Blending the Family Story with the Coming-of-Age Novel, a guest post by Anna Rose Johnson

When many authors begin a story, they have a good idea of ​​what category it might fall into: it could be a book about a close-knit family like The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, or it could be about a teen navigating a new life like Hattie Ever After. But what if you want to do both?

As I began to write The Star That Always Stays, I knew that I wanted this story to be an homage to classic girls’ literature, and I was thinking about the books that came before me that I wished to emulate. I thought of standards like Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, and I thought of lesser-known but still beloved books like the Betsy-Tacy series and even stories like Elizabeth Enright’s Melendy Quartet or Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks, which are contemporary classics with the same feel. Eventually I decided I wanted my book to meld the style of the Melendys and LM Montgomery’s novels featuring Anne Shirley or Jane of Lantern Hill.