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The Stars of Whistling Ridge

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In this new novel from the Indies Introduce author of Where the Watermelons Grow and Beginners Welcome, an almost-thirteen-year-old with an almost-complete sentence for a name embraces her destiny to search for a forever home. Ivy Mae Bloom, whose name is one letter away from a complete sentence, has lived her entire life on the road. Her mama is a fallen star who travels n In this new novel from the Indies Introduce author of Where the Watermelons Grow and Beginners Welcome, an almost-thirteen-year-old with an almost-complete sentence for a name embraces her destiny to search for a forever home. Ivy Mae Bloom, whose name is one letter away from a complete sentence, has lived her entire life on the road. Her mama is a fallen star who travels near and far to tend to the magic that underpins our world. When Ivy steals Mama's entire supply of wish jars in the hopes of finding a forever home, a series of disasters strands the Blooms in Whistling Ridge, North Carolina, with Mama's two star sisters. Ivy knows her wish has been granted and that Whistling Ridge is her forever home—she just needs to convince her parents to stay. But something is draining the magic from Whistling Ridge, and the star sisters can't stop it. With help from some new friends, Ivy stumbles across a clue in the town's history that might explain the mysterious force threatening Whistling Ridge . . . but if the town's magic is healed, Mama will want to move on. Ivy must choose: Can she help her mama and aunts lift Whistling Ridge's curse—even if it means losing the only place she's ever called home? From award-winning author Cindy Baldwin comes an enchanting story about magic, family, and the meaning of home.


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In this new novel from the Indies Introduce author of Where the Watermelons Grow and Beginners Welcome, an almost-thirteen-year-old with an almost-complete sentence for a name embraces her destiny to search for a forever home. Ivy Mae Bloom, whose name is one letter away from a complete sentence, has lived her entire life on the road. Her mama is a fallen star who travels n In this new novel from the Indies Introduce author of Where the Watermelons Grow and Beginners Welcome, an almost-thirteen-year-old with an almost-complete sentence for a name embraces her destiny to search for a forever home. Ivy Mae Bloom, whose name is one letter away from a complete sentence, has lived her entire life on the road. Her mama is a fallen star who travels near and far to tend to the magic that underpins our world. When Ivy steals Mama's entire supply of wish jars in the hopes of finding a forever home, a series of disasters strands the Blooms in Whistling Ridge, North Carolina, with Mama's two star sisters. Ivy knows her wish has been granted and that Whistling Ridge is her forever home—she just needs to convince her parents to stay. But something is draining the magic from Whistling Ridge, and the star sisters can't stop it. With help from some new friends, Ivy stumbles across a clue in the town's history that might explain the mysterious force threatening Whistling Ridge . . . but if the town's magic is healed, Mama will want to move on. Ivy must choose: Can she help her mama and aunts lift Whistling Ridge's curse—even if it means losing the only place she's ever called home? From award-winning author Cindy Baldwin comes an enchanting story about magic, family, and the meaning of home.

30 review for The Stars of Whistling Ridge

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Middle Grade with some Magical Realism. I really enjoyed this book. The characters where developed, but I feel the magical realism parts took a little bit to understand. I do not think the Magical Realism parts where as developed in the beginning, but it was by the end. I enjoyed the storyline, but It was hard to follow at parts. Overall, I really liked this book, and I loved the characters. I listened to the audiobook for this book, but the e-audiobook I listen to used synthetic voice This is a Middle Grade with some Magical Realism. I really enjoyed this book. The characters where developed, but I feel the magical realism parts took a little bit to understand. I do not think the Magical Realism parts where as developed in the beginning, but it was by the end. I enjoyed the storyline, but It was hard to follow at parts. Overall, I really liked this book, and I loved the characters. I listened to the audiobook for this book, but the e-audiobook I listen to used synthetic voice only for early review use. So, I cannot say if the narrator is good or not. I was kindly provided an e-audiobook of this book by the publisher (HarperCollins/Quill Tree) or author (Cindy Baldwin) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diana | Book of Secrets

