I know I’ve fallen behind on my Year of the Asian Readthon, several books are coming out that should catch me but still I’d like to get back on board with the challenge for the fall. One book that counts toward the challenge that I really enjoyed was Stargazing.
Jen Wang tells a deeply personal story appropriate for middle grades focused on two Chinese American girls.
Moon is everything Christine isn’t, they both grew up in the same suburb, but Moon is confident, impulsive, and artistic. Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.
When Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends soon become best friends. Having fun sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine’s strict parents aren’t aren’t around.
But Moon has a secret, she has visions sometimes, of the the celestial beings who speak to her from who reassure her that earth isn’t where where she really belongs.
Can Christine be the Moon needs when her visions turn out to have an all to earthly root and Moon is soon in the hospital fighting for her life?
First the art was beautiful on this, I really liked how the author talked about there needed to be space for different kinds of young women, both like Christine and Moon within the Asian community, and how there needs to be room to fight stereotypes of how young women have to be.
Even with Moon’s medical issues it’s also rare to see a character like in middle grade fiction, she’s loud, and confident and a little messy, and as someone who was all those things and had them viewed negatively it’s nice to see books portraying them positively in girls.
Ultimately I like the fact that while Moon had issues they didn’t just abandon her to them and worked with her and helped her fix them, and while they were severe medical as opposed to psychiatric its still nice to see.