In A Galaxy of Sea Stars, we meet Izzy whose dad recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan and is dealing with PTSD while trying to build a new business since he won’t be returning to the war front. Izzy’s mother is away on a neighboring island, taking time away from her marriage under the guise of helping out an extended family member. Izzy herself is feeling a bit lost as her friend group “the sea stars” seems to be changing and Zelda, the queen bee of the group is trying to keep them together by making all three of them join the school’s broadcasting club. As if things aren’t hard enough, Izzy’s dad introduces her to a friend who’s just moved from Afghanistan with his family and Izzy seems to be saddled with befriending their daughter Sitara who will be attending the same school. Sitara wears a hijab and seems so different from anyone Izzy knows. As Izzy’s friendship issues and Sitara’s being bullied at school collide, Izzy will learn what it means to be brave.
Simone Thibodeau is in her senior year of high school and is ready for some freedom from her strict Haitian parents (especially her mother). She’s been dreaming of her perfect prom experience with long-time crush, Gavin as her prom date, but the dream is threatened when her mom arranges a prom date (just as they did for Simone’s older sister) for her. But Simone isn’t backing down easily this time. She joins forces with two other daughters of protective immigrant parents: Amita and Kira. Together, they make a bucket list of sorts, including items like “spend a day in NYC” and “go to the club.” The girls are determined to take charge of their lives.
Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger’s mom says he’s “charming as a verb” — and she’s right! Henri’s parents are Haitian immigrants. While his dad is their building’s Super, his mom is studying to become a firefighter. He’s popular at his high school and runs a successful dog walking business. The thing is: he tells customers that there’s an entire network of dogwalkers, of which he’s just one. When his neighbor and fellow high schooler Corrine’s mother hires him to walk their dog, Corrine quickly uncovers his sham of a company.