    "Ivy Mae Bloom is almost thirteen years old, her name is almost a complete sentence, and her family’s RV is almost a home." THE STARS OF WHISTLING RIDGE is a magical middle grade story of a girl desperate for a forever home, and ultimately learning that "home" means more than just a stationary building. Ivy Mae Bloom's mother and two aunts are fallen stars in human form, and they control the magic in different parts of the country. Ivy's family is constantly on the move, traveling from place to p "Ivy Mae Bloom is almost thirteen years old, her name is almost a complete sentence, and her family’s RV is almost a home." THE STARS OF WHISTLING RIDGE is a magical middle grade story of a girl desperate for a forever home, and ultimately learning that "home" means more than just a stationary building. Ivy Mae Bloom's mother and two aunts are fallen stars in human form, and they control the magic in different parts of the country. Ivy's family is constantly on the move, traveling from place to place so her mother can help people by granting wishes. Even though her mom warned her that sometimes wishes were unpredictable, Ivy steals the wish jars and dreams of a permeant home like her Aunt Agatha has in Whistling Ridge, North Carolina. Not long after, the family ends up stranded in Whistling Ridge, and they learn that the town is plagued by a sinister force destroying its magic. Ivy is then faced with a dilemma, since saving the town will mean having to move on again. Ivy is a relatable character as she faces conflicts with her parents & siblings, the challenge of making new friends, and doing the right thing even if it means not getting what she wants. I enjoyed the mystery of Whistling Ridge's curse, and how clever Ivy was to research the town's history and try to fit the puzzle pieces together. The ending was satisfying with Ivy learning a lot about herself, her family, and what "home" truly means. Recommended to fans of magical realism and mystery. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Be careful what you wish for, Ivy Mae Bloom. Ivy travels around the country in an RV with her travel writer dad, her star magic mother, and her two sisters -- Elena and Sophie. As she nears her 13th birthday, Ivy decides she is tired of travelling and makes a big wish for home and all the things that go along with it in her dreams. A chain of events begins immediately sending the family Whistling Ridge. Could it be that Ivy's dreams are coming true already? If so, why are there so many strange t Be careful what you wish for, Ivy Mae Bloom. Ivy travels around the country in an RV with her travel writer dad, her star magic mother, and her two sisters -- Elena and Sophie. As she nears her 13th birthday, Ivy decides she is tired of travelling and makes a big wish for home and all the things that go along with it in her dreams. A chain of events begins immediately sending the family Whistling Ridge. Could it be that Ivy's dreams are coming true already? If so, why are there so many strange things happening? Why does getting what she wanted seem to be hurting the people around her? Ivy loves things that come in threes. So, here are three things I liked about this book: 1) The Bloom family sticks together and forgives each other. 2) The Lydia Lovelace legend and the ways it wove in and out of the narrative. 3) Cats named Coffee and Cream. I was really looking forward to this one as I so loved Where the Watermelons Grow. I do not feel that his title is quite as strong as the previous by Baldwin, but will still be wonderful summer read. Thank you to Harper Collins (Quill Tree Books) and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Stars of Whistling Ride started off on a pretty interesting note. In it, you will meet Ivy who is currently in a motorhome with her family. Completely cramped that is. At one point, Ivy makes a wish or two, okay nine in total, to have a forever home. Which I completely get because the girl is tired of moving. Tired. I was tired of her moving all over the place because I never experienced that myself. Some would say that I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Stars of Whistling Ride started off on a pretty interesting note. In it, you will meet Ivy who is currently in a motorhome with her family. Completely cramped that is. At one point, Ivy makes a wish or two, okay nine in total, to have a forever home. Which I completely get because the girl is tired of moving. Tired. I was tired of her moving all over the place because I never experienced that myself. Some would say that's a never ending adventure.. but meh. I've lived in the same town my entire life. Not the same home but I'm good either way. So I felt bad for her and her family because of the life they lives. Besides Ivy, you meet her two younger sisters.. which eh, the parents definitely should've hung out or paid more attention to their kids. It was like they are all the middle child at one point. It doesn't help that the youngest, Sophie, is the favorite of the family and can basically do no wrong. That being said.. I am also the youngest in my family but trust me.. the dogs are the favorite. In the end, I'm honestly confused with how everything went down but I just ended up going with the flow of things. It was nice to see Ivy happy in the end, I guess.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    When I saw this was available on Netgalley, I thought "why not". I've been meaning to try more Middle Grade stories as I almost never read in that genre and I'm still searching for one that will make me feel like this genre could also be enjoyable for me. Unfortunately, The Stars of Whistling Ridge wasn't that book but it's probably a Me problem instead of a book problem. In it, you'll meet Ivy as she is tired to follow her family who moves from one town to the next. To stop that and to have a " When I saw this was available on Netgalley, I thought "why not". I've been meaning to try more Middle Grade stories as I almost never read in that genre and I'm still searching for one that will make me feel like this genre could also be enjoyable for me. Unfortunately, The Stars of Whistling Ridge wasn't that book but it's probably a Me problem instead of a book problem. In it, you'll meet Ivy as she is tired to follow her family who moves from one town to the next. To stop that and to have a "forever home" she ends up stealing the wishes that her mother was meant to use for other people and use them for herself. I was curious about the plot about the town but I feel like I didn't end up getting what I wanted/expected. If you love Middle Grade books, you'll probably enjoy this one more than me :) (Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    This was a sweet book about family and what home really means. Ivy lives in a cramped motorhome with her parents and two younger sisters, traveling around the country so her mom can help people with magic. Ivy's mom is a fallen star made human and her duty is to gather magic into wishes and give them to people. One day when Ivy has had enough of the constant moving, she makes nine wishes to have a permanent home and suddenly her family ends up stuck in her aunt's town. There is a story about the This was a sweet book about family and what home really means. Ivy lives in a cramped motorhome with her parents and two younger sisters, traveling around the country so her mom can help people with magic. Ivy's mom is a fallen star made human and her duty is to gather magic into wishes and give them to people. One day when Ivy has had enough of the constant moving, she makes nine wishes to have a permanent home and suddenly her family ends up stuck in her aunt's town. There is a story about the town of Whistling Ridge and a growing void that is slowly hurting the residents, but it's more of a background plot. The main story is about Ivy and her relationship with her family. She struggles to get along with her sisters, particularly the youngest one Sophie. Ivy feels like Sophie is the golden child and she's left out. She also just wants to stay in one place so she can make friends and put down roots, which I think is understandable. Kids need friends and when you're homeschooled and never stay anywhere more than a couple weeks, how can you make any significant connections? I thought this had some cute moments and I enjoyed when the sisters got along and cared for each other. There are also some nice lessons Ivy's aunts teach her that help her feel validated and understand what's really important to her. I received an advance copy of this audiobook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from HarperCollins Children's Books - Quill Tree Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I loved the sentiment of this story in relation to a place where someone can call home. Your wish coming true in finding your place in the world and discovering the secret to why everything else is wrong in the world. There is magic being drained and a curse among Whistling Ridge and Ivy's two aunt being bot This book was received as an ARC from HarperCollins Children's Books - Quill Tree Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I loved the sentiment of this story in relation to a place where someone can call home. Your wish coming true in finding your place in the world and discovering the secret to why everything else is wrong in the world. There is magic being drained and a curse among Whistling Ridge and Ivy's two aunt being both called the stars entrust in Ivy in saving their home. If Ivy saves Whistling Ridge, she is afraid that she and her mother will leave Whistling Ridge and no longer be needed especially since Ivy has grown a love for Whistling Ridge. Everyone needs a sense of belonging and you are along for the ride seeing how there is magic everywhere and all you have to do is believe. I know our young readers will really find this book very refreshing and I might just even nominate this book for our next Battle of the Books. We will consider adding this title to our JFiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ruthie

    Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Audio for the voice galley of The Stars of Whistling Ridge. It's hard to read a middle-grade book as an adult and mother because I ended up feeling defensive at some points for the parents and my thoughts would say "I'm sure they are doing the best they can" and "They are just trying to provide for you" Things like that would run through my head. With that being said, I did relate to the MC Ivy and felt for her in her moments of sadness, anger, and frustration. This Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Audio for the voice galley of The Stars of Whistling Ridge. It's hard to read a middle-grade book as an adult and mother because I ended up feeling defensive at some points for the parents and my thoughts would say "I'm sure they are doing the best they can" and "They are just trying to provide for you" Things like that would run through my head. With that being said, I did relate to the MC Ivy and felt for her in her moments of sadness, anger, and frustration. This would be a good book for a young teenage girl or pre-teen to read I think just on the descriptions of feelings and moments when her feelings are talked about. It would open up a good discussion I'm sure if you read it with your middle-grade child. I liked the magic elements and would have liked even more magic moments or explanations or background info. Part of the ending made sense and part of it didn't. I had an idea for the ending but what I thought would happen didn't so I am a bit disappointed. But, overall it was a cute read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sirah

    Although some people might dream of traveling across the country in a camper catching fireflies and granting wishes, twelve-year-old Ivy has had about enough of it. It gets worse when her youngest sister won't stop annoying her and her best friend won't respond to emails. Ivy decides it's time to do something about it and finds a way to get her family stuck at their aunt's house in Whistling Ridge. Finally Ivy can have some privacy, make some friends, get a library card, cuddle with a pet and do Although some people might dream of traveling across the country in a camper catching fireflies and granting wishes, twelve-year-old Ivy has had about enough of it. It gets worse when her youngest sister won't stop annoying her and her best friend won't respond to emails. Ivy decides it's time to do something about it and finds a way to get her family stuck at their aunt's house in Whistling Ridge. Finally Ivy can have some privacy, make some friends, get a library card, cuddle with a pet and do the sorts of things that normal kids do. But something's not right in Whistling Ridge, and Ivy discovers that it's up to her to help her mother and aunts get to the bottom of a strange sucking darkness that threatens to unravel the town and perhaps the whole world. Oof, there's a lot written into this little book. Themes include family, forgiveness, growing up, and dealing with loss, among other things. I loved how easy it was to see things from Ivy's perspective, even though she's not very like me in reality. Her thoughts and dreams are a little repetitive at times (three is an important number, by the way. If you forget this, don't worry, the book will remind you six times), but you've got to hand it to Ivy: she knows what she wants. The descriptions and thoughtful considerations really brought the story to life and made it easy to feel both the bright autumn afternoons as well as the dangerous darkness. The characters were believable and creative and the plot was full of little quirks and twists that made this a captivating read all the way to the end. Also, bravo to the cover artist. I mean, just look at it! I couldn't think of a better cover to capture the magic, mystery, hope and fear that dance along each page. I feel warm and hopeful after reading this book, and I hope it will do the same for you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jas Asbill

    There are so many layers to this story that dance within the pages, layering on top of each other as it moves along. All the stories have one central theme, the very real emotions that come when a dream seems just out of reach. A story of magic, sisters, and sacrifice. I loved this story! It isn't often that I hear asthma described so well or for it to last as long in literature as it does in real life. Also, being an RV girl myself, I like seeing my life on the pages of a book. CAWPILE Rating: 9 There are so many layers to this story that dance within the pages, layering on top of each other as it moves along. All the stories have one central theme, the very real emotions that come when a dream seems just out of reach. A story of magic, sisters, and sacrifice. I loved this story! It isn't often that I hear asthma described so well or for it to last as long in literature as it does in real life. Also, being an RV girl myself, I like seeing my life on the pages of a book. CAWPILE Rating: 9.29

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Meyer

    This exquisite book will spark in your heart like a firefly wish. Tender, thoughtful, and true.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Rawson Hill

    My favorite of all of Cindy Baldwin's books. Just beautiful! My favorite of all of Cindy Baldwin's books. Just beautiful!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hamster

