4.5/5 StarsTHREE WORDS: Quirky, Charming, FunMY REVIEW: Erin E. Moulton’s Tracing Stars has everything I love in middle grade books: charming characters, a fun story and full of quirkiness. I had a blast reading this book!Indie Lee Chickory doesn’t fit in as well as her big sister Bebe. The other kids don’t appreciate Indie’s impressive fish face skills and call her a Fish Freak. And when her pet lobster, Monty, accidentally comes to school with Indie and she must smuggle him out, it ends in disaster. Not only does Indie embarrass Bebe and herself, she loses Monty in the ocean. Indie makes a wish on a star to become a better Chickory and to find Monty. Indie volunteers to be a part of the stage crew for the summer musical, in which Bebe has a starring role. Afraid of another embarrassing disaster, Bebe gives Indie a makeover and strict rules about who she can be friends with. So when Indie becomes friends with the nerdy Owen and they come up with an ingenious plan to find Monty, she must keep their friendship a secret. And when this secret is discovered, both Indie and Bebe must decide what’s more important: being liked or being true to yourself.Moulton’s Tracing Stars is a quick, but very enjoyable read. Moulton has crafted a very well-written, witty and poignant story with a simply delightful heroine. Nicely paced and full of excitement, readers of all ages will be captivated from beginning to end of this MG contemporary.The story is quirky in the best way possible: a missing pet golden lobster, fish faces, a boat in a tree, a small community of eclectic people, a true friendship between two outcasts, oh my! This page-turner is full of laugh-out-loud moments (just wait till you read all about the lobster-in-a-school escapade!), heartwarming relationships and poignant messages. Moulton writes with a fresh, amusing voice that captures the essence of youth wonderfully.The story’s heroine, Indie, shines bright with her quirky personality, compassion and refusal to be anyone but herself. This is a heroine that readers will easily relate to and want to root for. Owen is such a unique, smart and fascinating boy. I love the friendship between these two and how genuine it is. The sibling relationship between Indie and Bebe is very realistic, full of fights and love. And of course, Monty, the lobster is quite the scene stealer!Indie’s journey to find Monty is full of new experiences, new friends, a mean girl, life lessons and a lot of laughs. Moulton has crafted a relatable glimpse into the sometimes difficult years of adolescence. And the author offers readers a heartwarming and encouraging message about friendship, love and acceptance.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: I had a wonderful time reading the MG book. Tracing Stars is bursting with humor, characters that shine and touching moments. A must read for all ages!