation to obtain the respect of his fellow townspeople. But as the economy of the town depends upon the factory, he soon discovers that there is a ``conspiracy of silence'' that includes the police, the editor of the newspaper, town councillors, and even his father. The characters are not well-developed, nor are all the incidents believable. However, this is a fast-paced story filled with action and excitement. Readers will become involved with Harry's attempts to get binoculars and a camera, his spying and picture taking, and his confrontations with authorities. The thought-provoking questions concerning right and wrong, civic and individual responsibility, and good and evil are not given simplistic or comfortable answers. Harry learns that there are things we cannot control but must cope with and accept. Collier's book is stronger in the questions it raises than in their development in the story. Meryl Silverstein, Meyer Levin JHS Library, Brooklyn

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620646632
Publisher:
Blackstone Publishing
Publication date:
06/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

James Lincoln Collier has written many books for children, including Give Dad My Best and Planet Out of the Past. Mr. Collier has also contributed more than five hundred articles to the New York Times Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and Boy’s Life.

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