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Friendship Forged and Real-World Issues Explored in the Australian Wild ⇉ Review of The Fallen Star by Tracey Hecht

Thursday, July 6, 2017
I loved animal books as a child, so when I had the opportunity to review this series, I knew I was in! For reviews of the first two books, click on the links in the table at the bottom of this post!


WHAT I LIKED


Introduces New (Australian!) Animals
Each book of the The Nocturnals series has introduced new animals that can be found in Australia. I've enjoyed learning more about different kinds of animals. This book provides a good opportunity to research more about Australian animal life with your young reader.

Enemies That Aren't So Bad After All
As with the previous two novels, The Fallen Star reveals that individuals can make bad decisions that hurt others for innocent motives, motives with which we can identify. I love how these books show young readers how to consider things from the other party's perspective, forgive wrongdoings, and move forward together.

Provides a Safe Place to Explore Real World Issues
As I hinted above, there are real world issues in this book. Because the story is fictional and told through animal life, The Nocturnals books provide a safe place for young readers to explore real world issues. In particular, this book portrays the following: gluttony, keeping secrets, insecurity, friendship, and talking before you think.


WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE (AS MUCH)


Bismarck is Still One Rude Marsupial
Bismarck often gets himself and his friends into tough spots because of his tendency to talk before he thinks. He's rude to those he doesn't like and / or who disagree with him. That said, he's also a good friend and will quickly change attitudes when he realizes there's a problem.

Superficial Characters
To a certain extent, the characters are still pretty superficial. We don't get to know the animals outside of the main trio. Dawn is the brave leader and the least developed. Bismarck has some depth in that his brash attitude forces him to learn a lot of lessons the hard way. In this book, Tobin shows more complexity because of his inner conflict. Overall, however, we don't get much complexity. (That said, it's for the most part age appropriate.)

Where's the Old Cast?
I realized in writing this review that we don't really see old comrades make an appearance outside of the original trio. While I enjoy meeting new Australian wildlife, I would love to see old friends make a reappearance. It would help connect the books and give a stronger feel of consistency. Thus far, the books feel episodic in nature (which isn't altogether bad—it means you can pick any book after the first book and not worry about having to read the rest of the books—but I would like to check in on old friends).


FINAL THOUGHTS


I enjoyed this book much more than the first two books. The conflict was intriguing and had me worried about the fates of the forest animals. It actually felt like they were in danger, and there was a real mystery here. I would recommend this book to young readers who love animals and would be interested in reading an animal book that takes place in a foreign country!

★★★☆☆


In The Fallen Star, Dawn, Tobin, and Bismark awaken one evening to a disaster: all of the forest's pomelos have been mysteriously poisoned! As the Nocturnal Brigade sets out to investigate, they encounter Iris, a mysterious aye-aye, who claims monsters from the moon are to blame. While the three heroes suspect a more earthly explanation, the animals of the valley are all falling ill. And then Tobin gets sick, too! The Nocturnal Brigade must race to find answers, and the cure, before the pomelo blight threatens to harm them all.



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CHAT WITH ME


Dawn, Tobin, and Bismarck help other animals who live in their forest. What activities do you enjoy doing with friends?



Publication Info
  • The Fallen Star by Tracey Hecht
  • Published by Fabled Films Press
  • On May 2, 2017
  • Genres: Animals, Juvenile
  • Pages: 208 Pages
  • Format: Hardback
Content
  • A deceitful villain uses other animals (lies to some, hypnotizes others).
  • A death is mentioned
  • Some intense scenes in which the heroes are captured and fight for their lives.

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