Cover Image: What Stars Are Made Of

What Stars Are Made Of

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Member Reviews

Inspiring, warm, endearing. I’m 30 but still enjoy youth and YA reads, and why not when they’re as well written as this one?! This is ideal for young people looking for a great book to read this summer.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my feedback.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for a copy of this book.


I have to say, it took me quite a long time to decide whether I wanted to request this book or not on NetGalley.
It sounded, dare I say, a bit simplistic.

And yet, once I overcame my hesitation, phew, it was a really good book!

I do love seeing representation in middle-grade books: this is perhaps the age it's the most important to read about different people, and it's awesome to see publishers recognizing that.

And while, yes, the story might be a bit too simple (but, after all, this is aimed towards younger kids), I really enjoyed it.
It somehow mixes feminist topics with different abilities representation, and it does so in a way that'll be accessible and enjoyable to younger readers.
So, yes, of course you can predict from about chapter two how it'll end (more or less), but that's alright too – it doesn't take anything from the book and the way it tackles topics that might not seem the easiest to talk about at first glance. 

I really do enjoy this trend of more and more diverse characters, and I hope we'll get to see another novel from Sarah Allen. There's a lot of potential in her writing, and one of her books might very well end up a bestseller sooner rather than later!
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Really love that books with disabilities are being written. 
I loved this book it goes to show that no matter who you are if you believe it you can do it.
This book should be read by all children.
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An absolutely brilliant middle grade book. Refreshing to read about genetic conditions in a  upbeat, can do way. The main character libby is fierce and strong and what a young girl should be. I look forward to the day I can read this to my niece.
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This was a beautiful book. I read it in one sitting in the morning, in tears for the second half. I felt even more drawn to the narrative after reading the author's note and acknowledgements at the end. 
Our leading lady is Libby Monroe, who is not like the other children in her class. She is precocious and inquisitive and wishes the best for everyone around her, especially her sister. 
There is clarity in the information about Libby's situation, not all of it is provided at one go. Over the first few meetings, we are given enough to picture the girl because she explains all the things she has to do on a daily basis in bullet points. Her sister moves home for a short period and what follows is the crux of the story and the deal she makes with the universe.
 We are privy to all the hopes and fears that Libby holds to herself, not letting her family feel the weight of it. I loved the scenes in the school as well as at home because, despite the intelligence, at the end of the day, Libby is a child and she needs the reassurance. There is a lot that can be talked about from supportive family, teachers to bullies (I really like the confrontation scene, something I never thought I would say) and girls in STEM. It is also a book that can be read by children as well as adults and probably will all take away the same emotions from it.
I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a heartfelt book.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
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This book reminds me quite a bit of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Following a little girl with Turner Syndrome as she tries to get her favourite astronomer’s achievements recognised, this is an empowering middle-grade novel which will appeal to fans of The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day by Christopher Edge.

It’s always great to encourage girls to get into STEM subjects, and this book not only sparks an interest in STEM but also educates readers on some big achievements from female scientists – achievements which have often been attributed to their male colleagues! – and shows how women have quite literally changed the way we view the world.
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This is a must read! A book full of emotion, love and the most audacious young character who I have taken into my heart. Libby Monroe is my new shero ❤️ A very special book that will be an inspiration to everyone that reads it to think - What are MY stars made of?
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Through the eyes of 12-yr-old Libby, children will experience what it is like living with the rare genetic disorder Turners Syndrome. This is a female-only genetic disorder that affects about 1 in every 2,000 baby girls, and the author, Sarah Allen, herself. Babies with the disorder can often be born with a heart three sizes too big for their body. So, when Libby learns that her sister Nonny is having a baby, Libby begins to worry about the baby being born with an impairment too. She sets in motion a plan to win a contest with the Smithsonian Institution to help her sister save money and keep a deal with destiny.

