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Extended Audio Sample A Handful of Stars, by Cynthia Lord Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cynthia Lord Narrator: Maria Cabeza Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Lily’s blind dog, Lucky, slips from his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it’s Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season.

After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather, and Salma’s friendship transforms Lily’s summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they’ll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant—and possibly win?

Set amongst the blueberry barrens and by the sea, this is a gorgeous new novel by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord that tackles themes of prejudice and friendship, loss and love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Salma’s artistic creativity and gumption awaken Lily to the power of imagination, the importance of embracing change and knowing when to let go of the past, and the rewards of venturing beyond one’s comfort zone.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “When 12-year-old Lily’s blind dog, Lucky, slips his leash and runs away across the blueberry barrens of Maine, a young migrant worker named Salma saves him from running into the road with her well-timed gift of a sandwich…a quiet, gentle story of friendship…the girls’ friendship is appealing, and Lucky—well, Lucky steals the show.”


  • “Lily’s likable voice believably discloses her maturing awareness of the limitations she’s built around herself while also offering an accurate and appreciative depiction of a unique setting: the blueberry barrens of down east Maine. This sensitive coming-of-age tale compassionately explores prejudice and multiculturalism.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Cynthia Lord is the award-winning author of Rules, a Newbery Honor Book and a Schneider Family Book Award winner. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed Half a Chance and Touch Blue. She made her picture-book debut with Hot Rod Hamster, which won several awards, including the Parents’ Choice Award, and followed it with the beloved sequel Happy Birthday, Hamster. She lives in Maine with her family.