Bright Star

by Yuyi Morales (Author)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

From the creator of the New York Times bestseller Dreamers comes a heartbreakingly beautiful story about growth, empowerment, and finding one's own voice.

Child, you are awake!

You are alive!

You are a bright star,

Inside our hearts.

Told with a combination of powerful, spare language and sumptuous and complex imagery that is typical of Yuyi Morales's work, this is the story of a fawn making her way through a border landscape teaming with flora and fauna native to the region. A gentle but empowering voice encourages her to face her fears when she comes across an obstacle in the form of an insurmountable barrier. Yuyi Morales' first book since her New York Times bestseller Dreamers is a book for very young children looking for their place in a world full of uncertainty. It is a book with resonance for all children, especially those whose safety is threatened due to the immigration crisis in the US.

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Starred Review

"Utterly beautiful"

Publisher's Weekly

Starred Review

Morales (Dreamers) writes a love song to the land that forms the border between the U.S. and Mexico. She begins not with the people who brave it but with finely executed, digitally enhanced portraits of the wild flora and fauna that live in the desert. A doe guards her newborn fawn as embroidered text reads, “Child, you are awake!” The voice continues, the doe licking her fawn: “You are ALIVE! You are a bright star/ inside our hearts.” When threats loom, “Te amo,” reads the text, as the mother touches her muzzle to her child’s, “breathe in, despacito,/ then gently breathe out./ Lie low.” In a charged moment, animals and insects confront a border wall, their pathways blocked and cacti upended. As animals circle to protect the young deer, reassuring it “you are not alone,” a visual shift links the fragility of the desert’s life to the vulnerability of people stuck on one side of the border—both are at the mercy of oppressive forces, and their fates are intertwined. Yet Morales holds out the hope of a beautiful world, discussed in a lyrically written afterword. Ages 4–8. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary. (Sept.)

Copyright 2021 Publisher's Weekly, LLC Used with permission

School Library Journal

Starred Review


Starred Review


Starred Review

Yuyi Morales

Yuyi Morales has written and/or illustrated numerous books, including Just A Minute, a Pura Belpre Medal winner, and Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, a Pura Belpre Honor Book. Her work has also earned her the Jane Addams, Americas, and Christopher awards. Born in Mexico, Yuyi now lives in the San Francisco area.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Neal Porter Books
Publication date
September 20, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
JUV039250 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emigration & Immigration
Library of Congress categories
Pura Belpré Youth Award
Honor Book 2022
ALSC Notable Children's Book
Selection 2022

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