A HANDFUL OF STARS by Cynthia Lord

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Lily has always seen the migrant workers who come to her small Maine town every summer to pick blueberries, but she has never actually met any of them. The year-round residents stay in their part of the town, and the workers stay in their camp.  When one of the migrant girls helps her catch her runaway dog, Lucky, however, she and Lily quickly become friends. Salma begins helping Lily earn money to pay for Lucky’s eye operation.  And when Salma decides to enter the Blueberry Queen Pageant, Lily learns a lot about prejudices in her town and herself.

This simple and sweet story didn’t grab me as much as Rules, but I enjoyed reading it. It captured many of the complications of friendships undergoing transitions, and touched very lightly on cultural conflicts and prejudices.  Definitely for middle grade readers, this book may appeal particularly well to dog lovers.

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