    There was nothing wrong with this book per se. I'm just not a fan of middle grade novels. I always like to try one here or there to see if I stumble upon a great one. (It doesn't happen very often.) This had fun world-building and interesting characters. I got to 62% before I realized I didn't care what happened to the MC or how the story ended. It just got too middle-gradey for me. Too much lame mystery and kids striving to be good students and love learning, etc. blech. Thanks NetGalley for the There was nothing wrong with this book per se. I'm just not a fan of middle grade novels. I always like to try one here or there to see if I stumble upon a great one. (It doesn't happen very often.) This had fun world-building and interesting characters. I got to 62% before I realized I didn't care what happened to the MC or how the story ended. It just got too middle-gradey for me. Too much lame mystery and kids striving to be good students and love learning, etc. blech. Thanks NetGalley for the chance to review this robotic-audio-version. ps. the cover looks nothing like a fantasy book. It screams feel-good slice-of-life middle grade... which, come to think about it, was more in line with the book's actual contents. The magic seemed totally incidental to the plot of fitting in to a new place and uncovering a boring (for me) town history.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    I was excited for this book to come out and it did not disappoint. Ivy Mae Bloom is the age where sometimes you need your own space, and sometimes you can't stand your sisters. Which makes things hard, because the Bloom family lives in a Winnebago and travels the country so that her mom, a fallen star, can help care for the magic in the world. One night Ivy Mae takes matters into her own hands, steals all of the wishes her mom has collected, and wishes for a real home. Almost immediately things I was excited for this book to come out and it did not disappoint. Ivy Mae Bloom is the age where sometimes you need your own space, and sometimes you can't stand your sisters. Which makes things hard, because the Bloom family lives in a Winnebago and travels the country so that her mom, a fallen star, can help care for the magic in the world. One night Ivy Mae takes matters into her own hands, steals all of the wishes her mom has collected, and wishes for a real home. Almost immediately things start going wrong and the family ends up having to go live with Ivy Mae's Aunt Agatha, where Ivy Mae finds friends and also a mystery that seems to be poisoning the town. Realistic and magical, both.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura Prindable

    Thank you Net Galley for an audio copy of The Stars of Whistling Ridge. This book was just not for me. I thought the storyline was weak. Maybe it's that this is a middle grade book, but I've read them before and liked them. Thank you Net Galley for an audio copy of The Stars of Whistling Ridge. This book was just not for me. I thought the storyline was weak. Maybe it's that this is a middle grade book, but I've read them before and liked them.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Did you ever wonder about the things in your life you can’t quite explain? We owe that magic to fallen stars. Ivy’s mama and her two sisters are some of those stars. It is their duty to care for the magic in the world and to make certain it doesn’t become unruly. Without them, the magic in our lives would disappear. To make certain this doesn’t happen, Ivy, her two sisters and her mom and dad travel from place to place in an old Winnebago to wherever her mama is most needed. Ivy’s always accepte Did you ever wonder about the things in your life you can’t quite explain? We owe that magic to fallen stars. Ivy’s mama and her two sisters are some of those stars. It is their duty to care for the magic in the world and to make certain it doesn’t become unruly. Without them, the magic in our lives would disappear. To make certain this doesn’t happen, Ivy, her two sisters and her mom and dad travel from place to place in an old Winnebago to wherever her mama is most needed. Ivy’s always accepted their vagabond life, but now that she is twelve, she realizes she doesn’t want to travel the country anymore. Instead, she dreams of having a forever home, a pet, and friends. And though she knows the unbreakable three rules about wishes, especially “rule 2: never use more than one wish at a time, because wishes are unpredictable when combined, Ivy has a plan. She took Mama’s nine remaining wishes and wished “I wish to have a forever home, I wish to find my One True Place.” And the disasters began. This realistic fiction MG story is rich in description and magic as it shares the importance of family, the realities of asthma, friendships and growing pains. I completely understood Ivy’s yearning to stay in one place and have a forever home. I was taken back to age thirteen when friendships were a priority and the worst thing I could imagine was moving. I felt her conflicting feelings about her family’s mission and her desperation to become more of a “normal” family as she realized the true meaning of home. It’s one for grades 3+ and is available now.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    What is not to like about this elementary to middle grade read?! It is magical and mythical. A young girl named Ivy Mae Bloom wants to live in one place...settled down for once in her life. Since the beginning she has lived on the road traveling. Her mama is literally a fallen star. Awesome right?! She has wish jars that she uses to help people in need. People who need a wish granted. Ivy gets herself and her family into trouble when she takes all of the wish jars herself to grant her own wish. What is not to like about this elementary to middle grade read?! It is magical and mythical. A young girl named Ivy Mae Bloom wants to live in one place...settled down for once in her life. Since the beginning she has lived on the road traveling. Her mama is literally a fallen star. Awesome right?! She has wish jars that she uses to help people in need. People who need a wish granted. Ivy gets herself and her family into trouble when she takes all of the wish jars herself to grant her own wish. Many of us can relate to Ivy. We all want stability and normalcy. A lovey adventurous read for young ones! Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    This is a book targeted for middle age readers. Ivy Mae Bloom (one letter away from a sentence) is tired of being confined to an RV with her parents and two little sisters. When given the opportunity to wish, let’s all go with Charlie’s wish. Wouldn’t the world be such a better place? I love the role that the librarian played in this book. This book especially resonated with me because we enjoy our RV (but with 2 people, not 5) and a very wonderful aunt lived in the mountains of North Carolina and This is a book targeted for middle age readers. Ivy Mae Bloom (one letter away from a sentence) is tired of being confined to an RV with her parents and two little sisters. When given the opportunity to wish, let’s all go with Charlie’s wish. Wouldn’t the world be such a better place? I love the role that the librarian played in this book. This book especially resonated with me because we enjoy our RV (but with 2 people, not 5) and a very wonderful aunt lived in the mountains of North Carolina and this story kept taking me back to her magic and love. Thank you NetGalley, the publisher (Quill Tree Books) and the author/Cindy Baldwin for the opportunity to listen to the advance copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cali

