And Tomorrow the Stars Critical Context - Essay

Kay Hill

Critical Context

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

And Tomorrow the Stars, while admittedly a highly fictionalized account of Cabot’s life, is an entertaining story in its own right. As she explains in the author’s note at the end of the book, Hill spent two summers traveling in Europe in order to create the sense of authenticity found in the book. The addition of “Historical Notes” shows Hill’s concern over the accuracy of the account in great detail—a reader knows exactly where Hill invented and where she reproduced actual, documented history.

Written under a research grant from the Canada Council and the winner of the 1969 Canadian Library Award, the book greatly benefits from Hill’s painstaking research into both the life of the explorer himself and the European climate in which the story takes place. Her ability to create characters that desire great things from life brings a uniquely personal quality to the history of exploration that has shaped the world. Young readers who are interested in geography and a sense of history will come away from the book with an enriched sense of how America was discovered—not by one man named Columbus but by a host of explorers both before and after him.