Metal Fish, Falling Snow

Text. May 2021. 288p. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781922330079.
Gr 9 Up–Set in the Australian outback, Moore’s debut novel is a challenging, powerful story that follows a biracial (Black/white) teenage girl, Dylan, through the sudden loss of her mother. Dylan and her late mother’s boyfriend, Pat, take off on a road trip to meet Dylan’s remaining family. Each stop along the way brings new difficulties, including car troubles, racist remarks, and the resulting fall out. The relationship that Dylan and Pat form is strengthened by their mutual love of her mother, but is tested by Dylan’s unexpected and unabashed behavior. She sees the world differently and is purely herself, all the while struggling with her biracial identity and her attempts to be “normal”—a.k.a. white. Readers may struggle with the seemingly erratic storytelling in the beginning, but will soon realize the very real grief that Dylan and Pat are experiencing. Teens will be able to relate to at least one aspect of this tale, whether it is relationships, identity issues, or grief. Strong characterization and narration will allow readers to experience Dylan’s full range of emotions. Regional vocabulary may cause some confusion for readers unfamiliar with it. Pat is cued as white.
VERDICT Strong characterization and voice make this beautiful debut a recommended purchase.

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