Shame the Stars

By School Library Journal

A story of the love of a young couple during the Mexican Revolution in 1915, with a Romeo and Juliet twist. The unrest of the revolution affects everyone in two fictional towns, Monteseco and Las Moras. Joaquín writes poems and his thoughts in a journal about the revolution but has never shared them with anyone. Dulceña writes articles about the revolution for her father’s newspaper under a pen name. Her pieces are about the violence the Texas Rangers cause against the Mexican citizens in the region. The Rangers even resort to killing the Mexican citizens when they do not follow the Rangers’ orders. Dulceña’s father’s printing shop comes under fire for what he prints in the newspapers. Joaquín and Dulceña keep their relationship a secret because of the happenings of the revolution. Their letters are covertly delivered by a friend of their families. The couple try to meet at night when no one is around and hope not to get caught, very much like the protagonists of the source material. The author keeps readers in suspense, while slowly revealing details about the characters’ involvement in the revolution. An author’s note sheds light on McCall’s inspiration and research, and a glossary gives definitions of Spanish words used throughout the book. VERDICT A good purchase for historical fiction collections, especially where there are fans of Ashley Hope Pérez’s Out of Darkness.