By Laurence Yep
Published by Harper Collins Childrens
Released On January 1st, 2011
Source- ARC from the publisher for review
Ages 8 & up
4 stars- It's A Good Read
If only Artie had kept his mouth shut.
But his mean cousin Petey was putting him down, so Artie started bragging.
Now he has to come up with enough money to buy firecrackers for all his cousins by the Lunar New Year.
Luckily, there's one person he can count on . . . Uncle Chester!
Newbery Honor Book author Laurence Yep celebrates family and Chinese New Year traditions in this story of a boy and his uncle who discover that age doesn't matter when it comes to helping out a friend (quoted from Goodreads).
When young Artie is picked on by a cousin of his, his mouth gets the better of him and Artie finds he's made a bet that he may not be able to fulfill. Uncle Chester isn't going to allow his nephew to grow up feeling like an outsider in the family like he did, and is determined to help his nephew keep his promise to get fire crackers for his entire family for the Chinese New Year.
Together both Chester and Artie end up teaching each other a lesson. Families aren't perfect, we make mistakes, but no matter, no one can make you feel bad about yourself, unless you let them. I really enjoyed seeing the traditions Artie's family celebrated and how the Chinese New Year and the fire cracker display all tied in with the story. I liked that though Artie and Chester have a huge gap in their ages, they both teach each other something about keeping your word, and being a true friendships.
I liked the setting and getting a glimpse of what it's like being apart of the Chinese-American family during the 50's in CA. It really set the tone for the story. The Star Maker is a story about over coming conflict, family dynamics, and true friendships. I feel this is a great book for kids in grades ages 3rd through 6th, as they will be able to relate more with Artie and what he's going through.