Wow! Such thoughtful writing. Every lovely, powerful, perfect word just falls into place to tell a tale of bravery. Of staying true to yourself. Of speaking out. And such careful consideration was given to each character. I stood in Izzy’s shoes and Sitara’s and not only felt what they felt but really understood their points of view—their stories. I also love what Nonni said to Izzy: Will your fear be bigger than your courage, or will your courage be bigger than your fear?— Susan
A Bank Street Best Book of 2021
A Galaxy of Sea Stars is Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo’s second middle-grade novel—a heartwarming story about family, loyalty, and the hard choices we face in the name of friendship.
Sometimes, the truth isn’t easy to see. Sometimes, you have to look below the surface to find it.
Eleven-year-old Izzy feels as though her whole world is shifting, and she doesn’t like it. She wants her dad to act like he did before he was deployed to Afghanistan. She wants her mom to live with them at the marina where they’ve moved instead of spending all her time on Block Island. Most of all, she wants Piper, Zelda, and herself—the Sea Stars—to stay best friends, as they start sixth grade in a new school.
Everything changes when Izzy’s father invites his former interpreter’s family, including eleven-year-old Sitara, to move into the marina’s upstairs apartment. Izzy doesn’t know what to make of Sitara—with her hijab and refusal to eat cafeteria food—and her presence disrupts the Sea Stars. But in Sitara Izzy finds someone brave, someone daring, someone who isn’t as afraid as Izzy is to use her voice and speak up for herself. As Izzy and Sitara grow closer, Izzy must make a choice: stay in her comfort zone and risk betraying her new friend, or speak up and lose the Sea Stars forever.
“A solid choice for libraries where titles exploring xenophobia and immigrant experiences circulate well.” —School Library Journal
“Ferruolo’s latest novel...features complex and believable characters, a fully realized setting on the Rhode Island coast and Block Island, and a compelling story of overcoming fears.” —Booklist
Ruby in the Sky:
“The stories of the main characters intertwine beautifully, each one demonstrating the self-trust that enables them to do the right thing and to forgive. Writing in Ruby's voice, Ferruolo creates an engaging plot peopled with complex characters that gracefully navigate many issues of our time, including women's rights, immigration, prejudice and diversity, and bullying.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Ferruolo’s debut has a quietly magical feel, aided by passages describing Ruby’s fascination with the moon. The faraway moon serves as a poignant theme throughout the book and connects satisfyingly to Abigail’s backstory. The story also skillfully depicts everyday injustices and how those in power control the narrative unless ordinary people stand up against them.” —Booklist, starred review