    Fun storyline about fallend shooting stars living on earth the help make wishes come true. Focuses on relationships and being careful for what you wish for. My 12 year old and I both enjoyed this book. Beginner's Welcome is my favorite of Cindy Baldwin's books, so far. Fun storyline about fallend shooting stars living on earth the help make wishes come true. Focuses on relationships and being careful for what you wish for. My 12 year old and I both enjoyed this book. Beginner's Welcome is my favorite of Cindy Baldwin's books, so far.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This review originally published in Looking For a Good book. Rated 4.5 of 5 Ivy Mae Bloom's goal is to find her 'forever home.' At thirteen (well, almost thirteen), Ivy wishes the magic of a place to settle on her and her mom so that they can stop the constant moving. Ivy's mother is a fallen star who travels the globe to fix the magic that surrounds everything. Even magic needs repairing now and then. But Ivy steals her mother's supply of 'wish jars' and now the Blooms are stuck in Whistling Ridg This review originally published in Looking For a Good book. Rated 4.5 of 5 Ivy Mae Bloom's goal is to find her 'forever home.' At thirteen (well, almost thirteen), Ivy wishes the magic of a place to settle on her and her mom so that they can stop the constant moving. Ivy's mother is a fallen star who travels the globe to fix the magic that surrounds everything. Even magic needs repairing now and then. But Ivy steals her mother's supply of 'wish jars' and now the Blooms are stuck in Whistling Ridge, North Carolina. It's not such a bad little town, Ivy decides, and hopes beyond everything that this can be her forever home. There's something going on in Whistling Ridge, though. Even Ivy can feel the magic draining away and her mother seems powerless to fix it. With some new friends and acquaintances, Ivy believes she might know what the problem is and how to solve it, but if the magic is restored, will her mother move them along again? This book is incredibly poetic. Author Cindy Baldwin's prose is lyrical and she makes it easy to be drawn in to the book. I didn't pick up on the magic right away (a little more on that in a moment) and the subtlety of magic in a very real world added to the beauty of the story. I received an advanced digital audio copy of this book. This is different from a regular audio book. In a regular audio book, a narrator reads the story with added inflections and pauses and sometimes different voices for the different characters. But this advance audio book uses a 'synthetic voice.' It's a bit strange, listening to something that sounds real but emotionless, and it definitely took me out of the book early on, which is why I may have missed the early introduction of magic in the story. The character of Ivy is really well developed. She's strong (for her age), with just the right amount of youthful inexperience. She could easily become whiny, but she's not, and she could easily be made almost super-heroic, but she is not. Given that this particular audio did not really support the book, and yet I still found it easy to enjoy, I will look forward to picking up the physical book and/or the true audio edition. Looking for a good book? Do your middle-grade/young adult readers a favor and put a copy of The Stars of Whistling Ridge by Cindy Baldwin in their hands. I received a synthetic voice audio edition of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This is a unique and intriguing MG story about magic, family, finding your forever home, growing up, and starting to figure out life and find yourself at the age of 13. This was in an audiobook format with a synthetic voice known as a voice galley so I can't comment as to the narrator or full audiobook experience. At first, this story seemed to have a bit of a slow start for me, but then suddenly it picked up and I became very engrossed in it. This story ended up being a bit more on the heavy sid This is a unique and intriguing MG story about magic, family, finding your forever home, growing up, and starting to figure out life and find yourself at the age of 13. This was in an audiobook format with a synthetic voice known as a voice galley so I can't comment as to the narrator or full audiobook experience. At first, this story seemed to have a bit of a slow start for me, but then suddenly it picked up and I became very engrossed in it. This story ended up being a bit more on the heavy side than I was expecting or than I'm used to when reading some MG books and it took me a bit longer to process so I could do my best to formulate and write a review here. This is about a girl who's 12 almost 13 and lives in a cramped motor home/RV with her family, which consists of her two sisters and her parents. They're always on the move, traveling from place to place because her mother is a fallen star and goes wherever there's a problem with the magic in and surrounding everything. Ivy gets tired of having to go from place to place and decides to take the wishing jars her mother has and steal wishes for herself. She uses the magic and wishes to wish for herself to get a forever permanent home and they end up visiting one of her aunts in Whistling Ridge, where there is something very wrong. Ivy is very much a normal 12/13 yr old girl that's neither extra heroic or extra whiny. She has good and bad days and goes through some hard times trying to figure out things about herself, how she feels about her home, her family, and everything in general. The corrupted magic in Whistling Ridge and where it comes from and the way the magic is used and described in this story is really well done. This story can help talk about and bring up topics with others this age and how they're feeling and doing with life, their families, their dreams, fears, and how to handle and process all these things as well as deal with their emotions. There are incredible depth and layers to this story that can be used and enjoyed in a lot of ways by more than just the target audience of Middle-Grade readers. Make sure to put this on your list and check it out, you won't want to miss it. It's one of those stories that sticks with you long after you're done. Thanks so much to Harper Audio and NetGalley for letting me listen and review this great MG story. All opinions are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this audiobook from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Stars of Whistling Ridge Author: Cindy Baldwin Book Series: Standalone Diversity: mixed race coded characters, side character with two moms, side character who is Indian as well as his family Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: mg, contemporary, magical realism, family, home, found family Genre: MG Contemporary Magical Realism Publication Date: June 15, 2021 Publisher: Quill Tree Books Pages: 400 Recommended Ag Disclaimer: I received this audiobook from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Stars of Whistling Ridge Author: Cindy Baldwin Book Series: Standalone Diversity: mixed race coded characters, side character with two moms, side character who is Indian as well as his family Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: mg, contemporary, magical realism, family, home, found family Genre: MG Contemporary Magical Realism Publication Date: June 15, 2021 Publisher: Quill Tree Books Pages: 400 Recommended Age: 8+ (Environmentalism, Slight romance, Little gore, Animal death, Magical realism) Synopsis: Ivy Mae Bloom, whose name is one letter away from a complete sentence, has lived her entire life on the road. Her mama is a fallen star who travels near and far to tend to the magic that underpins our world. When Ivy steals Mama's entire supply of wish jars in the hopes of finding a forever home, a series of disasters strands the Blooms in Whistling Ridge, North Carolina, with Mama's two star sisters. Ivy knows her wish has been granted and that Whistling Ridge is her forever home—she just needs to convince her parents to stay. But something is draining the magic from Whistling Ridge, and the star sisters can't stop it. With help from some new friends, Ivy stumbles across a clue in the town's history that might explain the mysterious force threatening Whistling Ridge . . . but if the town's magic is healed, Mama will want to move on. Ivy must choose: Can she help her mama and aunts lift Whistling Ridge's curse—even if it means losing the only place she's ever called home? Review: I really enjoyed this audiobook for the most part. I thought the story was really good and for the most part it kept me interested. I really liked the character development in the world building. I also really liked the magical realism elements of the book. I think that this is a very cute and very well done book for Middle graders and even for older readers. My main criticism of the book is that there's really no explanation for the magic and that the questions around that filled my head more than the story itself. Verdict: It was good!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathie

