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Children's Fiction Diversity & Multicultural

The Stars

by (author) Jacques Goldstyn

translated by Helen Mixter

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
May 2023
Diversity & Multicultural, Religion & Faith, General, Dating & Sex, Friendship
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 10
  • Grade: 2 to 5


A dazzling story about love—for the stars, and for one another—between two young people, set in the multicultural city of Montréal.

Every day, Yakov takes his sisters to the park. He's supposed to look after them, but their games are boring, so he reads about space and dreams of becoming an astronaut instead. His father, though, has other plans: he wants Yakov to take over his grocery store when he grows up.

Yakov's world changes when at the park one day, he comes across a girl also reading a book about space. Aïcha has moved into the house right behind his, and the two become inseparable. Together, they search for constellations, check out astronomy books from the library, and marvel at the night sky. However, their fathers fear they are growing too close. They are forbidden from spending time together, and Aïcha eventually moves away.

Years later, Yakov has achieved his dream: he works for NASA and builds space probes. Will he and Aïcha ever see each other again?

The Stars features:


  • An engaging, cartoon style
  • A powerful message about following your passion
  • A celebration of the excitement and wonder of scientific pursuits—and how science can unite us


From award-winning picture book creator and cartoonist Jacques Goldstyn, The Stars is a brilliant and heartwarming hymn to friendship, the infinity of the sky, and following what you love.

An Aldana Libros Book, Greystone Kids


About the authors

JACQUES GOLDSTYN is an illustrator and a political cartoonist. He is a regular contributor to the children’s magazine Les Débrouillards and his books include Letters to a Prisoner and Bertolt, both of which were chosen as a Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Books of 2017. He has twice won Le Grand Prix du journalisme indépendant for editorial illustration and lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Jacques Goldstyn's profile page

Helen Mixter is a writer and the translator of several children's books, including the Governor General's Award-winning Harvey.

Helen Mixter's profile page

Editorial Reviews

An Ontario Library Association Best Bets Winner (Top 10 Titles of 2023)

"[...]a story about how things change and how if you follow your passions, that is the right choice in the end. An utter charmer.”
School Library Journal

"In both its message and its mastery of the picture-book medium, The Stars utterly shines."
Quill & Quire STARRED Review


"Kinetic. . . engaging, and readers can’t help rooting for the star-crossed lovers. . ."
The Wall Street Journal

"Two children of different backgrounds but complementary interests are forced apart and then reunite years later in this sweet love story. . . cozy and cosmic."
Booklist STARRED Review

"Goldstyn's light, humorous illustrations. . . provide rich detail and serve to deepen reader understanding of the religious and cultural context and setting. . . quirky, hilarious details. A perfect opportunity for a quick read aloud for older students. Recommended."
School Library Connection

Praise for the The Eleventh Hour by Jacques Goldstyn

"While this well-written title is meant for a younger audience, older students may also connect with the content as they study World War I and seek a depiction of the life of a soldier."
School Library Connection

"A history lesson and conversation starter in one book."
Kirkus STARRED Review

"Because of its particular focus on WWI, the story may be of special value to teachers whose classes are studying the period."
Publishers Weekly

"This antiwar parable. . . is a powerful and accessible multi-audience picture book that imbues meaning to the hundredth anniversary of a war's end now shrouded in the long ago while challenging young readers to weigh the merits of current conflicts in the news."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Goldstyn's text is powerful in its spareness, while his cartoon pictures successfully capture the story's tone and moods, both antic and somber; taken together, these create a memorable, moving tale."

"This is a beautiful and heartfelt picture book about war and perspective that should be a part of all social studies curriculum."
School Library Journal STARRED Review

Praise for Letters to a Prisoner by Jacques Goldstyn, illustrated by Angela Keenlyside

"Goldstyn was inspired by the letter-writing campaigns of human rights organization Amnesty International. His book is an accessible and inspiring tribute. "The pen is mightier than the sword" lives on."
Kirkus STARRED Review

"This deserves to be everywhere children are learning about the wider world."
Publishers Weekly STARRED Review


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