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Catherine Bateson

Star lives with her mum and her mum’s old university friend, Charlie, who has broken up with his wife. Star doesn’t always like Charlie - and she certainly doesn’t like his two kids, Talia and Gabe. So when Star’s mum, Nell, begins to fall in love with Charlie and he moves in properly, Star isn’t sure how she feels about it. Charlie hates the way his kids just want to eat Maccas and have mobile phones, so he proposes a complete change of lifestyle. Star discovers that moving to the country doesn’t solve her friendship problems - but maybe Charlie has an innovative solution to that as well. After a Japanese Hamani viewing of the new backyard’s plum tree, Star finds a friend who shares some of her interests. At the same time she realises that being a step-sister to Talia and Gabe might not be such a bad thing after all.


catherine-bateson-revStar and her mum try to get on with their lives after her dad dies, but it’s not easy with unpredictable artist Charlie and his bratty kids hanging around. Star desperately wants a best friend, and for most of the story the reader fills that role, making this a gorgeously intimate book.

While Star’s grief is genuine, it’s not oppressive and the story is fun as well as moving. She needs someone to listen to her thoughts and I was very happy to, but as she already has plenty of grown-ups in her life, give this lovely book to girls ages 9 and up.

emily-gale-staff-pic Emily Gale is a Children’s & YA Specialist at Readings Carlton, and a Children’s & YA writer the rest of the time. Her other title is ‘Mum’, or more accurately ‘Muuuuuuuuum!’

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