This Star Won’t Go Out Review


Author: Esther Grace Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl

Published: 2014

Length: 384 pages

Publisher: Dutton



This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl is a collection of journal entries, drawings, blog posts, vlog transcripts and even some writing excerpts from Esther Earl, who days after her 16th birthday died of cancer. Esther’s entries are often a reflection on her feelings about her illness, but also gives us insight into a girl who was still very much a teenager. Esther talks about her growing interest in boys, her favorite TV shows, video games and things she hopes to achieve in her life.

In this intimate look at the life of a family battling cancer, Esther’s parents and friends contribute their feelings about Esther’s triumphs and aspirations, as well as her illness (and passing) through their own letters and blog entries. Pictures of Esther, her family and closest friends are scattered throughout the book.

What makes Esther’s story so compelling is that despite the severity of her illness, she was always concerned with the well being of others. Esther wanted to be a positive contribution to the world around her, to help others in need and to devote her life to giving back to those less fortunate than herself.

The internet was a true gift to Esther throughout her battle with cancer. While she wasn’t always comfortable with having company while dealing with the more harsh realities of her illness, the internet allowed her to make genuine friendships where she could detach herself form the cancer that ravaged her body and just be herself. As an early and active member of Nerdfighteria, an online community of self proclaimed Nerd Fighters who came together though the vlog posts of John and Hank Green’s early Brotherhood 2.0 (now Vlogbrothers) videos on YouTube. Esther was an active participant in all things Harry Potter, including the Harry Potter Alliance, a non profit organization which helps others in need.

This Star Won’t Go Out is a testament to living life to the fullest no matter what physical limitations you may have. While Esther was often bed ridden or simply too tired to even walk down the staircase in her home, she was vibrant and inspiring for all who met her.

To learn more about Esther and the foundation created in her honor, visit


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