The Stars at Oktober Bend
Old Barn Books
Alice is fifteen, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone. Something inside Alice is broken: she remembers words but struggles to speak them. Still, Alice knows words are for sharing, so she pins them to posters in tucked-away places: railway waiting rooms, fish-and-chip shops, quiet corners. Manny is sixteen, with a scar from shoulder to elbow. Something inside Manny is broken: he was once a child soldier, forced to do terrible, violent things. But in a new land with new people who will care for him, he spends time exploring on foot. And in his pocket, he carries a poem he scooped up. And he knows the words by heart. When Manny and Alice meet, their relationship brings the beginning of love and healing.
Family Relationships; Disability and Health; Family member death; Kinship care; Foster care; Neurological disorder; Mental illness; death of a parent; death; grief; loss; children living with relatives; grandmother raising grandchildren; foster teenager; foster parents; brain damage; traumatic brain injury; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
female teenager; male teenager
Black (Sierra Leonean) / White
grandmother; foster mother and father
Audie Award, 2019, Finalist, Young Adult
Carnegie Medal, 2017, Short List, Children's Book
Prime Minister's Literary Award, 2017, Short List, Young Adult Fiction
UKLA Children's Book Award, 2017, Long List, Ages (12-16)
speech; war; child soldier; bullying; friendship; poetry; prison; grandparents; fragile
Millard, Glenda, "The Stars at Oktober Bend" (2016). Diverse Families. 2017.