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this book. The Stars of Whistling Ridge is a beautiful realistic middle grade story touched by magic that explores the theme of home and what it means. Ivy and her family live in a motorhome and travel from place to place so her mom can help fulfill wishes with her star magic. Ivy wishes she could stay in one place and have freedom from her sisters, friends, her own room, and the other perks that come from living in a single place. When Ivy Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this book. The Stars of Whistling Ridge is a beautiful realistic middle grade story touched by magic that explores the theme of home and what it means. Ivy and her family live in a motorhome and travel from place to place so her mom can help fulfill wishes with her star magic. Ivy wishes she could stay in one place and have freedom from her sisters, friends, her own room, and the other perks that come from living in a single place. When Ivy steals her mom’s wishes to make her own, a series of events forces her family to stop in Whistling Ridge at her aunt’s house for an extended stay. Ivy desperately wants to stay in Whistling Ridge, but there is dark magic that’s slowly destroying the town and threatening her aunt’s life. Ivy and her new friends start to uncover the mystery behind this strange occurrence, but Ivy also wonders if helping her mom and aunts solve the problem will mean they have to leave again. I really love the author’s writing, and even though I’m not a huge fan of books with magical elements, this story worked for me. As someone who’s moved many times, I could relate to Ivy’s need to set down roots and the risks she was willing to take to make that happen. Her desire to have her own needs met and to experience some independence were very appropriate for an upper MG character, and I loved watching her settle into life in Whistling Ridge. I also enjoyed seeing her grow as she was able to step back from her relationship with her family and realize their importance to her, especially her youngest sister, Sophie. I loved the mystery behind the dark magic, and although I was surprised by the ending, I thought it was fitting. The story’s focus on family was my favourite part, and I loved watching the relationships develop, change, and deepen. I fell in love with Whistling Ridge myself and wished it was an actual place that I could visit. The length of the book (400 pages) may keep me from purchasing it for my collection, but I highly recommend it for readers in Gr. 5-7.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erin Moonyeen

