The White Star
A.E. Martinson II (Author); Darcy Bell-Myers (Illustrator)
Beaver’s Pond Press (2021)
Reviewed by Grady Darrell (age 8) for Reader Views Kids (01/2022)
“The White Star” is a terrific book about a baseball-obsessed boy named Nolan. His friend, Abraham Kohath, along with Abraham’s family, are about to be forced to leave the country, so Nolan assembles a car wash fundraiser to help. But that’s not the only thing stirring! The story takes a mysterious twist when we learn that the Kohath family are the keepers of a magical chest, which also happens to be wanted by an evil celestial being. Nolan is contacted by beings known as the Family of the White Star—also known as God and His family—good celestial beings that have chosen Nolan to be their informant on this magic chest, as they are interested in protecting it.
One of my favorite parts of the book are the characters. I especially liked Nolan’s little brother, Grant, who can be a bit of a ruckus maker sometimes! Another favorite character was Mr. B, Nolan’s backyard neighbor, who is misinterpreted as a crabby man. I really liked finding out just how wrong people were about him. In fact, he is actually very nice and helps Nolan on multiple occasions.
Another fantastic part of the book is when the chest is introduced to Abraham and his friends. It can be quite entertaining at times, as the chest has a habit of putting on a light show (you’ll see what I mean). Yet another thing I like, are the creative names for God’s family, like Pastor, Mi Azul, Anapliro, Maganda, Blask, and many more!
The author’s sentences were clear, and painted a vivid picture in my head. For example: “Suddenly, the chest begins to hum and glow. Abraham and his papa spring out of the minivan, watching the chest with worry and suspicion. But their fears fade away as beautiful beams of color glow from the chest and gracefully move throughout the minivan and all around the garage.” It really made me feel like I was right there with Abraham!
The only thing I would change is to make an allegory or symbol for God in order to include non-religious people. A connection I can make is when a friend told me they might have to leave school; how I felt was probably a lot like how Nolan feels when his friend might have to leave the country.
I would recommend this book to readers from third grade to middle school, specifically those who like books about strong friendships, adventure, and perilous threats. However, I warn those who are skeptical of God that this book might not be for them.
“The White Star” is a fabulous story with a great plot, exciting characters, a hint of adventure, a few laughs, and just one little thing that could be improved in my eyes.