Like many others, I had never heard about Turners Syndrome before; so, learning about this disorder was a real enlightenment for me. Fiercely independent and totally courageous, Libby seems to be girl that is wise beyond her years. Libby's affiliation with all things science introduces children to a whole manner of medical themes. In particular, her concern over Nonny's baby paves the way for some much-needed discussion around the struggles of miscarriages and problems at birth. Sadly, 1 in 4 women will experience miscarriage and, any literature that might assist children in helping their mother during this difficult time, is greatly welcome in my opinion. Indeed, it is Libby's utter compassion and selflessness that makes these explorations so beautiful. 

Now, I've read many people mis-labelling this a YA title because Libby is in high school. I would firmly say that this is a middle grade title (for 9-12yr olds). Whilst it deals with complex themes, children can (and should) handle way more than parents initially anticipate. Most kids prefer to read about characters that are older than them. As such, I'd like to admit that I first thought she was a little clichéd. A smart girl overcoming her mean class bullies? Been there, done that - got the book jacket. However, as the book went on and started to explore a variety of darker themes, including financial insecurity, miscarriages etc I came to be completely onboard with Libby's character progression. This being said, whilst I do congratulate children's titles that tackle provocative themes, I did think that the medical jargon and 'hard reading words' went a little overboard at times. In particular, I wasn't completely convinced that it was necessary to go into detail about Nonny's difficult birth. However, these are minor flaws that did not ruin my overall reading experience - I would simply recommend parents to sensitivity check this title if they're unsure about giving it to their child.

There was a quote from Mulan that really sprung to mind when reading this book. "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all". Though Libby has overcome more obstacles than most, she handles every challenge with such positivity and panache that it would be redundant feeling sorry for her - which I'm sure is one of the key messages of this book. Because, like Libby, often it is the people facing the hardest of challenges that have the biggest of hearts...
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Thank you to netgalley.co.uk for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I'm not going to lie. I requested this book simply because of the cover; it was so cute. I had no idea what I was reading when I started it, but I am happy I got the chance to read it. The novel follows twelve-year-old Libby who has Turner syndrome. However, this is something I didn't realise until I got into the book. I loved this about the novel, Libby's disability wasn't something that defines her character or personality straight away, as a reader you learn about Libby's principal interest, which is science and how she wants to be a scientist. I think the author did a brilliant job explaining Turner Syndrome to the reader as I didn't have a clue what it was, I heard the term in passing, but I had never had the chance to learn about how it affects girls (I say girls because it doesn't affect boys). 

I fell in love with Libby and was blown away by her character; she's such a strong little girl with a positive attitude, she focuses on what she can do rather than what she cannot. I loved how the novel didn't exactly revolve around her disability and make it the main focus, which is something I have noticed a lot of books tend to do when dealing with this subject. The writer gives Libby a vibrant personality, I loved reading about her relationships with her friends and family, especially while she was waiting on her sister's new baby. 
I strongly recommend this to any young child, I think anyone will love this book.
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This was an absolute delight to read and I relished every moment. If you loved Wonder this is a must read.

I was bawling by the end. There was such impressive character growth and the ubriddled optimism that bursts from within children, sparkled. I swooned and awwed at all the cosy family moments, filled with bucket loads of love, acceptance and happiness.

My heart soared when I came across our incredible history teacher who inspired hope and courage within her students, a teacher who had her own flaws and doubts like every other human. Libby's family patched up the sadness I was feeling by reminding all of us that, despite our differences, it's we who make who we are. Their understanding and non-judgmental attitude alongside Nonny's angel-like-love was beautiful to read. Libby surrounded herself with happiness, knowledge, compassion and amazing friends like who dispelled her confusion about life.