    A Middle Grade read in the fabulist genre. (Some have labeled this book 'magical realism', but that is a writing style that is politically-charged and often deals with colonialism. It is also a writing style belonging primarily to Latin American authors for more reasons than can be listed here. For more information on 'magical realism': https://www.jstor.org/stable/27921653... https://latinostories.com/latino-fict... https://rc.library.uta.edu/uta-ir/bit... Synopsis: Ivy Mae Bloom knows that her m A Middle Grade read in the fabulist genre. (Some have labeled this book 'magical realism', but that is a writing style that is politically-charged and often deals with colonialism. It is also a writing style belonging primarily to Latin American authors for more reasons than can be listed here. For more information on 'magical realism': https://www.jstor.org/stable/27921653... https://latinostories.com/latino-fict... https://rc.library.uta.edu/uta-ir/bit... Synopsis: Ivy Mae Bloom knows that her mother is a special woman whose gifts require that the family - which includes Ivy, her two sisters and her journalist father - live the vagabond lifestyle, going from town to town, using the magic of fallen stars to grant wishes to desperate people. Ivy's mother ~ along with her own two sisters ~ is a fallen star woman herself, and her own innate abilities come from the celestial bodies. But Ivy has a wish too, to stop moving around and settle in one spot so she can finally have a forever home. After Ivy steals her mother's jar of wishes, she uses every single one to wish for just that. But wishes are not to be used lightly, and the result of Ivy's wish is that the family finds themselves stuck in Whistling Ridge, where Ivy's Aunt Agatha lives. On the surface, Whistling Ridge seems like an idyllic spot to have a forever home, but some dark magic lurks beneath the surface of the town, sapping the positive magic from everything and everyone. While the three adult sisters join together to try and uncover what is consuming all the good in the town, Ivy begins an investigation of her own into one of the town's earlier residents, a woman whose heartache, coupled with her own fallen star powers, has inadvertently unleashed a tragedy that will continue to blacken the town unless Ivy and her family find a way to reverse it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dead Sirius

    I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ivy Mae Bloom has never known a true home with a backyard, a pet, a treehouse, or even stable friends. But that's exactly what she wishes for when she steals her mother's jar of wishes. Her mom, a shooting star personified, has the ability to grant wishes to those who seek them, but Ivy Mae is taking destiny into her own hands. But as her mother always warns Ivy Mae and her sisters, wishes that come true never get realized th I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ivy Mae Bloom has never known a true home with a backyard, a pet, a treehouse, or even stable friends. But that's exactly what she wishes for when she steals her mother's jar of wishes. Her mom, a shooting star personified, has the ability to grant wishes to those who seek them, but Ivy Mae is taking destiny into her own hands. But as her mother always warns Ivy Mae and her sisters, wishes that come true never get realized the way we expect them. I can admit never having to move around as a kid, but I understood where Ivy Mae was coming from. Cindy Baldwin wrote a well-rounded character that resonated with me both in her highs and lows. Even when Ivy Mae made a choice I probably would not approve of if I were a parent, I never felt like her decisions came out of nowhere. I enjoyed watching Ivy Mae grow and realize what family and home really mean. I do wish we got to see more of the shooting star history, especially more into the powers of shooting stars. There was a little bit lacking there, especially towards the end. I think this book is a good transition for children who are just growing out of children books and starting to enter into middle grade fiction. If I bought younger children this would be a good story to recommend to children in my local area that has a lot of army families. I think it would be a good book to bring up discussions about family relationships and how we define home.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Clare Bird

    Alright Cindy, I'm like a 3.87 out of 5 birds for The Stars of Whistling Ridge, rounded up. I was very excited to get my hands on this ARC audio copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Last year I read Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy and LOVE every second of it. The Stars of Whistling Ridge first caught my attention with the cover, it's beautiful artwork. The book started out strong for me and I was very intrigued, then I started to get to know Ivy more and more and she was a v Alright Cindy, I'm like a 3.87 out of 5 birds for The Stars of Whistling Ridge, rounded up. I was very excited to get my hands on this ARC audio copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Last year I read Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy and LOVE every second of it. The Stars of Whistling Ridge first caught my attention with the cover, it's beautiful artwork. The book started out strong for me and I was very intrigued, then I started to get to know Ivy more and more and she was a very unlikable main character to me. So whiny and obnoxious- so maybe similar to a hormonal tween.... So I mean you nailed the character- maybe too well. I did really enjoy the mixing of magic realism and contemporary. I thought the plot was unique and the save the earth undertones were awesome. I think a middle grader would enjoy it and perhaps not so much the adults. I will also point out that I loved the juxtaposition of the sisterhoods. The older set and the younger. I too have two sisters and am the obnoxious youngest of the three, so I could relate on some level. Overall, worth the read. I would maybe encourage you to READ this one rather than listen- perhaps it will allow you to create your own voice for Ivy. Thanks for the advanced copy and also a shout out to Cindy. I've been following her on social media and she is awesome with her fans. I will definitely read more of hers. I admire her and all the hard work she puts into her writing. I also loved the shout out to her daughter through zoom first grade. I can relate on so many levels because I have a zoom kindergartner.

