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The Language of Stars by Louise Hawes

Simon & Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry Books
$17.99 hardcover / $34.95, audiobook
ISBN: 978-1-4814-6241-9
May, 2016
Fiction: Young Adult
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"...Full of poetry and ideas, Sarah’s narration has an exuberant innocence, bringing a fresh and joyful quality to a story about a girl learning to love the possibilities that come with independence: the chance to discover one’s true self and desires, while forging a path forward that might fulfill them."
Publisher's Weekly

"...Hawes’ simple, lovely poetry illustrates Sarah’s inner journey as her rocky relationships with estranged parents, friends, and boyfriend change. This is a tale of forgiveness, listening to the world, and looking beyond the surface."
Booklist

"...Even before reading Hawes’s note on the story’s inspiration, poetry-loving readers should pick up on the Robert Frost-like sensibilities in Baylor, whose work is steeped in the natural beauty of his regional setting. With Sarah’s and Rufus’s poems included, readers will find much to savor in this book, an inspiring redemption story and an ode to the transformative power of verse."
Horn Book

Sixteen-year-old Sarah and the world-renowned poet Rufus Baylor meet under the worst possible circumstances. Sarah and a group of teenagers from her school on the coast of North Carolina have been caught holding a party in the famous man's historically preserved summer home. After nearly burning the little cottage to the ground, the underage vandals are sentenced to restore the house and to take a course in Baylor's poetry. When Baylor offers to teach the class himself, Sarah discovers she has a talent that may well change both her own life and that of her celebrity mentor.

Inspired by an actual case in 2008 when Vermont youngsters destroyed the summer home of Robert Frost, The Language of Stars imagines a superstar Southern poet who is still alive when the vandalism occurs. The result is a remarkable story of two artists, one young and one old, who share a world where everything speaks.

Louise Hawes is the author of two short fiction collections and over a dozen novels. She is a founding faculty member of the Vermont College MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, has served as a John Grisham Visiting Author at the University of Mississippi, and teaches at Mainely Writing, a summer writing workshop on Penobscot Bay. A tribute to Frost, one of Louise’s favorite poets, and to the wannabe actress she once was, Stars includes play scripts and poetry as well as prose.

 
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