Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Nearer Moon

A Nearer Moon
by Melanie Crowder
From the publisher:
"In a small river village where the water is cursed, a girl’s bravery—and the existence of magic—could mean the difference between life and death in this elegant, luminous tale from the author of Parched and Audacity.

Along a lively river, in a village raised on stilts, lives a girl named Luna. All her life she has heard tales of the time before the dam appeared, when sprites danced in the currents and no one got the mysterious wasting illness from a mouthful of river water. These are just stories, though—no sensible person would believe in such things.

Beneath the waves is someone who might disagree. Perdita is a young water sprite, delighting in the wet splash and sparkle, and sad about the day her people will finally finish building their door to another world, in search of a place that humans have not yet discovered.

But when Luna’s little sister falls ill with the river sickness, everyone knows she has only three weeks to live. Luna is determined to find a cure for her beloved sister, no matter what it takes. Even if that means believing in magic…"

This is a book that tries very hard to be mystical and lyrical, but for me it was more illogical and confusing. I'm not sure the target audience will be willing to stick with it. I didn't understand the world of the sprites, and couldn't picture what they looked like. I also couldn't understand why people stayed living on the sour swamp that killed them. Just move, for heaven's sake! I did like the sisterly love in the dual stories, but couldn't stand the unloveable mother. I think we needed more back story on her to be able to feel anything for her besides contempt for how she neglected her children. I know the whole thing is meant to be allegorical, and it was mildly enjoyable, but I don't see this one getting checked out very often.

Areas of concern:
Not really anything. If I had to stretch to find something, there is a swamp "monster" that makes the swamp sour and lethal if you swallow the water.

Suggested Ages:
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 9-12
School Library Journal - Grades 5-8

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