This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl by Esther Earl


I joined the Nerdfighter Community a couple months before Esther passed away. But even in that short time, I saw how deeply she touched others (and myself) and how much she cared about the world that surrounded her. A world, that unfortunately, wasn't fair to her in a very large way. Despite of all her heart and compassion, she became another one of the too many lost-too-soon individuals that make up this life. But no matter how unfair that is, it forced many people to re-evaluate and focus on what maters: family, friends, community, and love. Her death created a generation responsible of keeping her memory and her spark alive and in our hearts. And our actions. Because of Esther Grace Earl, we will continue to fight, and fight harder, to cure the disease that takes too many, young and old. We will not let this star go out.

The book, This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl, is a collection of diary entries, blog entries, drawings, short stories and recollections about and by Esther. Starting from around the age 12-13, as she begins her fight against cancer and until the day she passes--as well as a little after.

However, this book isn't just about her disease and how painful and terrible it is. It's about a teenage girl trying to deal with her life, teenager-y things and all. When (if ever) will she get her first kiss? How her family and friends treat her. What she sees when she looks in the mirror. And yes, it's hard and magnificently devastating that she has cancer, but her tumors aren't the only thing she is; they are just a part of her.

I loved this book. It hurt to read it honestly, and I sobbed in the break-room at my work, but I had to read it. Esther has changed so many lives of people she will never meet, including myself, and her story is one that should be read by all. As humans we take a lot for granted, but it's stories like Esther's that show us just how wrong that is. She reminds us that we need to cherish what we have, and to give back. We can't just be stagnant. We have to move forward and push for change. And if a kick-ass 16 year old teenager can do it, we all can.

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