THE STAR THIEF, by Lindsey Becker, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 11, 2017, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 9-12)
People have been seeing pictures in the stars for thousands of years. Ptolemy recorded the classic Greek constellations in the 100s A.D., and in 1922, the International Astronomical Union officially recognized 88 modern constellations. This April, those pictures in the heavens came to life in Lindsey Becker’s The Star Thief.
The Star Thief opens at the Vidalia mansion. Honorine is a maid, going about her mundane chores among the magical treasures once brought home by the famous explorer Lord Vidalia. Those chores are interrupted first by a small fire and then by two sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study.
Just when Honorine thinks things might be settling down, a mysterious girl with wings swoops in, and Honorine finds herself following along. Before she can even blink, Honorine lands smack dab in the middle of a battle of epic proportions.
The stars in the sky — the constellations themselves — have come to life to defend their very way of life. The crew of an amazing steamship is after the constellations in a quest to harness their powers. At the center of the battle is Honorine herself, who may hold the key to bridging the divide between magic and science.
The Star Thief is unlike any other middle-grade novel I’ve read. It’s part magic, part steampunk and part mystery. Lindsey Becker’s prose is sophisticated and well suited for her audience. Though geared for middle-graders, I enjoyed it as an adult, and I know I would have liked it as a teenager as well.
Lindsey’s pacing is spot on, as is her world. This unpretentious adventure is fast paced and infinitely interesting. The story is complex and Honorine is a strong main character. The Star Thief is a good choice for a summer read.
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