It was also a story that revolved equally on how important it is to take children seriously. Mc.Jerkyface throwing away the letters devastated me. What Stars Are Made Of shone a spotlight on Turner syndrome, its symptoms and how it was caused, but our 'star'- Libby delighted me with snippets of information that equally interested me (ranging from her love of Doctor Who, Samoa and Cecilia Payne). Oh and also the meaning of the 'hard vocabulary word' timorous and the similarly beautiful Kintsugi. 💕

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This story has my whole heart! This book had me hooked from the first sentence where we learn that Libby has a heart that's too big for her body. While discussing a real medical condition, this also described perfectly how Libby approaches everything in her life - with all the amount of love she can, giving everything she can to make life better for the people she loves. From the fantastic subject matter of who gets to end up in history books and who is often forgotten or glossed over to Libby's wish to help her sister out with money because she and her husband have to do long-distance because money is tight, everything was just so well incorporated into the plot. Not to mention that the pacing was perfect - it never got boring or dragged but we still had enough time to learn to love these characters. Nonny, Libby's older sister was particularly lovely to read about, it made me wish I wasn't an only child because their relationship was just goals.
A wonderful story for younger and older kids, it burrows itself into your heart and will never let go.
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There is no other way to describe this novel than lovely. It's a beautiful story about love, family and not being defined by a disability. Libby is one of the strongest and well-written characters that you feel nothing but love and empathy for her.
This is the perfect read for times like the world are currently facing.
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This book tells Libbys story. When she finds out her older sister Nonny is pregnant she is so excited to have a little niece or nephew but this excitement is soon followed by nerves. Libby is worried that the new baby will have the same problems as her and since Nonny's husband has recently lost his job Libby worries how they will cope for money.

However, one day in class she comes up with an epic plan, which if she can pull off will help everyone out! The only problem is how to pull it off when the people you need to help don't reply to you!

I really liked that through the book you learn a little more about Libby, realising that she is different from others her age early on but not getting the fuller picture until later in the book. Despite being different (or maybe because of this) Libby is super smart and determined, a great lead character and role model for many girls. And as she learns more about lesser known great females, so do we. 

This is a wonderful story to teach children (and adults) about acceptance and what people may be going through in their lives. Not just through Libby but with some of the other characters in the book too.
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I learned a lot of things from this book. Turner Syndrome is a thing. It's a big thing, and has physical attributes too, but the emotional and behavioural ones I'd have difficulty distinguishing from Aspergers or AHDC or any of the other behavioural conditions that I am fortunate not to have experienced first hand.

Except that I have experienced them, probably long before they became a Thing. What I found from Sarah Allen's wonderful Libby, was a warm caring exciting human being who speaks when maybe she should listen, and who gets ideas springing into her head too fast to do anything about half of them. Sometimes I wonder what Thing I suffer from?  Libby seems more normal to me than any of the other boring people in her class. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something about myself.

This is a brilliant story where I also learned about several notable women who had been overlooked in the great handing out of prizes. Some I knew about already, thanks to the push on Women in Science and role models I didn't know I might have had when I was at school. There are plenty of questions that lead on from that, like: how did these women break the mould without any role models of their own? How come any women did science before the rise of STEM?

Maybe it's a numbers game; we now know many more women would get involved in STEM subjects if the boys (or teachers) didn't elbow them out. Actually, I did Maths rather than engineering at university because there were 2 girls in 300 in Engineering whereas Maths was more or less half and half.

This is not a good review. I'm rabbiting about the world and STEM and women in science.

