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The Blue Star by Tony Earley
The Blue Star is Toney Earley's second novel about Jim Glass, first introduced as a precocious 10-year-old boy in Jim the Boy. It's now 1939, seven years later in Aliceville, N.C., and Jim is a senior in high school. On the cusp of manhood, Jim finds delight in fishtailing his car up dirt roads. He breaks up with Norma, the school's valedictorian and the girl everyone expected to eventually be his wife. Jim, though, is smitten by a half-Cherokee girl named Chrissie, who is pledged to Bucky, a boy used to getting his way and refusing to accept blame for his mistakes. When Bucky enlists in the Navy and is sent to Pearl Harbor, Jim sees it as an opportunity to make Chrissie his own. Bucky, though, warns Jim from afar and Chrissie and her mother are forced to live with Bucky's family where they're basically prisoners. With war and adulthood beckoning, Jim is coming to realize that his actions and decisions now come with lifelong consequences. The Blue Star has received positive reviews with the Seattle Times saying, "The Blue Star is a very fine book, full of moments of humor and tenderness, prose so glassine you almost forget it is there."