The Book of Moon HUGEOrange Publication Review

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The Book of Moon HUGEOrange Publication Review

By George Crowder

What a delight to discover such a talented new author! The Book of Moon is an intelligent and humorous coming-of-age story about Moon Landing, a smart, observant, very likeable boy. We watch as he pilots the stormy seas of adolescence and youth while trying to understand the baffling behaviour of the (lucky, I think) people who inhabit his world. His friends and teachers are all navigating their own paths as well, adding more richness to the tale of Moon’s life. Taking place in California, the novel manages to capture the essence of that magic place in all its flaws and quirks without a misstep.

The book weaves developments in Moon’s life with his yearning for clarity of the biblical story of Job, whose life was destroyed in a bet between God and Satan that misfortune and tragedies would break Job’s faith in God. Moon sees his own hiccups and setbacks as similar to the destruction visited upon Job (although Moon is an atheist). “How can any fifteen-year-old’s tally of misfortunes rival the King of Woe’s? Naturally I can’t match the man donkey-for-donkey.”

But to a 15-year-old (and anyone, really), life’s challenges have that same ‘why me?’ mystery that so plagued pious Job. Moon’s parents divorce, Mom’s attentions turn to a ‘cougarlicious’ life journey with non-stop young lovers, while Dad starts a new, better relationship with him and his brother, Moss.

“Between ourselves, Moss and I referred to my mother as, ‘The person formerly known as Mom.’ Her attention was not easy to come by these days. However, I had noticed that when she was putting on her war paint before her nightly raids she was at least a shadow of her old self. I liked to lie in the empty bathtub and talk to her while she went through the familiar routine of anointing herself. Only half-listening, she was capable of the occasional motherly utterance.”

The author writes in a smart, joyful style. Here’s how he explains a third grader named Rigo at Mom’s school (she’s a teacher) unable to contain his pride at knowing the nines multiplication table:

“Despite topping out at three feet and lacking several front teeth, which made him look like a stubby vampire, he began to spend recess and lunch loitering at the fence that Mom’s elementary school shared with an adjacent middle school. Gripping the chain links with bravado, Count Rigo would holler at passing seventh-and-eighth-grade girls, ‘Hey, I know my nines!’”

The ending is a neatly-wrapped gift that will leave readers smiling and wishing there was more. I eagerly await the next book from this author. It could be about anything, I just want to see it through his eyes. Check it out here:

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