Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
From the Publisher:
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.
I think it’s important as an educator to read books about teens who have a rough life. For me, it helps me realize that the majority of students who walk through the doors of the school, live a life I couldn’t even imagine.
Where the Stars Still Shine is the story of Callie and her rough life. Normal for her is not attending school and picking up and moving every time her mom feels like it. She has never had a normal life. She doesn’t even realize that the life she has isn’t normal.
All of this changes when her mother gets pulled over and Callie finds out she has been taken from her father when she was little. She and her mother have been “on the run” all these years. When Callie reunites with the dad she didn’t realize she had, she gets thrown into his sweet family. Having no experience with “normal”, Callie has a hard time adjusting to the fact that her dad has rules and he wants to know where she is all the time. She’s also never had friends or relationships with boys that weren’t only about sex.
Callie has a lot to learn about how to survive in a world of stability and love. We are along for the ride. I appreciate this look into a world that I don’t have any experience with. It helps me understand a little more of what some of my students are dealing with before they ever come to school.