A portrait of Octavia Butler in poems: Ibi Zoboi’s STAR CHILD

There’s one book I can’t stop thinking about– STAR CHILD: A BIOGRAPHICAL CONSTELLATION OF OCTAVIA ESTELLE BUTLER by Ibi Zoboi.

The brilliant combination of poetry and nonfiction is what drew me to Zoboi’s amazing middle-grade biography of author Octavia Butler. Telling the story of a life in poems requires such precision and artistry. Zoboi does this in a way that is seamless and spare and beautiful. 

This is one of my favorite books for young readers that I’ve read recently. Zoboi acts as a sculptor—paring, shaping, and providing just the right detail in just the right words to deliver a poetic portrait of a powerful woman and commanding writer. This beautiful book recently won an Honor in the We Need Diverse Books 2023 Walter Awards.

Don’t miss it!

On Fridays, I love taking part in Poetry Friday when I can, where writers share resources about children’s poetry. This week, Marcie Flinchum Atkins hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup today at her blog. Check out the celebration of poetry there today!



  1. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I have fairly recently discovered the writings of Octavia Butler (and am working my way through everything I can find). Now this looks to add even more to what I want to read. Thanks for sharing.

  2. lindabaie says:

    I read Kindred with my students, ensuring that they knew of her, now wishing I could tell them about this book. It’s new to me, Mary. Thank you for sharing about it! On my list!

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