Sovrin’s Star by John Reyer Afamasaga takes place in the South at the end of the American Civil War. It doesn’t set out to teach a lesson. However, the awakenings experienced by the characters are nothing less than life-changing. In one scene, disabled child Sovrin; orphaned during the war experiences the meaning of gratitude when he comes up with the most inventive and creative way to thank Tiker a con-artist from London for rescuing him. This is not a self-help book, but it manages to effortlessly explore ethics and guilt through the eyes of ten-year-old Sovrin and Tiker who is a spy.