From Goodreads: Ten-year-old Star Mackie lives in a trailer park with her flaky mom and her melancholy older sister, Winter, whom Star idolizes. Moving to a new town has made it difficult for Star to make friends, when her classmates tease her because of where she lives and because of her layered blue hair. But when Star starts a poetry club, she develops a love of Emily Dickinson and, through Dickinson’s poetry, learns some important lessons about herself and comes to terms with her hopes for the future.
I so loved Hope is a Ferris Wheel and well Steering Toward Normal too. Egads, am I starting to enjoy reading contemporary stories now too? My TBR list can't handle this, abandon all hope of ever being manageable again. Sorrry, I digress.... 10 year old Star so reminds me of one of my relatives who wore her hair spiky and loved wearing an army jacket and combat boots. But, unlike Star, she wasn't concerned about making friends and fitting in, she forged her own path. I can, however identify with the feelings of looking up to your big sister and everything written felt true to those feelings. Its wonderful how Herrera incorporated poems and metaphors and writing vocabulary words into the story in a way that doesn't come off as an educational lesson but adds lovely layers to the story. And the friends that Star makes as she begins to morph her Trailer Park Club into a Emily Dickinson Club, well they all bring something different to the table and make for a fun story. This is another book with some thought provoking topics (I'm not going to list out these ones because well spoilers..) but Herrera presents everything with honesty and I believe stays true to the emotions. My favorite part of the book is when the club is sitting around and they each come up with a metaphor for what they think "hope" is, beautiful book. As an added bonus the back of the book includes a reader's group guide presenting questions that reflect on the themes and various plot points. There is also a review of some of the poems from the book to have the reader think about what these poems mean to them. I can see Hope Is A Ferris Wheel getting gobbled up by lots of school libraries and teachers who I hope will include some of the authors suggested activities into their lesson plans it's such a lovely, honest book. I'm hanging on to this one, because I really want to re-read it again.
My review copy was from Abrams books as a part of a giveaway offered during March MG Madness at Word Spelunking. Hope is a Ferris Wheel was published on May 11th 2014 by Amulet Books.