The summer she is ten, Indie Lee loses her pet golden lobster on the last day of school. Her older sister Bebe stops making the fish faces the two of them have always enjoyed in the past and instructs Indie on how to act and how to dress so she won’t embarrass her older sister. Indie must navigate her sister’s new rules for behavior, hide her friendship with Owen, a boy Bebe and her friends deem as weird, and wear the clothes Bebe lays out for her. It’s only at night, when she slips out to meet Owen and build a tree fort “boat”, that she can feel normal.
Tracing Stars by Erin E. Moulton captures perfectly what it’s like to be 10 or 11: the belief in magic, the literal thinking, the reasoning of what will make things better, and the ability to do something about a situation. The book shows the sweet relationship between sisters and what it’s like to be a younger sister in an older sister’s shadow. Indie worries about being friends with someone Bebe deems unworthy or doing something that embarrasses her sister, but eventually she has to learn to be true to herself. Spunky Indie can’t be held down long. This is a perfect middle-grade book to read in the summer!