The Resource Superstar, Mandy Davis

Superstar, Mandy Davis

Label
Superstar
Title
Superstar
Statement of responsibility
Mandy Davis
Title variation
Super star
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Space-obsessed Lester Musselbaum experiences the challenges of his first days of public school: making friends, facing bullies, finding his "thing," and accidentally learning of his autism-spectrum diagnosis.
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Gr 4–6—Lester loves two things: science and homeschooled life with his devoted mother. So it's a shock when Mom announces that Lester will be attending fifth grade in public school because she is going back to work full-time. The pair have been especially close since the tragic, mission-related death of Lester's astronaut father five years earlier; unresolved grief still haunts the family. Lester's behaviors make his transition to public school a challenge (he later discovers he has autism), but caring staff and a kindhearted classmate, Abby, offer support. Then the annual science fair gives Lester both a way to fit in and an opportunity he's been longing for: a chance to study space and flying, taboo subjects at home. Emphasizing characterization over action, the first-person narrative helps readers understand the social difficulties experienced by a child on the autism spectrum. In Lester and his mother, debut author Davis creates genuine, emotionally engaging characters who, over the course of the novel, grow and move toward heartfelt triumphs. While Lester's mother is aware of his behavioral issues, it is not clear whether she sought services for him before he received a diagnosis and IEP from his new school. This may lead to comparisons with Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Fish in a Tree, but Ally's and Lester's home lives are quite different. The book also overlooks Davis's larger story of a family recovering from devastating loss. VERDICT Give to sensitive readers who enjoy rooting for the underdog and to fans of realistic stories with scientific themes.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY --Marybeth Kozikowski (Reviewed 05/01/2017) (School Library Journal, vol 63, issue 05, p81)
  • /* Starred Review */ In an excellent first novel, Davis channels the idiosyncratic perspective and voice of Lester, a 10-year-old stargazer, as he makes the difficult transition from homeschooling to fifth grade. Layers of unspoken grief for Lester’s astronaut father, who died five years earlier, loom large, especially because Lester’s mother resists her son’s avid interest in space. When she takes a job at the library and Lester starts school, Davis strongly sketches how his personality and quirks make for a difficult adjustment: Lester struggles with a bully, can’t stand the cacophony of the cafeteria, lacks tact and social skills, calls out in class, and doesn’t handle schedule changes well. Lester is an immensely sympathetic narrator as he navigates a friendship with a fashion-forward classmate, competes in the science fair, and participates in a kickball game. When he opens an official letter addressed to his mother, he discovers that he’s been diagnosed with “autism spectrum disorder” and works to understand what that means. This unsentimental portrait of an endearing and memorable protagonist offers powerful insight into living with autism. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (June) --Staff (Reviewed 05/01/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 18, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Autism gets the unsentimentally sensitive treatment it deserves in Davis' debut.White kid Lester Musselbaum loves science, especially space, more than anything, but since his astronaut father died in a shuttle accident five years ago, the 10-year-old's mother refuses to talk about the stars with him. When Mom goes back to work, the previously home-schooled Lester goes to public school. Navigating this strange place where no one, not even his teacher, understands him, the easily overwhelmed Lester gets into trouble daily. The noise in the lunchroom makes his head feel like it will explode, and last-minute changes in the schedule throw him off course. When a bully destroys Lester's anchor, a Superman figure that was a gift from his father, a kind classmate, a black boy named Michael Z, tells him to find his "thing"—something he does better than anyone else. Since science is already his thing, Lester finds a way to use his smarts to deflect the angry bully. Lester's first-person narrative is honest and pure. The text never infantilizes or romanticizes him, something that often happens in an attempt to teach a lesson about kids who don't fit into any particular box. An intelligent and gently humorous story about an underdog who explores his place in a world that doesn't readily accommodate kids who possess different ways of being or thinking. (Fiction. 8-12)(Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2017)
Assigning source
Adapted from Amazon description
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10565586
Cataloging source
YDX
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Davis, Mandy
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 6
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Boys
  • Autistic children
  • Friendship
  • Bullies
  • Schools
  • Boys
  • Autistic children
  • Friendship
  • Bullies
  • Schools
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Superstar, Mandy Davis
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn959592003
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
320 pages
Isbn
9780062377777
Lccn
2016939551
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)959592003
Label
Superstar, Mandy Davis
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn959592003
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
320 pages
Isbn
9780062377777
Lccn
2016939551
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)959592003

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • North Village BranchBorrow it
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      30.362144 -97.7305032
    • Old Quarry BranchBorrow it
      7051 Village Center Dr., Austin, TX, 78731, US
      30.3529975 -97.7551561
    • Pleasant Hill BranchBorrow it
      211 E. William Cannon Blvd., Austin, TX, 78745, US
      30.1922461 -97.7771661
    • Windsor Park BranchBorrow it
      5833 Westminster Dr., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.3116523 -97.6902298
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