The History of Sarah's Stars

An important part of KIdsWWwrite for most of its years of publication has been the feature “Sarah’s Stars,” a section of reviews of books for children and teens written by their readers. It was edited by teachers Karen Packalen (2002-2011) and Jenny Daughtry (2012), after whose tenure it was discontinued.

The following is an excerpt from a story published in the North Okanagan-Shuswap Newsline in 2006:

“The treasure? New and advanced copies of kids’ books that have been sent from publishers in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Those seeking the treasure? A group of School District #83 student reviewers whose efforts are garnering international attention and approval. Their collective efforts to read and review kids’ books are published on a web page entitled Sarah’s Stars.

Sarah’s Stars started out five years ago as an enrichment exercise for one of the students in Karen Packalen’s (aka Ms. P) Grade 5 class at Carlin [Elementary School]. “I was looking for something ... an enrichment opportunity for [one of my students],” explains Packalen. She said Armstrong author Margriet Ruurs was visiting the school. After the reading, she approached her and asked about publishing opportunities for Sarah, who was an avid reader and reviewer of novels. “I was hoping to provide Sarah with a real-life opportunity.”

Packalen said Ruurs took a look at Sarah’s writing and immediately offered to provide them with a link on their writers' home page, Kalamalka Institute for Working Writers in BC. [Thus] Sarah’s Stars… was born.”

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This page was last updated on September 19, 2016 by the KIdsWWwrite Webmaster.