Stella by Starlight

Stella by Starlight
Written by Sharon Draper

When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

Primary Source Pairing:
In 1932 during the setting of this book, the Sears and Roebuck catalog was a hot item. In the story Carolyn receives the catalog and runs over to Stella’s house. The girls pour over the pages and admire the dresses, shoes, toys, and even a house that can be purchased for $1,874! (page 167) The primary source pairing for this book is a page from the Sears and Roebuck catalog highlighting dresses for women. In our current era of online shopping, the printed catalog has gone by the wayside. But in Stella’s time, the pages of the Sears and Roebuck catalog were exciting and gave Stella and Carolyn many things to dream about.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What do you notice first?
  • Find something small but interesting.
  • What do you notice that you didn’t expect?
  • What do you notice that you can’t explain?
  • Who do you think was the audience for this item?
  • If somebody made this today, what would be different?
  • What can you learn from examining this?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Sears and Roebuck catalog: