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This Star Won't Go Out

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Grace Huang

on 28 April 2014

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Transcript of This Star Won't Go Out

Esther Grace Earl
Reason for Choosing Book
This is a story about a girl that went through a life changing experience known as Thyroid Cancer. It's not of those dramatic "based on a true story" cancer things, especially since Thyroid Cancer is not as bad as cancer. It's a story about me, Esther Earl, having a sickness that's pretty scary.
-- Esther Earl "Cancerous Lump" journal
About the Author
"And if I had the choice of going back in time, somehow, and preventing the cancer, I wouldn’t, since it would change so many things."
-- Esther Grace Earl

Esther obviously doesn't enjoy the fact that she has cancer; however she does accept it.

“I just wanted you to know that maybe I don’t really care that I have cancer. It’s a part of me at the moment, and I find I’m quite fortunate. What I mean is that thyroid cancer is treatable with radiation and I’m barely affected by that!” --
Esther Grace Earl

This was written by Esther when she fell into the 99.6% of people that would cure from thyroid cancer.

Esther Grace Earl was born in Beverly, Massachusetts to a minister father and educator mother. She was born on August 3, 1994. During her childhood, Esther moved and traveled to a lot of different places including Saudi Arabia, France, USA, and Germany. At the age of 12, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after she found herself frequently tired and constantly coughing. Esther died, peacefully, on August 25th, 2010 at 3 am. While she was alive, Esther loved writing, drawing, Harry Potter, Wrock (Harry Potter music), Doctor Who, YouTube, John and Hank Green, iilwy.com, and being a nerdfighter. She had two older sisters (Evangeline and Abby) and two younger brothers (Graham and Abraham). Her parents are Lori and Wayne Earl. After her death, her family created a foundation called TSWGO, in honor of Esther, to help families with children with cancer.
The Life & Words of Esther Grace Earl
Esther Grace Earl
Plot Summary
Plot Summary and Main Characters
"This Star Won't Go Out" is about a young girl named Esther Grace Earl who has thyroid cancer. She was diagnosed at the age of 12 and lived until just after her 16th birthday. This story isn't about her death; it's about how she lived life to the fullest, with optimism and generosity -- even though she had an incurable disease. "This Star Won't Go Out" is a collection of Esther's blogs, journal entries, doodles, sketches, letters, and stories -- from being diagnosed to her death. As well, there are many letters, dedications, and memoirs written to Esther by her family and friends, including an introduction written by her favorite author and close friend -- John Green. Through this non-fiction book, you will see how it really is like to live with terminal thyroid cancer.
I recommend this book to people who liked "The Fault in Our Stars" as this was the inspiration behind that book. Also, if you like autobiographies or biographies this would be a pretty special one. Normally, biographies are about famous or people who helped or affected the world in a way. Esther Earl was a typical teenager -- except with thyroid cancer. The book isn't just about her life, it's her life told through herself, her family, and her friends.
This Star Won't Go Out
This Star Won't Go Out
Additional Information
Main Characters
“I do hope that when the day comes, whether in 1, 10, or 100 years, I don’t want you to think of me and feel sad.”
-- Esther Grace Earl
Title -- This Star Won't Go Out
Author -- Esther Grace Earl (with many other contributors)
Genre -- Non-Fiction Autobiography/Biography
Pages -- 431

Take a peek into the world of a young girl with thyroid cancer...
The Star Won't Go Out -- Esther's legacy still lives on...
“Isn’t it sad that so often it takes facing death to appreciate life and each other fully?”
-- Esther Grace Earl
Esther Grace Earl is the main character in this book -- it is written by her and about her. As you can tell from these quotes, she is a kind and optimistic teenage girl that is quite wise for her age. Even though she has thyroid cancer, she still tries her best to help others. Esther is also a hardcore nerdfighter and started a nerdfighting group, Catitude, with a few of her Internet friends.
I would give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is a really well written book (especially written by someone at that age!) and it inspired me to live life to the fullest. Esther is a REAL person; she actually existed and all of the events in her story happened to her. It is unlike a fiction story where everything is just a figment of the author's imagination. She actually had cancer for 4 years. She actually died. You can learn a lot from Esther in this book.

I chose this book because I wanted to do a non-fiction book for my book talk. I have always enjoyed autobiographies and biographies more than other non-fiction books and I was also interested in what it would feel like for a child to have cancer. Now, after reading the book, I can understand how Esther feels when she says
"I hope they find a good cure for cancer soon, cause well, if I hadn’t gotten sick, I wouldn’t have thought twice about all the patients that suffer from it... I would have “ohh...too bad” sympathy, instead of
-- Esther Grace Earl
Even if Esther could go back in time and change her life to make it so she didn't have cancer, she wouldn't, because everything would be so different. In her story, because of the cancer, Esther became so much closer to her parents and her siblings because of all the extra time she had with them -- whether it was trips to the hospital or family dinner at a restaurant.

She also met a group of friends through the Internet that she would've never have found if she still lived in France. (The reason Esther and her family moved back to the USA was so Esther could have better cancer treatment.) She, with her online friends, formed a nerdfighter group called Catitude.

Through her Catitude group, Esther got to meet and became close friends with John Green (the author of "The Fault In Our Stars") and Hank Green (John's brother).
I understand how Esther feels. Sometimes, I wish that I could go back in time and change something or make it so I didn't do a certain thing. (Of course, though, my problems aren't as bad as Esther's.)

But, then I realize that even if I could, I wouldn't, because my life would be so different. It's possible that I wouldn't have met a lot of close friends or that I wouldn't be the way I am right now. Still, I can understand how she feels -- wanting the problem to go away, but accepting it because she knows it's a part of who she is. Like Esther said,
"And I honestly don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t um, had that horrible Thanksgiving where I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I don’t know if I would even... you know, I don’t know... I might have died a different way!"
-- Esther Grace Earl
"Just be happy, and if you can't be happy, do things that make you happy. Or do nothing with the people that make you happy."
-- Esther Grace Earl
I also recommend this book to all those nerdfighters out there as Esther was a fellow nerdfighter. She just happened to die from cancer.
Esther with John Green!!
The End!!!
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