What Sarah Allen's book is about is a young brave, intelligent girl who wants to change the world. And it's absolutely marvellous. Probably my book of the year.
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(Thank you to my Mum for typing this for me).
Thank you to NetGalley for sending me this eARC in return for an honest review.
This book follows the main character Libby, who was born with Turner syndrome. Libby is determined to help her sister and brother-in-law  when she finds out they are pregnant and don't have enough money to all be able to live together. She is also determined to get her scientific role model, Cecilia Payne, into her school text books.
What I Liked:
- Turner syndrome. While this book isn't all about Libby and Turner syndrome, it was clear that this was an own voices story. The discussion around being different and having medical issues was authentic and I really related to it. I think it did a great job of educating and showcasing what made Libby the same as everyone else, while not disregarding what made her different. This is probably the best book I've read with a protagonist living with a syndrome. 
- Family. This book had a really great family dynamic, because Libby had 2 supportive parents and an older sister who she looks up to. They see Libby for everything that she is and try and encourage all her endeavours and make sure she's living the life she wants to. 
- Science. I loved that this book talked about scientific and historical figure who  have been forgotten or written out of text books. Libby was specifically focused on Cecilia Payne, who was the first person to discover what stars are made of, but her good friend Talia focused on Samoan figures who have been forgotten.
Overall this is. the perfect middle grade book for any lover of science, history or own voices stories. I truly believe anyone, no matter what age, could get something from reading this book. I am excited to see what Sarah Allen writes next.
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⭐I received this #ARC from the publisher through @netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ⭐ "I wanted Nonny and Mom and Dad and, well, everyone, to look at me and see what I could fix, not what I needed to have fixed in me. I wanted it so bad it was like my aorta was constricting again. But not this time. This time: fixer, not fixed. Just this once". ⭐ Middle grade literature isn't my genre of choice, unless magic is involved of course. I'm still not sure what made me request this book. Could be a choose a book by its cover moment or me having a thing for all things stars. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I did. ⭐ 12 year old Libby Monroe is born with Turner Syndrome, a condition affecting her heart and physical development among other things. With the love and support from her family this doesn't seem to be a major problem. Until she discovers that her amazing older sister is pregnant. ⭐ Worried that the baby will not be as amazing as her sister, but rather flawed like herself, she makes a deal with the universe and a dead, under-appreciated female scientist (!) If she keeps her side of the bargain, the baby will be healthy. ⭐ This is a lovely and heartwarming story of how it is not just our DNA that defines us, but also the environment in which we grow. The Monroes are a family that provide the encouragement to everyone to find their talents and voice and Libby's teacher, Miss Trepky made me think that this is the kind of teacher I want for my kids and for all kids. To help them learn but also develop their skils and critical thinking. ⭐ Libby is smart, kind hearted and funny, with a strong feminist voice, constantly struggling to find the right thing to say, or rather the wrong thing she's not supposed to say. Turner Syndrome is presented in a way that doesn't allow the reader to feel sorry for her but admiration instead. ⭐ Children and adults as well have a lot to learn about acceptance, kindness and focusing on a goal and never giving up. About reaching out to people. And about the awesome woman and scientist Cecilia Payne was.
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This wouldn’t be the usual type of book that I would choose to read however, Net Galley kindly send me an ebook copy in exchange for a honest review.

I would rate this one a 3.5. A warm and beautifully written story following Ella a young girl suffering from Turner syndrome. The story was primarily aimed at a young adult audience however I still enjoyed it and found it very informative and learnt a lot about both Turner syndrome and science along with enjoying the story line. I also liked the sibling bond. A lovely story it was a joy to read.
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I loved this book, Libby & her family were a joy to spend time with and as a celebration of being different this was wonderful.
A female 'Wonder' but Libby felt more real than Auggie ever did to me and I'd love to read more about the characters in the book
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Libby Monroe has Turner Syndrome, a chromosome missing making her stand out as different. Libby struggles to make friends not always knowing the right thing to say, but with the support of her family Libby makes a friend at school. 

Libby wants to win the Smithsobian prize writing about Cecila Payne so she can win enough money that her sister and brother in law don’t need to worry about buying a house and providing for their baby daughter. 

A wonderful book full of hope and optimism.
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Read this in one sitting. A fantastic book that I will be sharing with children at work as soon as it's released. One of the things I really loved about this is that it isn't a book about a girl with Turner's Syndrome. It is a book about family and friendship and working hard and stars and being aspirational and STEM and never giving up. The main character, Libby, does have Turner's Syndrome but this does not define how we or her family and friends see her.
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