Ten-year-old Star Mackie lives in a trailer park with her flaky mom and her melancholy older sister, Winter, whom Star idolizes. Moving to a new town has made it difficult for Star to make friends, when her classmates tease her because of where she lives and because of her layered blue hair. But when Star starts a poetry club, she develops a love of Emily Dickinson and, through Dickinson’s poetry, learns some important lessons about herself and comes to terms with her hopes for the future.
With an unforgettable voice with a lot of heart, Hope Is a Ferris Wheel is the story of a young girl who learns to accept her family and herself while trying to make sense of the world around her.
Praise for Hope is a Ferris Wheel
"Herrera’s first novel is quite accomplished, with plenty of heart and humor, especially apparent in the spelling assignments Star has to complete but refuses to turn in, as she uses them as a sort of journal. Star is a unique, determined, and loving child making the best of a bad situation; readers cannot help but root for her."
--School Library Journal, starred review
"Well-constructed, thought-provoking and appealing, this first effort bodes well for the author’s future."
"In her debut, Herrera has created a delightful narrator with a memorable voice and surrounded her with a unique supporting cast. Got fans of Joan Bauer in your neck of the woods? Send them this way."
"A tender and truthful novel that addresses stereotypes without promising easy answers or cookie-cutter closure."
"First-time author Herrera, telling the story from Star’s point of view, gives readers a front-row seat to all the embarrassment and angst of Star’s jumbled life—and all of the triumphs. Here’s hoping we hear more from this author."
--The Horn Book Magazine
"Star’s contemplation, through poetic metaphors and real-life relationships, of what really matters in her life is compelling. Additionally, the poetry angle offers food for thought for those just coming to understand the power and purpose of metaphor, and Star’s vocabulary assignments, occasionally interspersed between chapters, provide inspiration and entertainment for word-lovers."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books