Author: Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
Publication: HarperCollins (September 22, 2015)
Description: From Saving Lucas Biggs authors Marisa de los Santos and David Teague comes a heartwarming middle grade adventure about two misfits discovering the importance of just being themselves.
When thirteen-year-olds Aaron and Audrey meet at a wilderness camp in the desert, they think their quirks are enough to prevent them from ever having friends. But as they trek through the challenging and unforgiving landscape, they learn that they each have what it takes to make the other whole.
Luminous and clever, Connect the Stars takes on some hefty topics of the day—bullying, understanding where you fit in, and learning to live with physical and mental challenges—all in a joyous adventure kids will love!
My Thoughts: This is a story about a group of misfit kids who are sent to a dessert survival camp because their parents want to help them change. Audrey has become a hermit because she can tell any time people are lying which makes it hard to be around people. She can't think of any reason why anyone should ever tell a lie and gets really upset when anyone does. Aaron has a head full of facts. He remembers everything he reads, sees, or hears and comes out with those facts on any occasion. this makes him great at Quiz Bowl until they ask a question about feelings. He can't do feelings. They are completely baffling to him.
Audry and Aaron and teamed up with Kate who seems overwhelmingly sad but who has the ability to walk in someone else's shoes and Louis whose senses are hyper and who is afraid of many things. The four of them have to team up to survive the challenges set them by the crazy camp leader Jare. Of course, they also have to team up to survive the bullying of Daphne and Randolph.
Over the course of the two and half weeks that the camp lasts, the kids learn to play to their strengths and adjust for their weaknesses. And Audrey, despite her determination not to, makes friends who will last a lifetime.
I think that middle schoolers will enjoy this story both for the desert setting and challenges that the kids face to survive. I also think that they will see themselves in the characters and will enjoy getting to know them.
I smiled at this. I couldn't help myself. After I did it, I let out a groan, and this time, it wasn't because of the heat or the hike. I saw that it was starting: we'd all keep talking and arguing and shoving and smiling at each other and interacting, and soon these people would stop being Ketchup Hair and Sad-Eyed Girl and Skinny Kid. Soon they would have names; soon they'd be full-fledged people, like Lyza, like Janie, and I knew that's when the real trouble would start.I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.