Ten-year-old Star Mackie lives in a trailer park with her flaky mom and her melancholy older sister, Winter, whom Star idolizes. Moving to a new town has made it difficult for Star to make friends, when her classmates tease her because of where she lives and because of her layered blue hair. But when Star starts a poetry club, she develops a love of Emily Dickinson and, through Dickinson’s poetry, learns some important lessons about herself and comes to terms with her hopes for the future. With an unforgettable voice with a lot of heart, Hope Is a Ferris Wheel is the story of a young girl who learns to accept her family and herself while trying to make sense of the world around her.
Praise for Hope is a Ferris Wheel STARRED REVIEW "Herrera’s first novel is quite accomplished, with plenty of heart and humor, especially apparent in the spelling assignments Star has to complete but refuses to turn in, as she uses them as a sort of journal. Star is a unique, determined, and loving child making the best of a bad situation; readers cannot help but root for her." --School Library Journal, starred review
"Well-constructed, thought-provoking and appealing, this first effort bodes well for the author’s future." --Kirkus Reviews
"In her debut, Herrera has created a delightful narrator with a memorable voice and surrounded her with a unique supporting cast. Got fans of Joan Bauer in your neck of the woods? Send them this way." --Booklist
"A tender and truthful novel that addresses stereotypes without promising easy answers or cookie-cutter closure." --Publishers Weekly
"First-time author Herrera, telling the story from Star’s point of view, gives readers a front-row seat to all the embarrassment and angst of Star’s jumbled life—and all of the triumphs. Here’s hoping we hear more from this author." --The Horn Book Magazine
"Star’s contemplation, through poetic metaphors and real-life relationships, of what really matters in her life is compelling. Additionally, the poetry angle offers food for thought for those just coming to understand the power and purpose of metaphor, and Star’s vocabulary assignments, occasionally interspersed between chapters, provide inspiration and entertainment for word-lovers." --Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Hope Is a Ferris Wheel 4.8 out of 5based on
3 months ago
HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL by Robin Herrera is lovely. I don’t use that word lightly because for some that translates to precious, which is not my thing and not this book. But the descriptive that keeps coming to mind when I think of this book is “lovely,” so I’m letting it ride. Robin’s novel is gentle and kind and a little brutal and true.
Remember that time when you first discovered that what you considered normal was not the norm? I remember it distinctly, in the fifth grade, and it was shocking, and for weeks afterward the world seemed to be in really sharp focus. Whether that moment was encouraging or terrifying for you, I think a lot of us were marked by it. Robin handles that new awareness and its aftereffects beautifully in HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL.
Like all good books, HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL does a lot in a small space, but one of the elements I particularly appreciated is how Star rebels against being pigeonholed into a stereotype, yet unconsciously pigeonholes others into a stereotype, too. Because isn’t that how it works? We all have our biases, and it’s only by becoming aware of them that we overcome them. Star models the path of change so perfectly, Robin basically has renewed my hope for the world.
Also, vocabulary lists. I won’t say any more about it, but seriously, the book is worth its weight because of them (and everything else).
More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much i cried and gasp so many times to i love stars char
More than 1 year ago
Weeks have passed since I finished reading an advance copy of HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL, and I just can't get it out of my head. Star, with her love of Emily Dickinson and yearning to make a true friend, is the heart and soul of the novel, but terrific supporting characters (particularly Star's punk older sister Winter) also help the story feel incredibly real.
I need to give a shout-out to the story's structure and the overall quality of the writing, too. There's a scene around page 150 that just completely broke my heart; I didn't see it coming, but in retrospect, the author set it up perfectly. And I love how the book ends--with just enough ambiguity that different readers will surely imagine different conclusions for the characters. It would make for a great conversation within a classroom.
I'm holding this story close, and enthusiastically looking forward to Ms. Herrera's next book.
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
The lead character in the book is Star Mackie, a ten year old, in fifth grade that lives with her mom and fifteen year old sister, Winter, in a trailer park in Northern California. She starts a new school and wants desperately to fit in and find friends that she can hang out with. Unfortunately the kids are less than friendly to her after they find out she lives in a trailer park and mocks her blue mullet haircut (which Star considers layered). They look down on her because according to their standards she lives on the wrong side of the tracks. She struggles a lot at home too with a mom that has disengaged herself from her girls because of her own problems. Their lack of finances is always stressful and is a constant family worry.
In order to fit in and perhaps win over some friends, Star decides to start a club at school. She calls it the "Trailer Park Club" which you can predict does not fly so well with her classmates. Seeing it going nowhere she dissolves it and morphs it into a poetry club, featuring the great poet, Emily Dickinson. Through this club she learns a lot about poetry, other members who have joined and even about herself. This is a wonderfully interesting middle grade novel and Star is a perfect narrator for that age group.
Star's older sister Winter, (whom she idolizes) is Star's second mom and together they plot and scheme to try to solve life's problems. Although Winter has her own difficulties, like having to attend an alternative school and finding herself pregnant, mirroring her mom's behaviour many years before, she is resourceful and never gives up trying to journey on. She takes on the role of being a good big sister - lending a helping hand when she is able and being an encouragement and inspiration to little sister, Star.
This book is well written, thoughtful, thought- provoking and will keep you thinking about it and its characters long after the last page has been read and the cover closed. It is a book of hope, as Star tries to find out where she fits into this world and finding out along the way that life isn't always fair or easy but really what you make of it. I highly recommend this book and I will look forward to reading the next one created by Robin.
More than 1 year ago
I read this book and when I was finished, I had this satsfied feeling like, I just read a great book. It is very emitional and powerful, I love this book and I feel it. Read it
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