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The Stars of Summer: An All Four Stars Book

Last updated Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Author: Tara Dairman
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 0399170693
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2016

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old foodie Gladys Gatsby now has her first published review under her belt and is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and reviewing. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys's birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley. As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy: she struggles to pass her swim test and can’t keep the other campers happy while planning lunches. The worst part is she can’t seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper and sneak away for her latest assignment—finding the best hot dog in New York City. But when it turns out her hot dog assignment was a dirty trick by a jealous reviewer, Gladys’s reviewing career may be over forever.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Looking at the cover where do you think the story takes place?
•  What kinds of foods make you think of summer (hotdogs, hamburgers, watermelon)? What are your favorite foods?
•  What will you do this summer?


•  Tapas- a snack or appetizer
•  Witheringly- to shrivel; fade; decay
•  Incredulously- indicating or showing unbelief
•  Salwar Kameez- a traditional outfit originating in South Asia
•  Lamented- to feel or express sorrow or regret
•  Harrumphed- to clear the throat audibly in a self-important manner
•  Ulterior- intentionally kept concealed
•  Morphed- to be transformed

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What is Gladys' secret job?
•  What different types of food, that you don't normally eat, have you tried?
•  Do you like to cook? What?
•  Where will Gladys spend her summer?
•  How does Gladys plan to continue reviewing restaurants over the summer?

Craft ideas:
•  Take a sheet of paper and fold in half. On one half draw your favorite food. On the other half write the recipe for your favorite food.
•  Using construction paper cut out the ingredients of your favorite food and glue them to a paper plate. See Pinterest for an example: https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/july-2016/

Special activities:
•  Write a review about your favorite food at your favorite restaurant.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!