Stella By Starlight

Written by: Sharon M. Draper

Stella lives in the segregated south – in Bumblebee, North Carolina to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folds are right pleasant. Others are a lot less. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something that they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, change not welcome by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community – her world – is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire, and learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end…

Summary is from the back of the book, provided by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

The story in this book is as wonderful and engaging as the characters involved. The ominous shadow the Klan has cast in the lives of Stella and her neighbors is no match for the sense of the community in the place she calls home. This is an incredible story about a very tumultuous time.

Discussion/Project Ideas:

1. What is the Ku Klux Klan and how did they get started? (I think it is important to see the beginning, so that you have a better chance of seeing things that are happening in the present and how quickly something can grow from an idea into an uncontrollable amount of hate.)

2. The men who voted were extraordinarily brave. How would you have handled the situation? Give details and reasons.

3. Stella lived in a close, caring community. How do communities today pull together and look out for each other? What does your community do? What part are you, or should you be, a part of?

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