Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Moon Within

Salazar, Aida. The Moon Within
February 26th 2019 by Arthur A. Levine Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

In this novel in verse, we hear Celi's thoughts as she navigates her life in Oakland, California. Her close knit family watches her closely, and her Mima (mother) is sure that Celi will soon require a "moon ceremony" as puberty descends. Celi doesn't want everyone to know this information about her, but her mother is insistent that her daughter not feel shame about her body in the way that she herself did, but instead embraces a version of an Aztec ceremony to celebrate. Celi also has a crush on Ivan, whom she knows through her community center dancing classes, and she can't get enough privacy to contact him as she would like, since her parents only allow her to use a tablet once a week. Celi's best friend Magda is going through her own changes. Magda is transitioning to Marco, and luckily his parents are understanding of this and frame the change in a way that discusses different types of energy.
Strengths: This was very on-trend in its treatment of gender-expansion, feminist philosophy, and cultural identity while also addressing universal tween issues with parents, friends, crushes, and the changes of adolescence.
Weaknesses: While it's great that this has a lot of Spanish language vocabulary and different types of dancing, etc., my students are unfamiliar with most of these and probably would benefit from a glossary or more explanation within the text.
What I really think: Think of this as a "woke", in verse version of Are You There God, It's Me Margaret. Since I am old enough that I still believe that discussing MANY different topics outside of immediate family, and then in hushed tones, is inappropriate, I am not going to attempt to opine. Novels in verse do not circulate well in my library, so I will probably pass on purchasing.
Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. I have trouble...embracing...verse novels and have always wondered how they go over with child readers.

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