What Age Group is the Book Starfish Appropriate For?

For parents and educators deliberating if the novel Starfish is appropriate for the children in their care, there are several factors to consider. Composed by Lisa Fipps, this touching book broaches critical issues such as bullying, self-esteem, and family dynamics.

Recommended Age

The book is generally recommended for children aged 10 and up. It’s a middle-grade novel suitable for individuals entering their preteen years. However, it’s written in a clear, approachable style that makes it accessible to younger children with a high reading level or for reading together with adults.


Content of the Book

  • Emotional maturity: The text explores some heavy themes, including emotional and food-related abuse, fat-shaming, and instances of racism. Such topics may require a degree of emotional maturity in the reader or guidance from an adult.
  • Vivid descriptions: Starfish is a novel-in-verse, told through beautifully crafted rhymes and vivid descriptions. It makes for an engaging read that can stimulate the imagination.
  • Life lessons: It teaches important values like self-acceptance, standing up for oneself, and respect for diversity. These are beneficial lessons for children and teens alike.

Writing Style

The book owes its charm to Fipps’ unique writing style: it’s a narrative in verse, an attribute that makes it not only entertaining but also easy to read. The book presents a series of poems that narrate a young girl’s journey of self-discovery and combat against bullying. The story’s rich, poetic portrayal aids in conveying the emotional weight of the themes.

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Starfish is an inspiring book that unflinchingly confronts body shaming, bullying, and the importance of self-acceptance and friendship. For children aged 10 and up with adequate emotional maturity, it can be a worthwhile read extensively evoking empathy and providing an understanding of diverse life experiences. However, due to its critical themes, it may be valuable for parents, educators, and guardians to discuss its content with young readers and provide guidance if necessary.

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