Starr of the Show

Shiny Friends Super Squad Book 1

Children - Preteen
141 Pages
Reviewed on 08/25/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Starr of the Show is a story about friendship and making amends. Written by Leigh Reagan Alley, the book follows two best friends and fifth graders, Starr Solomon and Sunny Morgan, who used to be inseparable. When Starr inadvertently takes credit for the backpack Sunny had crafted for her birthday in front of the "Crombie Zombies," the popular clique in Cooper Elementary, Sunny becomes upset and stops talking to her. Ridden with guilt, Starr wants to make amends. But when she sees a hit piece about her in the school chronicle, it's her turn to be angry at Sunny. Starr and Sunny's team-up seems to be over, with the upcoming science fair on the horizon. Will the two friends find a way to reconcile? Will they be a part of the Fifth Grade Family Night?

Starr of the Show is a heartwarming tale about two friends, with a gentle message about forgiveness and letting go. Leigh Reagan Alley tells a sweet story filled with preteen drama, humor, and witty dialogue that entertains you from beginning to end. The characters are compelling and feel like real elementary school kids. Even the fight between Starr and Sunny is adorable, and their friendship is the story's heartbeat. Kids will find it easy to relate to either of them. The illustrations by Mark Nathan Hurry add a nice touch to bring the characters to life. This is the kind of book kids should read before aging up for Harry Potter. I loved every moment of it and will gladly recommend it for preteens.

Raising Readers

Absolutely LOVE this book! As a teacher, I'm always looking for books to introduce and reinforce SEL skills and strategies, and this one really hits the sweet spot with subtle teaching, relatable characters, and the kind of accessible text that will keep my reluctant and struggling readers turning the pages. I can't wait to share this as an option for my classroom book clubs, and I can't wait for more in this series!

Read Teacher

This is a great hi-lo book! I picked it up for my Grade 5 classroom library and it's getting lots of reader love! Can't wait for the next one!

Read Write Dram

Wonderful teaching tool! This SEL series is as impactful as it is endearing!

MG Book Mama

My daughter loves this book, and she's a reluctant reader! It grabbed her from the first page and held on until the last. She loved the relatable characters and the real-life challenges!

Voracious Reader

Two words: buy it! It's a quick read for kiddos who need the encouragement of page-turning. The larger font keeps that happening at a satisfying speed. Struggling readers will feel accomplished, and those who don't struggle will find tween issues to engage and relate with. A must-have for classrooms that want to foster SEL and a compassionate climate. Highly recommend!

Teachable Moments

Great story for exploring relationship repair. I really appreciated the resources at the back of the book. I'll definitely be using this in the classroom.

rlly rozie

This is the kind of book I wish I had more of when I was a younger kid. I read it aloud to my sister and she liked it a lot.


A hit with all my kids! It's hard to praise it highly enough. I appreciated the humor and the gentle teaching for putting empathy into action.

Book Buff

This is my daughter’s new favorite series! Hoping another one will be out very soon!

Just Jess

This is the cutest book we’ve come across in a long time. My kids love the characters and the aesthetic. I love that they’re gaining emotional intelligence through a sweet, engaging story.

Paige Turner

Quick, cute, and relatable read for grades 4-6! Definitely glad I got a copy for my classroom library.

Book Talk with Miss T.

This is the first book in a sweet series about the growing pains of being a tween. The author does more than write realistic characters and scenes; she offers social skills for children to use when encountering similar struggles in their own lives. The author has said there are five books planned for the series. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for the Shiny Friends Super Squad.

Bringing Up Book Lovers

I discovered this book when it was #1 on the list of Amazon’s Hot New Releases in children’s books about peer pressure. My girls absolutely loved it and raved about it! It’s available to borrow on Kindle Unlimited, which is great news for families and classrooms that have the subscription. My daughters are desperate for book 2! Hopefully soon!


Everyone needs some Shiny Friends in their lives. This book is so incredibly well- written. The author brings the characters to life with humor and witty dialogue, making them relatable to everyone who reads it! The illustrations are absolutely adorable and they add another layer of charm to the story. You will fall in love with this book!


First of all, the characters in the book are adorable and relatable! The characters are so funny and make this book so enjoyable to read. Reluctant readers will love this book with adorable illustrations throughout. This is a perfect SEL book for emerging readers. Highly recommend!

Leader of Readers

Two words: SO GOOD!