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Book Club Kits: Stargazing

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

Stargazing is a heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel in the spirit of Real Friends and El Deafo, from New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Jen Wang.

Moon is everything Christine isn't. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.

But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine's strict parents aren't around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn't where she really belongs.

Moon's visions have an all-too-earthly root, however, and soon Christine's best friend is in the hospital, fighting for her life. Can Christine be the friend Moon needs, now, when the sky is falling?

Jen Wang draws on her childhood to paint a deeply personal yet wholly relatable friendship story that’s at turns joyful, heart-wrenching, and full of hope.

Discussion Questions

1. In the beginning of the book, Christine is compared to Stephanie about her violin skills. Have you ever been compared to a friend or sibling in that way? How does it make you feel?

2. What do you think of Christine putting Moon’s notebook out for everyone to see? Have you done something like that? Or has someone done something like that to you? Did you/they apologize?

3. There is some talk about food in the story. What are some of your favorite foods? What is something unexpected that you ate? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?

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• Even though Christine and Moon are still close, Christine starts to feel jealous when Moon bonds over K-Pop with another girl. Have you ever felt a friendship was coming apart because your friend started hanging out with someone else? What are ways you could talk to them about how you're feeling?

• Part of the reason Moon and Christine grow so close is that they introduce each other to new interests. What have your friends introduced you to? What are interests you could share with them? What sorts of activities could you try for the first time together?

• Moon feels out of place sometimes because she doesn't feel she fits in with the norms of her fellow Asian-American peers. Have there been times you've felt out of place because of stereotyping? Have you ever accidentally stereotyped someone else?

• It's really scary for Christine when she find out Moon has a tumor and needs surgery. Have you ever felt afraid for a friend or family member who's gotten sick or hurt? What's made you feel better when that happens?

• Christine feels so bad about embarrassing Moon, that she has trouble figuring out how to be a good friend once Moon is in the hospital. Christine felt she needed to do something major, when all Moon really wanted was for her to visit. Do you have a friend who's going through something difficult? What are ways you could support them and show you care?

About the Author

Jen Wang is the award-winning NYT Bestselling author and illustrator of several graphic novels for young readers including Stargazing, The Prince and The Dressmaker, In Real Life (co-written with Cory Doctorow), and Koko Be Good. She is also a co-founder and organizer for Comic Arts LA. She lives in Los Angeles.