Author Lisa Fipps posted on Twitter the other day a picture of a jar with slips of paper in it. "Every time someone says something good about STARFISH, I print it off and place it in the jar," she tweeted. Perhaps this blog post will warrant a print out?
There are so many things I love about this book in spite of the fact that I had a really hard time reading the bits about Ellie's brother and her mom. But that's what makes the book good, right? When I fall hard (or don't fall, in this case) for my characters I love it. So many strong feelings one way or the other. Just ask my friend, Alicia. Ellie's mom does everything to get her to lose weight from posting things on the fridge to wanting her, at 12, to get bariatric surgery. And her brother is one of her worst bullies. It's not that they were unbelievable, just hard for my heart to believe, you know? But, enough about them--Who do I love? Ellie, of course. Her dad. Ahhh...Her old BFF and her new BFF. Yes, the old adage, "make new friends but keep the old" totally fit here, drama free and it worked. Her Doc got a big heart in my notes. I even like her sister, who is trying.
Speaking of hearts, I💜 Julie Murphy and KA Holt and I feel like if you "shipped" (do they still use that term these days?) those two together, you would get Lisa Fipps. Her verse is so en pointe, like Holt's. And she's got all the fabulous feels of all the Murphy novels I love. Plus all three write in Texas. Period. End of sentence.
Back to mom...there are good mom memories. "I guess I cling to those moments/like a drowning girl to a life preserver/whenever Mom's words/gut me like a fish." Wow. I just wish Ellie didn't have to endure it for so long. Eventually, with the help of Doc she stands up for herself beginning with tossing the family scale. "Untrue, negative thought:/The higher my weight,/the lower my value./True, positive thought:/A scale does not/determine my worth." All I wanted to do was yell, "You got this, Ellie!"
I highlighted a lot more quotes from the book. Trust me they are good. Take the time you would have read them here to preorder STARFISH now. I say it's a strong Newbery 2022 contender. Now, the big question: Will my words leap into your jar, Lisa? 😉 🤞