  27. 4 out of 5

    ░▒▓█ ᏁᎶᏬᎩễᏁ ᏖᏂᎥêᏁ Hà

    I neither liked this nor did I hate it. Pros: ⇛ The cover was beautiful, ensuring in admitst the dark sky there will always be some light… And I loved how they potrayed the reflection of Ivy during the release of the "magic" in hopes she'll have a forever home to live in. ⇛ The Stars of Whistling Ridge deals with some serious topics we normally wouldn't think of: moving constantly, anxiety and introversion, money scams and misleading your children. ⇛ The sisterly bond was well-developed, and I love I neither liked this nor did I hate it. Pros: ⇛ The cover was beautiful, ensuring in admitst the dark sky there will always be some light… And I loved how they potrayed the reflection of Ivy during the release of the "magic" in hopes she'll have a forever home to live in. ⇛ The Stars of Whistling Ridge deals with some serious topics we normally wouldn't think of: moving constantly, anxiety and introversion, money scams and misleading your children. ⇛ The sisterly bond was well-developed, and I love Ivy's longing to have her own and the ways and lengths she'll go to achieve it with the consquences of having too much. Cons: ⇚ Ivy's mother was the worst mother I've ever read of. She was self-shallow, narcisstic and was constantly misleading her children. She also scams people into paying her for her "star magic" and convinces her children it's for "their own good" and "sometimes it's 1 dollar, sometimes it's 20 dollars, depending on the magic…". See what I mean? But the story has you believing it's real... ⇚ The reason I added this to my TBR pile because the cover looks astronomical and magical so I was assuming I would really enjoy it. Now I renember not to judge a book by it's cover. Hated how astronomy was potrayed, Sophie didn't love astronomy, she was just attention-demanding.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Stars Of Whistling Ridge is a middle grade story with a little bit of magic, a few fallen stars, and a lot of wishes. Ivy Mae Bloom's mother is a fallen star, which means Ivy, her two sisters, and her parents live in an RV. They are always on the road, rarely in one place for very long, because they have to travel around so that Ivy's mother can grant wishes. Ivy is constantly living on the road, and steals some of the magic/wishes that her mother has gathered for other people, and uses them t The Stars Of Whistling Ridge is a middle grade story with a little bit of magic, a few fallen stars, and a lot of wishes. Ivy Mae Bloom's mother is a fallen star, which means Ivy, her two sisters, and her parents live in an RV. They are always on the road, rarely in one place for very long, because they have to travel around so that Ivy's mother can grant wishes. Ivy is constantly living on the road, and steals some of the magic/wishes that her mother has gathered for other people, and uses them to wish for a more permanent home. That's when things start to go wrong. Ivy can be a little repetitive sometimes, annoyingly so (three is an important number, don't worry if you forget that little detail as this book will remind you several times). I really felt for Ivy during her moments of frustration, sadness, and anger, and her longing for a real forever home.  As a reader, you feel how much she longs for a home, friends, and privacy.  She's almost a teenager, of course she's beginning to want more than the cramped space she has available. At one point Ivy says "don't I matter too?" and it really speaks to how brushed aside she feels by her parents. There is a lot of magic in this book, as well as themes of growing up, the importance of home, family, and the magic of wishes. Would I read it again? Maybe Would I recommend this book? Yes I received the voice galley version of this audio book from Netgalley. I am voluntarily leaving my honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christina Spencer

    The Stars of Whistling Ridge - review Ivy Mae Bloom is a preteen, thick in the life changes that accompany that demographic and longing for a permanent “real” home; a home that’s not crammed in the small quarters of an RV with her family, living on the road. Her mom is a wish giver. People desperate to have their wish fulfilled come to see her and collect their wish jar. Ivy Mae has long since wondered why wishes couldn’t help them. Her mom tells her and her sisters that wishes have three very im The Stars of Whistling Ridge - review Ivy Mae Bloom is a preteen, thick in the life changes that accompany that demographic and longing for a permanent “real” home; a home that’s not crammed in the small quarters of an RV with her family, living on the road. Her mom is a wish giver. People desperate to have their wish fulfilled come to see her and collect their wish jar. Ivy Mae has long since wondered why wishes couldn’t help them. Her mom tells her and her sisters that wishes have three very important rules: Never wish in anger Never use more than one wish at a tim, because wishes are unpredictable when combined. Never make a wish that’s too big, because big wishes have disastrous consequences. Ivy Mae’s longing for a forever home leads her to steal all of her mom’s wish jars one night and breaks two of the rules. The next morning, she wakes up extremely ill and barely able to breathe. And that’s just the start of it. Did she make a mistake I greedily granting her wishes..? This book reminded me why I loved Tuck Everlasting so much years ago as a child. It was magical enough to be intriguing. I enjoyed the contrast in relationships between Ivy me and her sisters and her mom and fellow fallen star sisters. This story really comes full circle both with the family dynamic as well as the theory that no matter what we have, many of us always wish for more but the grass is not always greener on the other side. #netgalley #thestarsofwhistlingridge

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sierra Dertinger

    This story will win the hearts of readers for its themes of magic, family, and the meaning of home. I was completely hooked by the premise of this story as it follows Ivy and her family who live in an RV. Ivy has never had a permanent home because her mom is actual a fallen star who travels to tend to the magic here on Earth and assist those in need with their wishes. Absolute chaos takes over Whistling Ridge, North Carolina where Ivy’s aunt lives. She is also a fallen star and she is becoming s This story will win the hearts of readers for its themes of magic, family, and the meaning of home. I was completely hooked by the premise of this story as it follows Ivy and her family who live in an RV. Ivy has never had a permanent home because her mom is actual a fallen star who travels to tend to the magic here on Earth and assist those in need with their wishes. Absolute chaos takes over Whistling Ridge, North Carolina where Ivy’s aunt lives. She is also a fallen star and she is becoming sick and magic isn’t only draining out of her but out of Whistling Ridge too. Ivy helps investigate what’s happening while also planning a way to get her family to plant roots in Whistling Ridge so she can make this place her home–a real home. This realistic fiction story with a touch of magical elements was so beautifully written and made me think of many other magical titles like Quintessence by Jess Redman and The Forest of Stars by Heather Kassner. Other titles that I would compare this book to are What Stars Are Made of by Sarah Allen for the love of research and learning and of course, The Rule of Threes by Marcy Campbell as the rule of threes was very important to Ivy from the beginning to the end of the story.

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