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At the Sign of the Star

In seventeenth-century London, twelve-year-old Meg Moore is happy and content working with her widower father in his bookshop. An only child, she knows that she will one day inherit the shop and therefore have the financial stability to marry whomever she pleases. But Meg's dreams for her future are crushed when Mr. Moore announces he is to be married again: if her new stepmother, Susannah, has a son, the boy will replace Meg as her father's heir. To make matters worse, Susannah is determined to teach Meg how to be a proper lady, which takes Meg away from her beloved books, forcing her instead to do needlework and learn to cook. But it is through books and words that Meg finds another way to take control of her life--a way that is not inherited but is a creation all her own.


"Sturtevant creates a vivid sense of a different culture through the vocabulary, speech patterns, and reactions of the characters, as well as the many details that make up the lively backdrop of 17th-century London. Readers will end the book hoping for a sequel to this engaging story..."

-Booklist (Starred review)

"Refreshingly, Meg's struggle to come to terms with her altered situation never degenerates into a battle of one-dimensional tomboyish virtue against uncomprehending femininity...Avoiding simplistic devices, resolution is achieved through perserverance and genuine emotional growth."

-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An engaging and fun story...Readers will enjoy the period detail..."


"Good historical fiction with a strong female heroine set in a time and place not often protrayed in books for this audience."

-School Library Journal

"While Sturtevant's portrayal of the struggles of a blended family could be true today, her depiction of women's attitudes and opportunities in the Restoration period is carefully historical..."

-The Horn Book

"A fascinating story and delightful narrative voice make this a top-notch choice for YA historical fiction....Highly recommended.

--South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative

"At the Sign of the Star is an especially well written book....The beautiful descriptive language places the reader in the time period with all the sights, smells, and emotions of a young girl whose abilities and circumstances are limited....Highly recommended."

--Greater Cincinnati Library Consortium

"Not only good history is to be found here, but also an interesting protagonist and a thought-provoking story written in a compelling style....Recommended."

--Highlands Regional Library Cooperative (New Jersey Library Network)