Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hello Stars: Lena in the Spotlight [a book review]

The Littlest Drama Princess and I received a book to review this month. I am pretty sure my oldest child and I have read one of the other "Faith Girlz" books before, so when the opportunity came up to read a new one, I jumped on it! This book is the first in a series, if the number on the spine is any indication.

Lena in the Spotlight is a book series about a young girl who auditions for a part in a movie, and Hello Stars is the first in the series. Lena is finishing up the fifth grade when she auditions for the movie, and the book follows her journey through the anticipation, potential rejection, and inevitable acceptance into the strange and exciting new world of filmmaking! Lena's story is peppered with stories and quotes from the Bible since her parents are raising her to lean on and trust God. Making a movie isn't all fun and games, though, and Lena has a few bumps in the road, but the authors always bring it right back to leaning on God and His Word.

While the story has a great foundation on Christian values and takes young readers through the application of God's word to their lives, I found the physical structure, layout, and editing to be distracting. There were times when the sentences were choppy, others when they were too repetitive, as well as instances when the commas didn't make sense. There were breaks in the main character's day without breaks in the paragraphs or chapters. It was as if someone was writing the story like they talk, and it was not within what I consider the formal bounds of written language, although many would probably think I am being too critical (and I might be!). I almost hesitate to mention these issues because they are not about the story at all! However, my daughter is homeschooled and finishing the fourth grade, and reading chapter books is one way I expose her to the written language and all that it entails: punctuation, capitalization, vocabulary, sentence structure, and word use. Sadly, this book was a bit of a disappointment as far as that goes. If you aren't a grammar fanatic and your child doesn't need the book to help teach language arts, you likely won't notice any of that! :)

Now, back to the story. :)
I liked that the story kept circling Lena back to trusting God. They prayed often and about everything. There was no sibling disrespect as we often see in today's fictional families, so that was a huge plus! And when Lena messes up, there is grace demonstrated by others in her life. We sure need that message in our house with three strong-willed children! {wink}

I am not sure we will read any more from this series, but it really is a delightful story, and it appears there is more of Lena's romp to stardom to come. Based on the back cover, it might even be loosely based on a real story.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free with the understanding that I would read it and review it. No expectation of a positive review were given, and this review is my own personal opinion.