by Michelle Isenhoff
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 2011 by Candle Star Press
This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
When Emily was a little girl, her father had taken her outside in each season and pointed out the pictures in the stars, explaining the ancient lore behind them. She wondered if he was looking up at the same stars right now.
"They're beautiful, aren't they?"
Emily started. She hadn't heard Malachi approach.
"Looks like you can just reach up and pluck one down, maybe set it in a ring," he said. "It'd be the most beautiful piece of jewelry you ever laid eyes on."
He pointed to the Big Dipper. "See the last two stars in the bowl of the spoon? They line up just right and point the way to the North Star."
Emily had learned that when she was six.
"When I was little, I remember Mama setting a candle in the window on the nights Daddy would get in late. I slept sound on those nights, confident that beacon was guiding my daddy home."
He paused as he contemplated the night sky. "The North Star is kind of like a candle God hung up special to guide His lost children home. Lot of black folks looking up at it right now, directing themselves home to freedom." Ages 10+
The Candle Star, a work of historical fiction, is the story of a girl who, after being thrown into a completely different world, comes to see the flaws in her long-held beliefs. Growing up on a plantation in the South, Emily had never questioned slavery. When her parents sent her up North, she found herself in a world where slavery was not only nonexistent, but was considered morally and ethically wrong. As she tried to cling to her beliefs she saw the suffering in the lives of those around her and came to see that she had been wrong. I love the character Malachi. Instead of just arguing and preaching to Emily, he shows her little by little how people can live equally regardless of their race. This book is great for late elementary grades and up. It's appropriate and very enjoyable!