STARRED REVIEW
July 2017

Prepare for liftoff

By Mandy Davis

An autistic student discovers his hidden abilities in Mandy Davis’ powerful debut.

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An autistic student discovers his hidden abilities in Mandy Davis’ powerful debut.

Ten-year-old Lester Musselbaum is not happy about attending public school after his mom gets a library job and can no longer home-school him. School is filled with plenty of unnerving situations, including Ricky the classroom bully. To his advantage, Lester is good at science, especially aerodynamics, but Lester’s interest in this field makes his mom uncomfortable, having lost her husband to a rocket explosion five years before. She worries that Lester will follow in his father’s footsteps.

When Lester enters the school’s science fair and wins, the achievement only exacerbates Ricky’s bullying. And when a classmate offers Lester a piece of advice to remedy the intimidation, it turns out that following through with his friend’s counsel is easier said than done.

Lester’s narration provides a view into the world of an intelligent boy with qualities of autism spectrum disorder. He’s an underdog determined to find a way, even when it doesn’t seem possible. With a constantly moving plot that unfolds in short chapters, engaging dialogue and a well-defined cast, Superstar is an inimitable story bound to become an award-winning favorite.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Superstar

Superstar

By Mandy Davis
HarperCollins
ISBN 9780062377777

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