Christine thinks Moon is nothing like her – their families and lives are so different. Despite their differences, the two become best friends, sharing their deepest secrets and biggest dreams. But just when Christine fears that Moon may be drifting away from her, tragedy strikes, and Christine will have to find it in herself to be there when Moon needs it most.
Stargazing is a sweet, heartfelt coming-of-age story. The contrast between the main characters is clear, which makes their friendship so unexpected at first. Moon is confident and loud, where Christine is uncertain and tries her best to stick to her parents’ expectations. Though Moon might seem like she has it all figured out, both girls are just trying to figure out who they are and how they fit in the world. This book does a wonderful job of portraying both friendships and familial relationships in which the main characters still have a lot of learning and growing to do.
This story handles complex issues like culture and self-confidence in a way younger readers can understand as well. The theme of Christine and Moon’s different experiences with their Chinese identity was beautifully handled. The author didn’t dumb down the complexities but presented them such that even young, non-Chinese readers can understand the girls’ struggles. In summary, I loved this book nearly as much as others by Jen Wang. I cannot recommend her books to young readers enough.
Yours in love and literature,
Content warning(s): teasing, physical violence
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