When I began reading this book a sense of dread hovered over me. I felt myself trapped in another MG mini-drama filled with divorce, broken friendships, and confused feelings. But wait…a bit of magic saved the day.
The magic here is caused by the main character (Lucia) being born during a lunar eclipse. The night of her 13th birthday is when strange things begin to happen. Her dreams unleash her shadow who carries out the dream in real life. Lucia begins conquering her fears and desires but doesn’t remember doing any of it herself.
She’d never tell her mom how she really feels about the divorce, face her former best friend, or try out for a school musical. Those are just a few of the events that come true. Lucia is scared but also kind of enjoying the ride.
With help from all the important people in her life, Lucia tries to understand how the moonstone she carries around is possibly triggering the chaos. The story turns into an enjoyable spin through middle school life and coping with oneself. It’s all about growth and change. I’m glad I stuck around to the end.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017 PAGE COUNT: 256
FULL PLOT (From AMAZON)
Thirteen-year-old Lucia Frank discovers that she can become the girl she’s always wanted to be with the help of a little “moon magic” in this charming novel about the value of friendship, family, and finding yourself.
Lucia Frank has never had time for her mom’s “new age” nonsense. She doesn’t believe in any of that stuff. All she wants is to figure out how to get her best friend, Will, back and cope with her parents looming divorce. But then something strange happens on the night of her thirteenth birthday.
When the eclipsed moon slips into the shadow of the earth, Lucia’s Shadow slips out. Now hidden in a moonstone, the Shadow waits for Lucia to sleep so it can come out to play.
Lucia’s Shadow seems unlike her in almost every way: daring, outspoken, and unwilling to let anyone push her around. But it actually isn’t the anti-Lucia…in fact, her Shadow is very much like the person Lucia wishes she could be. At first, Lucia is eager to undo whatever magic happened on her birthday so life can get back to normal. But when she realizes her Shadow is doing and saying things she has only dreamed about, she wonders if maybe things aren’t all bad.
With a little help from her Shadow, she’s turning into the kind of girl she’s always wanted to be.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: MOON SHADOW by Erin Downing
- The pages where the shadow of Lucia takes over are done in white letters on a black background. With the book closed I could see seven strips of black and I was anxious to get to them all.
- Instead of keeping her problems bottled up inside her, Lucia seeks help from friends and family. It’s a great lesson for any tween or teen who may be hesitant about letting others into their world of troubled thoughts.
- Lucia’s new friends, Anji and Jonathan, are what I hope are the rule rather than the exception of what middle school kids are like.
- This should be popular with girl MG readers and the magical realism might reel in a few boys along the way, too.
- A good read-aloud and discuss type of book. Readers will find understanding to their own feeling of awkwardness during the difficult middle school years.
FAVORITE LINES: A cool blast of night air blew over the roof wall. Just as the moon took its last timid step into the full, round shadow of the earth, I heard the tentative crunch of a footstep on the terrace behind me. I was momentarily frozen with all those unspoken wishes trapped on my tongue. Suddenly, and without warning, I felt myself crumple to the ground.
A TIDBIT ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from ERIN’S website):
Most of the time, she reads books on her Kindle. Except kids’ books, which she prefers to read the old-school way.
Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.
The moon magic is an interesting twist to the emotional story line. I also liked hearing how she turns to her friends for help!
A very appropriate story for this year with the big eclipse nearing.
I have really started enjoying magical realism. This sounds like a book I’d enjoy, although I just finished a book dealing with divorce. It’s fun to see how creative authors can be with tough, common tween problems.
This looks great. Thanks for introducing me to a new author and a new favorite illustrator.
What a sweet idea to have a shadow that takes over. This sounds like a lot of fun. The line you chose is certainly intriguing!
“When I began reading this book a sense of dread hovered over me. I felt myself trapped in another MG mini-drama filled with divorce, broken friendships, and confused feelings.” XD That made me laugh so hard! Glad it wasn’t all like that. I especially love the magic involved in the story! Plus the lesson about keeping your feelings bottled in is SUPER important so I’m glad that’s in there. Plus the black background with white lettering during the shadow’s takeover? Count me in! Thanks for the recommendation!
I have this book and read a recommendation of it, but I still haven’t read it. I definitely will now! Thanks for the review!
P.S. I completely agree with Sue Kooky about the first sentence of this review — genius!
Oooh – I love the idea of magic connected to a lunar eclipse. I wonder what books will be inspired by the coming solar eclipse….