Description taken from Goodreads.Ten-year-old Star Mackie lives in a trailer park with her flaky mom and her melancholy older sister, Winter, whom Star idolizes. Moving to a new town has made it difficult for Star to make friends, when her classmates tease her because of where she lives and because of her layered blue hair. But when Star starts a poetry club, she develops a love of Emily Dickinson and, through Dickinson’s poetry, learns some important lessons about herself and comes to terms with her hopes for the future.
HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL is a book that is lighthearted and fun but still explores many issues and demonstrates certain themes in a very skillful way. I loved the twists that shook this story and the way that Star grew up immensely over the course of it.
One of the main themes to this book is hope. Love. Looking forward to the future. In a way, HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL is a lot like how I would imagine a peaceful dream. When I was reading it, it felt like it wasn’t real. When I read it the second time through, the full force of it hit me.
I’m not going to say a lot about this novel, especially because of just how shocking it gets to be. A few things I loved–the relationships, the prose and Star herself. While a lot of this book was posed a little too whimsical for me, I did appreciate Star’s personality and the way she saw the world. Her innocence and love of things made my happy, and her relationship with her sister was believable and refreshing.
Overall, I would recommend this story for it’s target range and well into the middle grade spectrum. While I do believe there are older middle grade stories that tell this story well, I also think that HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL is a book that stands out among those. 3.5 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 272