Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Beneath wandering stars
Format:
Title:
Beneath wandering stars
ISBN:
9781440595820
Publication:
Blue Ash, OH : Merit Press, [2016]
Physical Description:
272 pages ; 23 cm
Summary:
"After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother's best friend--a boy she has despised all her life"-- Provided by publisher.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Status
Searching...
Cowles
Searching...
Searching...
TEEN Cowles, A.
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Winner of the 2017 Colorado Book Award

After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother's best friend--a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother is in a coma, and Gabi feels that she has no time to waste, but she is unsure. Will she hesitate too long, or risk her own happiness to keep a promise? An up-close look at the lives of the children of military families, Beneath Wandering Stars takes readers on a journey of love, danger, laughter, and friendship, against all odds.


Author Notes

Ashlee Cowles grew up an Army "brat" and subsequently worked with a nonprofit that supports teens in military families. She holds graduate degrees from Duke University and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and teaches literature and philosophy. As a student, Ashlee studied abroad in Spain and walked part of the Camino de Santiago.


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Seventeen-year-old Gabi Santiago has been an army brat all of her life. Currently stationed in Germany, she is biding her time on the U.S. base until she can move back to Texas-the closest place she has to a home-and attend UT Austin. But Gabi's plans are derailed when her older brother Lucas, deployed in Afghanistan, is gravely wounded. In a coma and unable to speak, Lucas has communicated with Gabi in other ways, most notably in a letter he left with best friend Seth that asks them to travel the Camino de Santiago in Spain. There is no love lost between Gabi and Seth, but as they make their pilgrimage along the famed route, they inevitably come to understand each other and reveal some closely held truths. What, for example, did Gabi do to enrage her father while they lived in Texas? And what, exactly, was Seth's role the day that Lucas was injured? Cowles answers these and other questions in due time as Gabi slowly realizes, despite prior denials, that she's on a journey of self-discovery. This is a believable and well-written tale full of references to Homer and Chaucer. The descriptions of the often crowded and touristy Camino de Santiago and the wide range of characters who populate it are authentic rather than idealized. Readers will feel Gabi's pain-both emotional and physical-as she endures a host of adverse conditions along the route. In the end, her eventual maturation, acceptance of her responsibilities, and changing feelings toward Seth seem organic rather than forced. VERDICT A realistic fiction title that will appeal to a broad audience of teen readers.-Melissa Kazan, Horace Mann School, NY © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Cowles's debut focuses on Gabriela "Gabi" Santiago, a half-Mexican Army brat living on a German military base where her father serves as chaplain. Soon after the book opens, Gabi's older brother, Lucas, a private deployed in Afghanistan, is airlifted to the base's hospital in a coma. Lucas's friend Seth feels responsible and explains that Lucas wanted the family to make a pilgrimage along the famous Camino de Santiago in Spain. Seth and Gabi set out to honor Lucas's wish-despite Gabi's parents' objections and the fact that Seth and Gabi don't get along (though it's no surprise when their mutual antagonism turns romantic). Cowles, a former Army brat, shows an intimate understanding of military life and uses her characters to examine its difficulties ("Budget cuts. Back-to-back deployments. Missed birthdays"), the toll combat takes on soldiers, and other complicated topics. Though Cowles avoids making Seth and Gabi's camino overly faith-based, prayer and hope for a miracle regarding Lucas's injuries are central to their pilgrimage. Teens for whom war hits close to home are a natural audience for this hopeful story of journeys internal and external. Ages 14-up. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

When seventeen-year-old Gabriela Santiago's brother is wounded in Afghanistan and left in a coma, she's determined to fulfill his request--that she hike Spain's Camino de Santiago--even if she has to do it with her brother's detestable best friend, Seth. The lush setting and grounded characters are skillfully rendered with a mix of heartfelt realism and thoughtfully evocative prose. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.