February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pick of the Day: Beneath a Meth Moon (Audiobook)

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Beneath a Meth Moon. By Jacqueline Woodson. 3 CDs. 3:42 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4558-5451-6. $49.97.
Gr 8 Up—Laurel celebrated her 15th birthday huddled against the rain and begging for money. The few precious coins tossed in her direction were spent chasing the moon, trying to forget the past. This wasn’t always her life. She was happy during her pre-Hurricane Katrina days, but the drowning death of Mama and M’lady left her empty inside. Feeling displaced in her new home, Laurel meets Kaylee who convinces her to try out for the cheerleading squad. Yet the pain of her past continues gnawing inside until T-Boom, hot co-captain of the basketball team, offers her the moon-meth that helps her forget the past. Rehab and love are Laurel’s saving grace. Kaylee tells her to write an elegy-“write it into the past.” And so she does. Jacqueline Woodson’s fabulous novel (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks., 2012) captures perfectly the decline from basketball cheerleader to street corner meth-head that begins with an innocent taste of the moon. This poignant story deftly tackles the strangling grip of addiction, its eroding power on family and friends, and the strength that hope and love offer for redemption. Narrator Cassandra Campbell is amazing in her ability to capture all the voices, from the southern, matriarchal pride of M’lady to the desperate pleas of a strung-out junkie and every character in between. A first pick choice!—Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH