Quintessence by Jess Redman - MUST READ!
Find the Elements. Grow the Light. Save the Starling.
Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she’s told her parents that they have. She’s homesick and friendless and every day she feels less and less like herself.
But one day she finds a telescope in the town’s junk shop, and through its lens, she watches a star—a star that looks like a child—fall from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it’s like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and she knows that it’s up to her to save the star. And so, with the help of some unlikely new friends from Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of science, a little bit of magic, and her whole self.
This title has Common Core connections.
Jess's way of curating a story that includes fantasy fragments intermixing with realistic fiction is miraculous. As much I loved her first story, I didn't imagine to fall as in love with her second like I had. As someone who struggles with panic attacks, I found myself relating to Alma so much. Jess nailed the character development - so much I can't wait to share with students. All of a sudden, mysterious encounters and coincidences all start intertwining in Alma's life - she's in the school's astronomy club and paired with a very quiet, gifted, young girl student, the most popular girl, and Dustin who is a major bully. They soon realize that they have to work together to save a star, and fast.
This is a story that is a door - an entrance into the life of something we can only imagine in fairytales, fantasy worlds completely unknown.
Quintessence will be for those who love fantasy, struggle with anxiety, need to be reminded that with determination, teamwork, and kindness almost anything can be achieved.
As a teacher, this story will help you to understand anxiety, especially in young children - who we all know are now experiencing this emotion more than ever.
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JESS REDMAN BIO
Jess Redman is a therapist and author of books for young readers with FSG/Macmillan. Her first book, The Miraculous, was a Bank Street Best Children's Book of 2019, an Amazon Best Book of 2019, and was called "layered, engaging, and emotionally true" in a Kirkus starred review. Her second book, Quintessence, releases on July 28th and is filled with magic, science, and heart. Her third book, The Adventure Is Now, is scheduled for publication in May 2021. Redman currently lives in Florida with her husband, two young children, an old cat named SoulPie, and a fish named Annie. Visit her at www.jessredman.com or on Twitter and Instagram at @Jess__Red.
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