FaithGirlz: Hello Stars!
I often agree to doing reviews for books I think my children would like. So, when the opportunity arose to review Hello Stars, I immediately thought of my daughter. Truth be told, once I started reading the book, I found myself drawn into the book---me, an adult! Even though the audience is clearly young girls (likely tweens), I was personally blessed by this book.
Lena in the Spotlight: Hello Stars is written by Alena Pitts (who starred in War Room) and her mom, Wynter Pitts (who is the founder of the magazine For Girls Like you). Although Alena has written before (in her mom's magazine), this is her debut novel. Alena's story is about Lena Daniels, a twelve year old who decides to audition for a movie in order to possibly meet her favorite Christian singer. From there, unexpected events happen and she must quickly learn to balance real life and her rising stardom. While that feat would be difficult for even an adult, it definitely comes with special challenges for a social twelve year old. This book is filled with scenarios Lena faces that seem disastrous, and to which, I imagine, a lot of young girls can relate in some way, shape, or form. Examples include being late for class, having a gummy stuck on her tooth, having gum stuck in her hair, or losing track of time when with friends. Through all of those situations, other scenarios, and even her own insecurities, Lena learns to focus on God's plan for her life.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the relationships within Lena's family, too. Her family is a strong Christian family who often prays together. It was such a blessing to see how the parents loved on the children and made sure they were covered in pray. I was moved to tears the time when Lena wasn't with her dad, but her dad made sure to FaceTime her in order to pray over her and her day. What a blessing to see such a wonderful family. Additionally, Lena gets along well with her sisters. I personally want to make sure that my own family is like that. Reading a book where these relationships are obviously cherished will also help young girls see a good example of a family, which hopefully is mirrored within their own lives.
One of my favorite parts of the book is that Lena writes in a journal at the end of every chapter. Her journal entries are expressive and seem exactly like what a girl her age would write. She's real about her struggles, and I think this is something most Christian girls would be able to relate to. For example, one entry (page 64) says, "Hello, God, Ok. So I am not sure what you are doing or if you are even doing anything. Are you?...I am so confused. Mom and Dad keep saying you care about my life and to trust you and that you have a plan. But if I don't know your plan, then how do I know if I am doing the right thing? This is so hard! I don't want to mess up." Another entry (page 94) says, "Can you please keep showing me how to relax and trust you? It feels so much better when I do!"
Through it all, Lena learns that God is in control and He has a plan. She learns to rely on Him and trust Him in new ways. Watching her walk through this journey would be an encouragement to other young ladies facing similar issues. Lena is definitely a role model that I would want my daughter to meet through this novel. Additionally, Alena herself is obviously a young lady standing for the Lord and a rising star herself. This is definitely a book worth having your young tween girls read.