Silver Star by Jeannette Walls
Author of Berkeley High favorite Glass Castle has written a novel this time, reminiscent in all the best ways of To Kill a Mockingbird. Narrating the story is twelve-year-old Bean Holladay, who has been raised along with her slightly older sister Liz by a mom who fancies herself a singer/songwriter/performer. When their mom Charlotte doesn’t return from a trip to “find herself,” the girls decide to make their way to their only known relative, Uncle Tinsley who lives in their mother’s small hometown of Byler, Virginia. While living with their reclusive uncle, the girls discover things about their family and fathers, forcing them both to deal with a reality they have never suspected existed before.
Bean, whose real name is Jean, is a delightful narrator–funny, sarcastic, smart and poignant. Readers will fall under her spell, while still being cognizant that she is a child in many ways and her interpretations of what they encounter may be inaccurate. I recommend this book to readers who enjoyed Glass Castles and appreciate books about young people growing up and overcoming difficulties, even when the problems are their own parents.