I like survival stories, and this one was unique because it took place in a desert.
Description from Amazon:
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!
Connect the Stars was written by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague and published by Harper Collins in 2015.
I really enjoyed the wilderness survival aspect of this story. I’ve never thought about what it would be like to survive in a desert before, and wondering what would happen kept me turning the pages. The story is told by two different main characters, Aaron and Audrey, who each have an interesting “super” ability that has made life difficult for them with friends and school. I liked the characters and was rooting for them to sort out their issues, which included dealing with bullies, feeling like they didn’t have any friends and figuring out to live with their abilities.
From a writing perspective, I liked the way the authors blended in information about the desert and the sensations the characters were feeling. The dialogue and perspectives of the two different main characters seemed realistic.
“I was thirteen years old, and I could have written a book on lying.”
“I breathed in the air. It was clean. And clear. And smelled of something sharp and exciting, like a city on a spring day when you ride the school bus to visit the science museum.”
“Thinking is a lot harder than knowing.”
“I could tell that everything wasn’t really okay between me and the others, but every time I opened my mouth to speak, it was like all the words I could think of to say turned to dust on my tongue.”
Marisa de los Santos and David Teague are married. This is their second middle grade novel. They previously wrote Saving Lucas Biggs together. Marisa de los Santos also writes adult fiction. David Teague writes picture books, including Franklin’s Big Dreams.
For another take on this book, check out these thoughts from This Kid Reviews Books: Review! Connect the Stars by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague.