Book cover of The Star That Always Stays

The Star That Always Stays



Publisher & Publication Year

Holiday House, 2022

Publisher's Book Page


Anna Rose Johnson (Sault Ste Marie Chippewa)

Author's Website 




Growing up on Beaver Island, Norvia was proud of her Ojibwe heritage. Grand-père told her stories—stories about her ancestor Migizi, about Biboonke-o-nini the Wintermaker, about the Crane Clan and the Reindeer Clan—and sang her songs in the old language, and her grandmothers taught her to make story quilts and maple candy. Things are different in the city. Here, Norvia’s mother forces her to pretend she’s not Native at all—even to Mr. Ward, Ma’s new husband, and to Vernon, Norvia’s irritating new stepbrother. Despite the move, the upheaval, and the looming threat of world war, Norvia and her siblings—all five of them—are determined to make 1914 their best year ever. Norvia is certain that her future depends upon it… and upon her discretion. But how can she have the best year ever if she has to hide who she truly is?

Notable Achievements

An NPR Best Book of the Year; A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection; A Parnassus Books Spark Club Pick


Publishers Weekly: "This introspective, unhurried debut, filled with personal touches from the author’s ancestry as detailed in an author’s note, is populated by memorable characters."

Kirkus Reviews: "Inspired by the author’s family history, this gentle novel nimbly and tenderly confronts topics including prejudice, the challenge of blending families, young love, and staying true to oneself. A coming-of-age story with a kind heart and strong spirit."

Educator Guide

This guide was created by retired educator Pat Scales, and includes discussion questions.

Link to Guide

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