Gus and the Starlight by Victoria Carliss
Eleven-year-old Gus has learned over the years not to get too attached to her home, friends or community as her family, for various reasons, is always on the move. But when they finally settle into a small country town and find themselves running the Starlight Drive-In Movie Theatre, Gus sees reason to hope for a more stable future. She throws herself into her new role as projectionist and ‘marketer extraordinaire’ only to be thwarted by a fiendish plot and a mystery of supernatural proportions. Will she resist the temptation to retreat to the patterns of the past and withdraw from her new life or overcome her challenges to embrace new friendships and opportunities?
Like Gus, I was fully invested in the Able family’s success and their search for a home, belonging and community. This wonderfully compelling story told with a poignant gentle humour, quirky characters and a light deft touch of the fantastical makes Victoria Carless’ debut novel a must. Highly recommended for upper primary and lower secondary readers.