The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard
I’m sad to admit it but I had never read Glenda Millard before The Stars at Oktober Bend and I can say I will be quickly rectifying this.
Alice has been through a truly awful assault but luckily she has come out of it alive. However, the assault left her with acquired brain damage and she now has to deal with the aftermath. The people in her town call her names and make out that the assault was her fault, so Alice stops going to school and starts to withdraw into herself. But when Alice meets Manny, an ex-child soldier who has seen things that no child should ever see, she finally lets someone get close to her.
Glenda Millard is a beautiful writer. Her stories are very visual and while often I’m not a huge fan of teens writing poetry in novels, Alice’s poetry is very touching. While sad, The Stars at Oktober Bend is also uplifting as Alice and Manny’s developing relationship is lovely to read about and brings hope.
Ages 13 and up.
Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.