Title: Ella at Eden: Eden Stars
Author: Laura Sieveking
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: 1st May 2022
Synopsis: The Eden College girls can’t believe it. The famous child-movie star, Ariel Anderson, is going to be starring in a new movie … which is being filmed at their school! As rivalries grow over who might get to be an extra in the movie, something sinister is happening behind the scenes. Who is sending threatening notes to Ariel? Can Ella solve the mystery before Ariel is in real danger?
When Ella and her friends at Eden College find out that their favourite book series – Millie Mysteries – is being made into a movie, they’re super excited. Even better – their school is being used as a set, and the most famous child-star, Ariel Anderson is going to be the star! Ella and her group of friends are asked to help Ariel and show her around, and they become her friends. Yet as the movie progresses, Ella gets to know the real Ariel, who she is away from the cameras. At the same time, a series of notes threatening the movie and Ariel start to appear – so Ella and her friends decide that they have to find out what is going on – before somebody puts Ariel in danger!
Another fantastic Ella at Eden story. This is a series that I have been following since the beginning, and each story is filled with fun, friendship, and mystery. For those who have been following Ella through all her iterations from Ella and Olivia to Meet Ella, to Ella Diaries, it is like coming back to a good friend, and like coming home. Eden is a place that readers of the book will be fond of, and it captures a school experience that can translate to boarding school and day school, but I also loved that it showed the differences and the community that Ella and her friends are building whilst at Eden. Each book is unique with a distinct plot, and I love that they all focus on friendship, because that is something that is so important to kids who are Ella’s age.
In this fantastic outing back at Eden, friendship, and what it means to be a friend. Are at the forefront. Ella’s loyalty to her friends shines through, and I love that she is able to overcome obstacles and friend ways to get things done when she is asked, like an interview with Ariel for the school paper. She manages to rise above things that Saskia does and says as well, proving that Saskia’s tactics are never going to be successful. Of course, there is the usual Eden mischief going on, but Ella knows what is right and her guiding principles and penchant for wanting to do the right thing. Ella’s actions gives the story a delightful sense of being a good person.
I love that Ella’s world doesn’t deal with COVID – it is a nice break from everything that does, and allows us to imagine a world where the pandemic isn’t happening. It gives readers a space to breath and relax, and simply enjoy being part of a fun and exciting world with Ella and her friends. I love this series and can’t wait to see what happens next for Ella and her friends.