Sarah is forced to take a summer poetry class as penance for trashing the home of a famous poet in this fresh novel about finding your own voice.
Sarah’s had her happy ending: she’s at the party of the year with the most popular boy in school. But when that boy turns out to be a troublemaker who decided to throw a party at a cottage museum dedicated to renowned poet Rufus Baylor, everything changes. By the end of the party, the whole cottage is trashed—curtains up in flames, walls damaged, mementos smashed—and when the partygoers are caught, they’re all sentenced to take a summer class studying Rufus Baylor’s poetry…with Baylor as their teacher.
For Sarah, Baylor is a revelation. Unlike her mother, who is obsessed with keeping up appearances, and her estranged father, for whom she can’t do anything right, Rufus Baylor listens to what she has to say, and appreciates her ear for language. Through his classes, Sarah starts to see her relationships and the world in a new light—and finds that maybe her happy ending is really only part of a much more interesting beginning.
The Language of Stars is a gorgeous celebration of poetry, language, and love from celebrated author Louise Hawes.
Louise Hawes has written books for readers of all ages, including Rosey in the Present Tense, Waiting for Christopher, The Vanishing Point, and Black Pearls. Her work has won awards from Bank Street College, the NJ Council on the Arts, the New York City Public Library, the Children’s Book Council, the Independent Booksellers Association, the International Reading Association, and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Louise has written poems from the time she could form letters, but poetry has always been something she kept to herself—a sort of emotional timeline and diary. The Language of Stars marks the first time she’s “gone public” with her poems. A tribute to Frost, one of her favorite poets, it is a sort of “debut novel” for an author who’s written several well-loved books but never one so close to her heart.
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (May 31, 2016)
Length: 368 pages
Grades: 7 and up
Ages: 12 - 99
Lexile ® 850L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
"A tale of self-discovery well suited for art-inclined readers who feel themselves on the fringe."
"[Sarah's] struggle with the decision to be true to herself is one that many teens will recognize."
– School Library Journal
Full of poetry and ideas, Sarah’s narration has an exuberant innocence, bringing a fresh and joyful quality to a story about a girl learning to love the possibilities that come with independence: the chance to discover one’s true self and desires, while forging a path forward that might fulfill them.
– Publishers Weekly
"A rewarding character study [about] the power of creative expression..... This is a tale of forgiveness, listening to the world, and looking beyond the surface."