Praise for The Star That Always Stays


An NPR Best Book of 2022

A Christy Amplify Award Winner

A New-York Historical Society Children’s Book Prize Finalist

A 2023 Michigan Notable Book Award Winner

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

A Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Achievement Award in Children’s Literature Winner

A 2023 Carol Award Semi-Finalist

A WORLD Magazine Runner-Up for Best Children’s Book of 2022 

A 2023-2024 Lamplighter Award Nominee

A Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Best Book of 2022 for K-12

A Provo City Library Best Book of 2022

An Amazon #1 Best Seller in Children’s 1900s Historical Fiction and Children’s Native American Stories

A Parnassus Books Spark Book Club Selection for July 2022

An Amazon #1 New Release in Children’s Historical Fiction

A Cybils Award Middle Grade Fiction Nominee

Recommended on ABC’s The Book Case podcast

“Unputdownable. You’ll cheer for Norvia as she navigates her way to joy in spite of change, prejudice, and heartbreak.” –Anne Bustard, author of Parents’ Choice Book Award Winner Blue Skies

“Johnson’s writing is gentle, unhurried and reflective—with touches of humor and heartbreak.”NPR

“Inspired by the author’s family history, this gentle novel nimbly and tenderly confronts topics including prejudice, the challenge of blending families, young love, and staying true to oneself. A coming-of-age story with a kind heart and strong spirit.” –Kirkus Reviews

“This introspective, unhurried debut, filled with personal touches from the author’s ancestry … is populated by memorable characters, such as Norvia’s larger-than-life younger sister.” –Publishers Weekly

★ “Reminiscent of Maud Hart Lovelace and Laura Ingalls Wilder … For middle-grade readers who love classic stories or history, here is a wonderful glimpse into the historical 20th century Midwest … [with a] positive portrayal of faith.” –Redeemed Reader, starred review

“This is a new classic in the making and I hope we will have more stories about Norvia and her extended family.” –The Southern Bookseller Review

“[A] beautiful historical novel … about embracing one’s identity, appreciating what the past has taught, and finding the courage to move forward.” –Booklist

“Johnson’s historical fiction warms hearts.” –School Library Journal

“Johnson does an exquisite job channeling the structure and language of vintage girls’ books while updating Norvia’s story nicely.” –Ms. Yingling Reads

“This coming-of-age story with a strong heroine is perfect for fans of Anne of Green Gables.” –Parnassus Books

“[The author] has dealt affectionately but with honesty and clarity in describing a young girl’s struggle … the strength of this novel is the gentle warmth of its tone.” –The Historical Novel Society

“Touching historical fiction.” –NPR Detroit

“This domestic charmer hums with love.” –AudioFile Magazine



(Holiday House, July 12, 2022)


When bright and spirited Norvia moves from the country to the city, she has to live by one new rule: Never let anyone know you’re Ojibwe.

Growing up on Beaver Island, Grand-père told Norvia stories—stories about her ancestor Migizi, about Biboonke-o-nini the Wintermaker, about the Crane Clan and the Reindeer Clan. He sang her songs in the old language, and her grandmothers taught her to make story quilts and maple candy. On the island, Norvia was proud of her Ojibwe heritage.

Things are different in the city. Here, Norvia’s mother forces her to pretend she’s not Native at all—even to Mr. Ward, Ma’s new husband, and to Vernon, Norvia’s irritating new stepbrother. In fact, there are a lot of changes in the city: ten-cent movies, gleaming soda shops, speedy automobiles, ninth grade. It’s dizzying for a girl who grew up on the forested shores of Lake Michigan.

Despite the move, the upheaval, and the looming threat of world war, Norvia and her siblings—all five of them—are determined to make 1914 their best year ever. Norvia is certain that her future—both professionally and socially—depends upon it… and upon her discretion.

But how can she have the best year ever if she has to hide who she truly is?

Sensitive, enthralling, and classic in sensibility (perfect for Anne of Green Gables fans), this tender coming-of-age story about an introspective and brilliant Native American heroine thoughtfully addresses serious issues like assimilation, racism, and divorce, as well as everygirl problems like first crushes, making friends, fitting in, and the joys and pains of a blended family. Often funny, often heartbreaking, The Star That Always Stays is a fresh and vivid story directly inspired by Anna Rose Johnson’s family history.

Cover art by Stephanie Son

Bonus resources for The Star That Always Stays can be found here!

Order your copy now:
Bookshop | IndieBoundBarnes & NobleAmazon | WalmartTarget

“This is a sensitive coming of age story about identity, prejudice, and confidence in your own skin.” –A Mighty Girl

“A book full of sweet sibling relationships, soda shops, and literary references that will make you smile. I loved it.” –Sarah Mackenzie, Read-Aloud Revival

“Author Anna Rose Johnson deftly reminds readers how important a few people … and the messages they impart can be in the life of a child.” –Lansing State Journal

The Star That Always Stays is one of those books that you want to start over once you finish it. It’s heartfelt and lovely and should appeal to young adults as well as an older audience.” –Cracking the Cover

“Torn between cultures, parents, and ethnicities, the 15-year-old girl struggles to adapt and fit in, but finds a lodestar in Christian faith. As in ­similar classic novels like Anne of Green Gables, touches of humor leaven a story of growth and grace.” –WORLD Magazine

“[A] lovely debut novel … Difficult topics including racism and parental divorce are discussed with grace, while scriptural truths are gently woven throughout the story.” –Club31Women

“Speaks to the heart of all of us who love Anne Shirley and Betsy Ray and their literary cousins.” –Tea and Ink Society

“This is a rich coming-of-age historical fiction story set around the first World War about an introspective girl dealing with racism, prejudice, and knowing herself.” –Imagination Soup

“The book portrays realistic issues of that time–women in education, Indigenous racism and prejudice against divorce … Norvia is an inspiring heroine.” –Northumberland News

“A sweetly old-fashioned piece of storytelling in the vein of Little Women or Anne of Green Gables … a charming debut novel.” –The Buffalo News

“Absolutely charming.” –The Story Sanctuary

“Memorable … [an] engaging work of historical fiction.” –The Horn Book

“This enchanting quiet middle grade has lots of Anne of Green Gables vibes, but from an Indigenous American perspective and with more modern sensibilities.” –Book Riot

“This coming-of-age story finds Norvia learning how to navigate high school, figuring out how to love both her absent father and new stepfather, and finding her own happiness in a world full of change.” —Youth Services Book Review

“Lovingly woven from the threads left for debut author Anna Rose Johnson by her ancestors from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians … Johnson’s writing is gentle, unhurried and reflective—with touches of humor and heartbreak.”Cynthia Leitich Smith, NYT-bestselling author of Ancestor ApprovedRain Is Not My Indian Name, and Sisters of the Neversea

“Hand this book to the child in your life who loves the classics.”Provo City Library

Check out my book at these sites!               

Pin It on Pinterest