about the book
The Klan hasn’t bothered Bumblebee, North Carolina, for years. Sure, there are still some stores that young Stella cannot go into, but there are some she can. Some people are really unpleasant to her because of her skin, but plenty of people are downright genial. Stella enjoys family backyard cookouts, listening to stories and tall tales, and dreams of being a writer so she can tell stories herself, a dream which parallels her father’s dream of registering to vote.
However, one night Stella and her brother stay up a lot later than they ever should have been, and they certainly should not have been wandering around outside. They accidentally witness Klan activity, and the rumor and fear of it spreads throughout their town. It is the first flicker of change to come. Soon, the nice people become fewer and fewer, and the unpleasant people become downright scary…
Now Stella’s dream of being a writer seems even further away. It appears her father’s dream of voting won’t happen either, but that doesn’t stop her community from rallying together, being brave, and fighting for their rights.
Sharon M. Draper was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1948. Her father was a hotel maitre’d and her mother worked as a classified advertising manager at the local paper. They considered education a precious commodity and filled their house with books. Sharon became a self-described bookworm. A straight-A student, she was born to be a teacher. She taught the kids next door, her dolls, and even her dog! Sharon graduated from Pepperdine University and taught English in the Cincinnati school system for over thirty years.
In 1974 she married Larry Draper, and they have four children, Wendy, Damon, Crystal, and Cory. One daughter, who has cerebral palsy, inspired Sharon’s book Out of My Mind. Sharon and Larry still live in Cincinnati.
Sharon’s writing career began in 1990 when she submitted a story on a whim, something she always encouraged her students to do. In 1994, she released her first book, Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs. Though some of her stories are highly controversial, she has gone on to write over 25 novels for children and teens. She is known for her historical fiction and is a six-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Awards for Darkness Before Dawn, The Battle of Jericho, Copper Sun, Double Dutch, Out of My Mind, and Romiette and Julio. Stella by Starlight was inspired from her grandmother’s journal. It took many years for Sharon to understand the stories she learned from those pages and be able to share them.
In 1997 Sharon received the highest honor in education. President Bill Clinton named her the U.S. Teacher of the Year. That began her third career as a speaker, crisscrossing the nation to talk about the importance of excellence in the classroom.
Also by Sharon M. Draper:
Stars and Sparks on Stage (Clubhouse Mysteries, Book 6). Aladdin. 2012.
The Backyard Animal Show (Clubhouse Mysteries, Book 5). Aladdin. 2012.
The Space Mission Adventure (Clubhouse Mysteries, Book 4). Aladdin. 2012.
Shadows of Caesar’s Creek (Clubhouse Mysteries, Book 3). Aladdin. 2011.
Lost in the Tunnel of Time (Clubhouse Mysteries, Book 2). Aladdin. 2011.
The Buried Bones Mystery (Clubhouse Mysteries, Book 1). Aladdin. 2011.
The Dazzle Disaster Dinner Party (Sassy, Book 4). Scholastic. 2010.
The Silver Secret (Sassy, Book 3). Scholastic. 2010.
Out of My Mind. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2010.
The Birthday Storm (Sassy, Book 2). Scholastic. 2009.
Little Sister Is Not My Name! (Sassy, Book 1). Scholastic.
Trouble the Water by Frances O’Roark Dowell
When Callie, a young African American girl, befriends a young white boy named Wendell, they pair up to find the owner of an old yellow dog they found. However, their segregated town doesn’t like that the children have become pals, so Callie and Wendell will have to fight for their friendship in an adventure involving a mysterious cabin and ghosts.
Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
Gloriana really wants to turn twelve and have a fun birthday party—but at times she just wants to turn the clock back a year. Back to when her sister was her confidante, before she became a stuck-up high schooler. Before her best friend Frankie got all weird and hard to be around. Before all the trouble about the segregated public pool started.
Little Sister Is Not My Name! (Sassy, Book 1) by Sharon M. Draper
Nicknamed Little Sister, much to her chagrin, Sassy resents being the youngest and smallest of the African-American Sanford clan and her fourth-grade class. She does her best to jazz up her boring school uniform and put more fun into everyday school life, but makes little headway…until a family emergency calls for a pint-sized hero.