The January Stars


Tash thinks Clancy’s fears are ridiculous. Furthermore, she’s quick to ridicule Clancy’s obsession with space and infinity. Therefore, the sisters seem a poor match when they find themselves springing their grandfather from his care home. They go  to visit him on their aunt’s, Polly, request. However, his unhappiness is obvious. Furthermore, the threats from the manager that Pa will be thrown out, are dangerous

Then there’s the fact that Tash and Clancy have been left behind in the city, while their parents and Bruno have rushed to sort out Uncle Mark in New Zealand. It’s the Christmas summer holidays, for heaven’s sake! The girls have been left in their aunt’s care because there is no one else. It seems since Nan’s death, the family is scattered everywhere, while Mum and Dad’s work drive their nuclear unit. What are the girls to do? They owe it to Pa to get him out of The Elms and to somewhere safe. Where might it be? His old home, where Clancy feels the presence of Nan, and the moon seems different? Or to Bee’s or Pip’s? How come the aunts are no longer in touch? Then again, what about The Magpie Bookshop?

Can Clancy follow The January Stars and the encouragement of Nan, her call and scent, and discover her own voice and courage? Is she ready for an adventure? Pa seems to be. Furthermore, Clancy’s all right when she takes Tash’s lead, isn’t she? Or does Tash need Clancy more than either of them realise?

The January Stars is an adventure story of empathy, family and understanding such as this Bookwagon reader loves. Our delight in reading and recommending this warm, rich, wonderful story takes us to the stars and back!

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The January Stars

Kate Constable

(Allen & Unwin)

Clancy thinks that she can smell Nan’s lily- of -the-valley scent and hear her call ‘Look up!’ beneath The January Stars. Somehow, on a visit from Polly’s house to The Elms to see Pa, Clancy and Tash have become runaways. It’s all rather accidental, and inspired by Pa’s obvious unhappiness in the residential home. Although he’s semi-paralysed and has lost the power of speech, he’s alert and communicative; his bond with Tash, strong still. Yet where will Tash and Clancy go with Pa? It’s the heat of the Christmas summer holidays. The girls are supposed to be staying with Polly for a brief time while their parents and Bruno are in New Zealand sorting out Uncle Mark. However time’s passing, Pa’s in dire straits and Tash and Clancy need to get him out of there.
As the sisters and grandfather go on the run, to the house where Pa once lived, and onward, they make discoveries about themselves, each other and then their family. Furthermore, our narrator, Clancy, emerges from her shadows, her entropy, to find her voice.
Bookwagon is over the moon (whatever its size and shape) to discover The January Stars. We are proud to encounter another title that is under the UK radar that deserves a wider, international, audience. We recommend this book so highly to older and mature middle grade readers.


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